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Democratize Climate Change understanding

Democratize Climate Change understanding

By Surveyor Efik

In the heart of the fight against climate change lies three things: Awareness, understanding and responsive action. By now, there may already be huge awareness on climate change because we see, feel, and taste it. Yet, there seems not to be enough layman understanding to inspire, impact and instigate climate action amongst the global populace. Therefore, climate change requires a non-scientific, non-technical and non-professional understanding to involuntarily stimulate responsive climate action on widespread dimensions.

Simply put, we need to democratize climate change understanding to democratize climate actions. This means we need to spread climate actions like the gospel by providing a layman’s understanding of climate change with a less scientific and verbose language format. This led to my decision to use creative writing of free verse poetry with illustrations to simplify the understanding of climate change to most global citizens who are merely climate enthusiasts with no adequate understanding to motivate them into taking action for the climate or rising up to connect with climate actions. The more people understand climate change, the more individual and collective climate actions we will have. It is what one knows and understands that propels one into action. Thus, the book The Sky Cries is a climate educational literacy material that will inspire people to get involved and take climate-solution actions as well as enhance their responsive capacity and capability.

According to Anthony Leiserowitz (2015), “nearly 2 billion adults have never heard of climate change”, stressing that while 90% of the public in North America, Europe and Japan are aware of climate change, more than 65% in developing countries are not”. As low as the awareness may in some countries of the world, understanding its causes and impacts, especially its human causes, is far worse. The research works of Nicholas P. Simpson et al. (2021) uphold that “climate change literacy includes understanding the human causes of climate change and its potential impact on the world. Without it. People will be less able to adapt to climate change impacts, including projected adverse economic and environmental impacts and potential opportunities.” This brings to question the issue of climate literacy, particularly in relation to skills and tools that can used to enhance understanding of climate change and the willingness of the people to take climate actions. A report published by Allianz Research (2022) proved that “the more knowledgeable we are about climate issues, the more willing we are to make personal efforts in reducing our carbon footprints.”
All these ignited the motivation for this literary piece of using free verse poetry and visual illustrations to break down the barrier towards understanding climate change and becoming climate literate to boldly take climate actions.
The trilogy of my collections of climate poems, namely, The Sky Cries, Just One Tree and Climate Pledge are written in plain and simple English expressions that will enable a layman read and understand without using a dictionary, interpreter or Shakespearean expert. They are handbooks for providing non-scientific knowledge and non-technical understanding of Climate change to non-professional stakeholders across the world. While The Sky Cries expresses the impacts of climate change and their solutions, Just One Tree connects nature and climate change for solutions and Climate Pledge inspires climate actions and commitment.

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