We’re Saved! Poetry Will Help Stop “Climate Change”!

It’s all about making sure Other People don’t use fossil fuels. And not much about climate change. But, it does expose the viewpoint of the UK Guardian quite well, namely, that they are no longer in the business of journalism

An anthology of poetry on climate change

If information was all we needed, we’d have solved climate change by now. The scientific position has been clear for decades. Researchers have been waving a big red flag that has been impossible for our politicians to miss. Even Margaret Thatcher was giving speeches about global warming in 1988. So why have we made so little progress? Why do carbon emissions continue to rise seemingly inexorably? (gotta love that they forgot to mention Thatcher’s later position)

Information, it seems, is not enough. Journalists have transmitted the warnings of scientists, but they have sometime focussed too much on the mini-controversies and the unimportant disagreements and not enough on the big picture. That has often left readers confused.

As the Guardian’s editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger explained when he introduced the paper’s Keep it in the Ground project, journalism struggles with climate change. It may be the biggest issue of our generation but we feel individually powerless or that solutions lie somewhere in the future. As Rusbridger says, journalism is a “rear view mirror”: good at telling you what has happened but not so good at explaining what’s round the next bend.

And therein lies one of the problems: journalism is now activism. It’s one thing to have opinions on the opinion pages; it’s quite another to turn news reporting into activism, opinion, and make it all about being Social Justice Warriors. And the Guardian still hasn’t divested its own holdings from fossil fuels, and still uses fossil fuels to deliver its dead tree edition.

That is where this comes in. Alan Rusbridger asked me to curate a series of 20 poems that respond to the topic of climate change. The brief was to reach parts of the Guardian readers’ hearts and minds that the reporting, investigations, videos, podcasts and the rest had failed to reach.

I was wondering if the UK Guardian’s Carol Ann Duffy had forgotten that the article was supposed to be on poetry. There’s a link at the top of the article going to her first poem. Doesn’t have a whole lot of climate changey in it.

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2 Responses to “We’re Saved! Poetry Will Help Stop “Climate Change”!”

  1. mojo says:

    See, this is why I don’t hold with “poet laureates”. The’re rat-bags, every one. Just look at the utter crap Maya Angelou put out.


  2. Reservoir Dog says:

    Comin’ Soon
    (cuz the Science is Settled):
    A New Ice Age.
    Burma Shave

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