No question, we’ve had a tough few years: many people across BC are still grappling with the aftermath of intense winter storms and some areas continue to be impacted without reprieve. Recent historic winter rainfalls were made worse by the preceding climate events of summer 2021, when fires and droughts devastated the province. As a result, people across the province, country and the world have watched these climate events unfold and be broadcast through the lens of news media.
As Sean Holman, UVic’s Wayne Crookes Professor in Environmental and Climate Journalism, explains, climate change isn’t just the result of greenhouse gas pollution. Instead, it can be better understood as the cumulative result of the individual and collective decisions we make everyday which cause this pollution.
That means that climate change is as much a societal problem as it is an environmental problem. That societal problem is our failure to use the truth about climate change to make the kind of informed, rational, and empathetic decisions expected of us in a democracy. In other words, climate change can be understood as a post-truth apocalypse–one that could be almost impossible to avoid.
Hear more about the human dimension of the climate crisis in Holman’s keynote lecture and Q&A session, originally aired for the UVic Alumni Association’s Winterfest in February 2022.
Gain a critical eye to how human action–or inaction–on climate change is heavily influenced by the news media and how we can embrace both the truth and the democratic decision-making that is needed to turn the climate change crisis around.