Hope or Despair: tales of the environment

Fires, floods, and earthquakes have all made an appearance in 2021, reminding us just how fragile humans are in the face of the awe-inspiring, and often destructive, power of the environment. Protests for climate justice continue across the globe and we are faced with our "best, last chance" to get global warming under control.

Will wind and solar win out over fossil fuels? Will we renew more than we destroy? Scientists, politicians, journalists, and activists have all contributed their stories to this climate debate. But are the tales we tell ourselves ones of hope? Or despair?

This creative project invites community members to cast their vote by submitting their 'tale of the environment'.

Explore the stories below, or listen to full episodes on The Yarn, a podcast mixed, produced and edited by students from the Centre for Advancing Journalism.

Episode 1 is Climate Reporting post COP26: Pretend Policies and the Media Mirror, a recording of the live panel discussion hosted by the 2021 Being Human Festival featuring Jo Chandler and Jeff Sparrow from the Centre for Advancing Journalism; the co-editor of Overland Evelyn Araluen; and Guardian Australia editor Lenore Taylor, and Environment Writer Adam Morton.

"Action is the antidote," says Heath Greville, a 67 year-old Extinction Rebellion activist from WA.

GreenPeace East Asia Campaigner Junyan Liu has seen the devastating effects of climate change first hand in Yunnan Province, China.

10 year-old Spencer from Noosa is fighting to save threatened Glossy Black Cockatoo habitat from a development.  Read more about Spencer's campaign in The Citizen.

Alana Mountain was moved to become a forest activist after witnessing clearfell logging in Victoria.

Melburnian Scott found hope in gardening during the city's long lockdown.

Being Human 2021

This project was produced in collaboration with the 2021 Being Human Festival. Founded in the UK as the only national festival of the humanities, Being Human is now a global celebration dedicated to demonstrating the breadth, diversity and vitality of the humanities.

Explore the full Faculty of Arts international hub program here