The colour of climate change

I don’t normally write for academic audiences, but after I spoke at the annual conference of the Geographical Association, I was invited to adapt my talk for their journal. It was a bit of a learning curve submitting a paper to a peer-reviewed journal, not least because the online submission process is not set up for writers unaffiliated to a particular university. I got there in the end, it was accepted, and it was published in the Autumn 2021 issue.

My article is called The colour of climate change: making the racial injustice of climate change visible, and it’s about the ways that the planet is visually represented, and how it creates a Eurocentric vision of the earth that obscures the unequal impacts of climate change.

Climate change is racist

Climate Change is Racist: Race, Privilege and the Struggle for Climate Justice.

Out summer 2021 from Icon Books.

Both in its cause and in its effect, climate change reflects racial inequalities. It is disproportionately caused by the majority white citizens of the global North, while the damage it unleashes falls first and foremost on people of colour. The climate crisis reflects racial inequalities of the past, and reinforces them into the future.

The first book to explore these connections for a popular audience, and using a wide range of sources and voices to tell this story through the people and places most affected on our planet.

Burning Down the House

Burning Down the House is a joint report from Tearfund and Youthscape, investigating young Christians’ views about climate change. It’s central finding is that nine of ten young people are concerned about climate change, but only one out of ten thinks their church is doing enough.

The report was based on an extensive survey carried out by The Youthscape Centre for Research, including focus groups. I was commissioned to take the full internal report and distill it into a short and punchy summary for external audiences. I reduced it from 45 pages to 20, presented graphically, and framed around the young people’s own voices.

The report was launched in February 2021 and received national news coverage, including BBC News, MSN, Church Times, The Express and The Big Issue.

Green Shoots

Green-Shoots-fcA short paper for the Joy in Enough projects, collecting a series of case studies of alternative businesses. These ten businesses demonstrate a healthier approach to people and planet, through employee ownership, co-production, circular economy models, etc.

I wrote and designed this paper in 2020.

Available to download here.

Time to Act

time to act fcMy new book, Time to Act, is published by SPCK in February 2020.

Time to Act draws together a wide range of contributors to explore the Christian tradition of non-violent direct action, and how it is being used today in the struggle against climate change.

More details and pre-order here.

How fair can be green

In 2018 I worked with WWF, Oxfam, NEF and others on a research project investigating how inequality and sustainability relate. My job was to take a series of research reports and repackage them as something shorter and more accessible that drew out the key lessons for policymakers. The result is How fair can be green: exploring the connections between equality and sustainability, which has now been published by the Green Economy Coalition.

The report takes an in-depth look at the three very different countries of India, Kenya and Britain, looking at patterns of exclusion and how environmental problems often affect those who are already marginalised. Four shorter chapters then look at similar patterns across the sectors of waste, transport, food and energy. Interspersed shorter case studies highlight projects or businesses that address environmental and equity concerns at the same time, and some of them may be familiar to regular readers of the blog…

I found this a really fascinating project to work on, and I think its message is an important one. Unless we keep an eye on both issues at once, it is easy for environmental policies to compound inequality, or for measures aimed at reducing inequality to produce worse outcomes for the environment. By understanding the inter-connections, it is entirely possible to pursue policies that are both green and fair.

You can download the report here.

The Economics of Arrival

arrival fcMy book with Katherine Trebeck. The Economics of Arrival: Ideas for a grown-up economy will be published by Policy Press in January 2019. It describes the possibilities of an economy where the work of growth is done, and we can work on improving it rather than enlarging it.

Available to pre-order now.

Outside/In

A re-telling of the nativity story, Outside/In highlights the role of outsiders in the first Christmas – refugees, foreigners and outcasts who all find themselves at the centre of that first Christmas.

outside-in-inside

Written for Lifewords for Christmas 2017.

Story.glass

Story.glass is a web start-up specialising in visual storytelling. They needed a diverse collection of stories to serve as demos for the site.

I wrote a series of web stories that combine text and images, and the site went live in 2015.

Client: Andrew Crick

story-glass

waka

Everyday Wonders

Everyday Wonders was a series on finding wonder in the mundane and everyday world around us. I wrote and recorded seven three-minute episodes on topics such as rain, sun, trees and dirt.

The series was played during Lent on the Sunday morning show on BBC Three Counties in 2016. I have done lots of radio work, including newspaper reviews and business panels, but this was the first time I had written for radio.