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The Rootbound Universe

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 ***Thank you SO much for helping us reach our goal! Thanks to you, we've funded our first round of youth climate storytellers. More youth artists would love to be involved and any extra donations will go to funding their collaboration***

Combining art + storytelling + people power to counter fossil fuel industry misinformation and build political will for bold climate action.
Drawing from my PhD research on how the fossil fuel industry undermines democracy and how to energize the public for bold, just climate action, I have written a #hopepunk young adult novel—Rootbound (think Greta Thunberg meets The Magicians, with heaps of queer joy and swoony romance). Using the novel as a jumping off point, we’re co-creating a virtual, immersive story experience where young people around the world can learn about the root causes of climate change, build empowering community, design their own piece of the fandom, and take collective action for bold climate action.
Please share this far and wide, follow us as we build out this joyful climate resistance (@therootboundcollective, @rootbounduniverse & @gracenosek), and donate if you feel moved to! Let’s highlight and push back against fossil fuel industry misinformation!
What makes Rootbound different?
Rather than a one-off story, Rootbound is a continuous, ever-evolving immersive narrative built to expose and challenge ever-shifting fossil fuel industry propaganda. And it gives youth agency in rewriting our collective story in the face of mental health and climate crises.
A 2021 Carbon Tracker Initiative report found that the “technical and economic barriers [to rapidly phasing out fossil fuels] have been crossed and the only impediment to change is political.
BUT, the fossil fuel industry spends billions to:
fund climate deniers
target teachers and students with propaganda
push the public to feel guilty
seed hopelessness and doomism
attack climate scientists
target climate protesters with surveillance, violence, and serious jail time
co-opt the language of racial justice
pretend to support carbon taxes while spending millions to defeat them
SIMULTANEOUSLY, young people are experiencing a mental health crisis, driven in part by anxiety around climate change. In a recent survey of 10,000 youth across 10 countries on climate and mental health, 75% of respondents said they think their future is frightening.
We need new stories to expose and counter industry narratives of doom and gloom, individual responsibility, and fossil fuel industry saviorism. To empower young people and to motivate political action we need stories with justice, hope, joy, community, and systems change.
Check out the website here: https://www.rootbounduniverse.com
After her sister disappears during a climate protest, seventeen-year-old Mira Bracken spends her days combing an uncaring world for any trace of her.
She’s handing out missing-person flyers at the latest climate protest when an SUV terrorizes the crowd, plunging towards the strikers and heading directly at Mira. Without warning, a giant oak tree falls onto the car, saving the screaming youth in its path.
A mysterious stranger insists that Mira somehow commanded the oak to act, that she’s a Treetalker, a powerful one, and that an ancient order of evil men will be coming for her. She laughs it off, until the stranger adds one last thing—these men have been kidnapping youth climate strikers.
Desperate to learn more, Mira throws her lot in with the mysterious stranger and the other Treetalkers. Soon she’s swept into a secret magical war that spans centuries and the globe, getting closer and closer to discovering the fate of her sister.
Next steps
Finish editing and polishing the novel and prepare it for serial publication on Wattpad (an app that makes books free and accessible to youth around the world), as well as an e-book and hard copy. Finalize other Rootbound media and commission more
Collaborate with non-profits, teachers, and professors to teach youth about fossil fuel industry misinformation and empower them to create their own pieces of the Rootbound world for academic credit. We want it ALL: flash fiction, music, graphic novels, boardgames, trading cards, mood boards, aesthetics, online quizzes, poetry, and more.
Channel the energy and talent of the fan community into get-out-the-vote work and collective climate action through workshops and engaging content.
**We’re planning to have content ready to engage youth in voting and turning out their friends and community to vote in the 2022 US midterms**
Where will the funding go?
The bulk of the funding will go towards allowing me to work on building out the Rootbound universe full-time for at least 3 months. While I have been able to compensate all of the artists and designers collaborating on the Rootbound universe, I have largely been doing the work, and the rest of my climate activism and storytelling, pro bono while I complete my PhD. I think effective climate storytelling that engages the public and builds political will is the most important thing I could possibly be doing with my time and decades of experience in climate scholarship, organizing, and activism. I’d be thrilled to finally get to do such work full time. And I’d also be thrilled to re-hire the incredible youth artists working with me.
Who am I?
Grace Nosek is Founder of the University of British Columbia Climate Hub. She is a PhD Candidate in Law at the Peter A. Allard School of Law, University of British Columbia studying how to use law to protect climate change science from manufactured doubt. She is a Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation scholar and a Killam doctoral scholar, and a past Canada-U.S. Fulbright recipient. She holds a B.A. from Rice University, a J.D. from Harvard Law School, and an LL.M from UBC. Drawing from her research, Grace creates hopeful climate narratives, including the Ava of the Gaia trilogy, Climate Comeback, and Planet Potluck. Recently her research on climate litigation and storytelling was cited in the United Nations IPCC report and she contributed to the Good Energy Playbook on climate storytelling for Hollywood screenwriters.
As a legal scholar, I know how the fossil fuel industry leverages billions of dollars a year to invisibly shape our public climate imagination and block action at every level of government. As a youth climate justice organizer, I’ve been building people power to push back against that industry capture through collective action, civic engagement, and get-out-the-vote work. As a storyteller, I’ve been experimenting with how to engage new audiences with compelling climate media. And as a mentor, I see how hungry young folks are for a space to connect, dream, and build together, to foster mental wellbeing and resilience in the face of seemingly insurmountable intersecting crises. I’m combining all of these pieces in my new project Rootbound—policy, storytelling, people power, community-building, and get out the vote work for climate justice.
Find me @GraceNosek on Twitter and Instagram and at https://www.gracenosek.com/
If you’d prefer to support my work in a recurring manner, I also have a Patreon account: https://www.patreon.com/user?u=62857069


  • Hannah Feuer
    • $15 
    • 1 yr
  • Anna Pechkina
    • $25 
    • 2 yrs
  • Elizabeth Bastian
    • $25 
    • 2 yrs
  • Future Communicators Foundation (FCF)
    • $250 
    • 2 yrs
  • Yotam Tubul
    • $100 
    • 2 yrs


Grace Nosek
Vancouver, BC

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