How do you tell a good story about the climate?—w/ Jess Miles, writer

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The vast majority of environmental nonfiction follows a predictable pattern: The writer goes out in nature and then tells us why it’s important to preserve the thing they experienced. But what if we could reach more people and maybe even change their point of view with a more experimental, more whimsical approach?

Jess Miles is a recent graduate of Chatham University and author of the MFA thesis ‘Midnight Sun,’ a collection of essays about her time on the Arctic island of Svalbard. On this episode of Reversing Climate Change, Jess joins Ross to explain what inspired her to pursue science communication, sharing what she does to persuade readers and how she approaches environmental writing differently.

Jess opens up about her frustrating experience with canvassing for an environmental organization, describing what she learned about people (and herself!) and how she turned that bad experience into good writing. Listen in to understand why Jess incorporates elements of whimsy in her work and learn how experimental forms of writing can help readers see climate issues in a new light.

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Sadly, too many books referenced and character-capped! Sorry about that, listener!

Sunvault: Stories of Solarpunk and Eco-Speculation edited by Phoebe Wagner and Brontë Christopher Wieland

‘Hopepunk and Solarpunk: On Climate Narratives That Go Beyond the Apocalypse’ on Lit Hub

Arizona State Center for Science and the Imagination

After Geoengineering: Climate Tragedy, Repair, and Restoration by Holly Jean Buck


The Road

Jonathan Safran Foer on RCC S2EP29

Books by Gabriel García Márquez

Climate Fiction on Reversing Climate Change S2EP12

Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor

Who’s Saving the Planet? Podcast

Jess’ Blog on VR and Animal Rights

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