Changing the World Takes Changing Our Minds
I worry about climate change. A lot. Mostly I worry that we don't seem to be doing a whole heck of a lot to stop it. Which is weird. And scary. And totally baffling. So I was excited to read about a new initiative between scientists and performing artists to tackle this divide between knowing and doing. Turns out there's a whole organization based out of Columbia University's Earth Institute that's dedicated to studying the human response to climate change (CRED). They've found that we're hard-wired to deal with immediate problems, and have difficulty processing future consequences. Especially future consequences that won’t affect us personally. So scientists are asking artists to help make people care. To bring immediacy to this issue through story-telling. "Gavin Schmidt, a climate modeler at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and the author of the popular science blog RealClimate, stressed the need to tell stories. 'Stories are why we do things,' he said. 'The narrative we have in our head, the reason why we get up in the morning—it’s a story.'" * I wonder a lot about memes, and the way we approach Global Warming - how even that term makes it something outside our community and our lives, something too big for us to deal with individually. And how the tension and fear surrounding this problem paralyzes a lot of us into inaction. Wouldn't we be better able to act if we believed we could make a difference? If we thought the problem was solvable, and that we had the resources to fix it?
I believe that action follows mindset. So if we're not seeing any action, then perhaps we need to tackle how we perceive the problem. And I'm grateful to know that my community of artists will help lead the way.
*Article: American Theater Magazine article: "A Climate of Collaboration"
Organization: Center for Research on Environmental Decisions at the Earth Institute at Columbia University
Blog: Artists and Climate Change