Climate change as a storytelling problem

About 2 months ago I had the opportunity to speak in the TEDx Broadway 2015 conference. I spoke about the psychological difficulty of taking climate change as seriously as we should, because it seems like a long-term problem. Since I was speaking to people in the theatre industry, I related that to the problem of making good fictional stories about climate change. I proposed my own idea for a climate change scifi movie, you have to watch to find out what it is (I’m talking to you, Marvel Comics).

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Two talks

I am giving two talks tomorrow. Both are big deals, by my humble standards. Either one alone would be enough to make me a little nervous. But excited.

In the morning, I’m speaking in TEDx Broadway 2015. I’m going to talk about climate change. Why talk about climate change in a conference about the future of Broadway, in which most of the other speakers are connected to the theater industry in some way? Well, Broadway is on planet earth too… beyond that, if you’re not going to the event, you’ll have to wait til the video shows up on the internet.

In the evening, I’m speaking at Columbia, in the Low Rotunda under the big dome, in an event that is part of the President’s World Leaders Forum series, to launch our new Initiative on Extreme Weather and Climate. We have an outstanding panel of four speakers who will be talking about what we have learned in the two and a half (almost) years since Sandy – about how to make the City more resilient to extreme weather; about how science, government and industry can work together; about what lessons the rest of the world can learn from NYC’s experience and vice versa, and so on. I’m the moderator of the panel.

Before the panel discussion starts, I’ll speak for a few minutes about what the Initiative is and what its goals are. If you can’t make it (it’s open to the CU community, but registration is required and I believe there is a wait list by now), you can go to the web page which we will have up by the time of the event, at extremeweather.columbia.edu, to learn about the Initiative. You can also follow @CUextremewx on twitter.

For now, I’m polishing my talks. And I got a haircut.