Climate change is a true story. It is a story that is global in scope, yet touches individuals, families, communities, and ecosystems in unique ways. All of us have a story to share about how climate change intersects with our lives, whether that is recognizing that winters are not as cold as they used to be, struggling to adapt farming practices to changing weather patterns, or even needing to abandon our home to coastal flooding.
My name is Jason Davis and I'm the director of Climate Stories Project,
an educational and artistic forum for sharing personal and community stories about climate change. My colleagues Bethany Garretson, Berenice Tompkins, and I collect and share stories from people speaking about their personal responses to the climate crisis on the website www.climatestoriesproject.org . We facilitate educational workshops in which high school and college students learn to speak about climate change on a personal level then interview guest speakers, such as Indigenous elders or natural resource professionals, about theirs. As an artist, I write and perform original music which features recorded climate stories, which you can hear at www.climatemusic.net .
Science teacher Ken Stenek, Shishmaref Alaska High School students, and Climate Stories Project director Jason Davis
Now the Climate Stories Project team is launching the 50 Climate Stories campaign to build a tapestry of voices from people from all 50 US states who will speak about their personal responses to the changing climate. With your support, we will record and share interviews with people from 50 different states and from a diverse range of geographic locations, professions and personal backgrounds who discuss openly how climate change intersects with their lives.
In this age of extreme political polarization, it may seem like climate change is only a concern for people from some states and from some political backgrounds. The goal of 50 Climate Stories is to demonstrate that people from the entire country and across the political spectrum are engaged with climate change, making detailed observations of how the changing climate is impacting their home places, and taking steps to respond proactively to the climate crisis.
I have been struck by how people from diverse locations and backgrounds can find common ground by sharing their observations of the changing climate. For example, last year I recorded an interview with environmental educator Laura Gill of Stanford, California, who observes the increasingly unpredictable weather in her hometown:
It used to be very predictable, the climate and the weather in Stanford. We would always predict that the day after Halloween would be the first rain. And over the years, we don't see that normal cycle anymore. I can see those changes very clearly any time I go and visit home.
Laura Gill, Stanford, California
Chris Price of Mill Spring, North Carolina recorded his climate story about the challenge of farming under unpredictable climatic conditions:
If you can't make an informed prediction as to when the frost cycle will come into effect, it's hard to predict your growing season. It's always a tricky thing but it's even more tricky if it's going to be off by a month or more.
Chris Price, Mill Spring, North Carolina
By collecting and sharing these diverse stories linked by the thread of the changing climate, our goal for this campaign is to reinforce connections between people across geographic and cultural boundaries, helping listeners feel common cause with and develop empathy for others, and gaining courage to forge proactive responses to the climate crisis.
Your support will also allow us to harness the incredible energy of youth climate activists from around the country. Students are at the forefront of the global climate movement—many of us have heard the courageous words of 16-year old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, who spoke at the recent UN Climate Summit in New York about the alarming failure of governments to tackle climate change, jeopardizing her future and the lives of young people around the world.
As part of the 50 Climate Stories campaign, we will engage 10 high school and college Climate Fellows from 10 different states, who will collect and share climate stories from people in their home places. Your support will help young climate leaders such as Shishmaref, Alaska native Esau Sinnok, who participated in a Climate Stories Project education workshop in 2015 and went on to serve as youth climate ambassador in Washington, DC. Esau is now a rising leader in the international climate and environmental justice movements, sharing his stories of the resilience of Shishmaref residents responding to the devastating effects of climate change on his home village.
Esau Sinnok, Bessie Sinnok, Sam Tocktoo and Stanley Tocktoo of Shishmaref, Alaska
The 10 Climate Fellows will form a diverse network of climate storytellers who will work together and inspire young people from around the world to collect and share climate stories.
The Fellows, selected from online applicants and by invitation, will receive financing and training to share their own climate stories and record and share climate interviews with members of their local communities, encouraging their development as leaders in the international youth climate movement.
This work will not be possible without financial help. Your generous
50 interviews at $16/hour for CSP staff work time:
Contact with interviewees, setting up interviews: (30 min each):
Carrying out interviews (45 min each): $600
Editing and posting interviews (2 hours each): $1600
Stipends for 10 Climate Fellows ($250 each): $2500
To show appreciation for your generosity, we are offering the following rewards:
Donations of $25 and up: Access to the full recording of the Climate Voices Suite for Double Bass by composer Jason Davis
Donations of $100 and up: An original musical composition by Jason featuring excerpts from your recorded climate story
There has never been a more urgent time to support the movement to
respond proactively to the climate crisis. Your support of the 50 Climate Stories campaign will enable Climate Stories Project to attain our goal of kick-starting a worldwide movement to make climate
storytelling a centerpiece of these efforts.