Every year on April 22, Earth Day is observed to celebrate our planet, and to promote awareness about the impact we have on our environment, as individuals and as a collective. In appreciation of the climate change movement, the Toronto International Festival of Authors has rounded up six scientific talks from authors whose research explores weather, biodiversity and how we can make positive changes for the future. From fighting extinction to correcting misconceptions, we are all writing Earth’s next chapter, so let’s make the story never-ending.
Extinction and the Biodiversity Crisis
During the 41st edition of the Toronto International Festival of Authors in 2020, award-winning scientist, author and educator Sean B. Carroll joined broadcaster and author Ziya Tong to talk about his latest book, Chance and the Making of the Planet, Life, and You. During the conversation, Carroll answers the question about extinction and how the biodiversity crisis will show up in other ways. Want to know more? He explores the big rules in ecology and new hope in The Serengeti Rules: The Quest to Discover How Life Works and Why It Matters.
What Will the World Look Like in 2050?
Ayana Elizabeth Johnson is a marine biologist, policy expert, writer and Brooklyn native. She is co-founder of Urban Ocean Lab, a think tank for coastal cities, and is co-creator and co-host of the How to Save a Planet podcast. In 2019, Johnson joined Chicago Ideas to talk about what the world will look like in 2050 and how important the ocean is in the fight against climate change. You can learn more about the ocean at ayanaelizabeth.com and in All We Can Save: Truth, Courage, and Solutions for the Climate Crisis, a book she co-edited.
Climate Change Misconceptions
In October 2020, panelists joined the Toronto International Festival of Authors for a discussion about the Earth’s environmental state of emergency, Canada’s role and responsibilities and a sustainable roadmap out of the crisis. In this clip, author and policy consultant Seth Klein speaks about misconceptions of climate change and his book A Good War: Mobilizing Canada for the Climate Emergency. The panel also featured moderator Ziya Tong (top left) and panelists Megan Leslie (top right) and Chúk Odenigbo (bottom right).
Climate Change is Becoming a Problem You Can Taste
Amanda Little is a professor of journalism and science writing at Vanderbilt University. In her 2020 TED Salon talk, she shows the impact of the climate crisis on food supply and the farmers, entrepreneurs and engineers who are combining traditional agriculture with state-of-the-art technology to create a sustainable food future. You can learn more about food and the climate crisis in Little’s book, The Fate of Food: What We’ll Eat in a Bigger, Hotter, Smarter World.
The Climate Change Movement
Proudly Franco-Albertan, Chúk Odenigbo’s passion lies in the interactions between culture, health and the environment, and has a vision to reconnect humanity with nature in a way that accommodates modernity, sparking that green revolution without decimation of the present. In this clip from TIFA’s Critical Conversation: Environmental Emergency event in 2020, Odenigbo speaks about the next steps for the climate change movement and the need for it to be more inclusive. The panel also featured moderator Ziya Tong (top left) and panelists Megan Leslie (top right) and Seth Klein (bottom left). You can read more from Odenigbo in the recently published Voices of Change: Twelve Visions for How to Solve the Climate Crisis.
Polar Bears and Hope for a Better Future
James Raffan is a prolific writer, speaker, geographer and author of numerous bestselling books. In October 2020, Raffan joined TIFA to talk about his latest book, Ice Walker: A Polar Bear’s Journey through the Fragile Arctic, with the Globe and Mail’s Books editor Judith Pereira. The book documents the precarious life of a polar bear family on the top of the world and gives readers a deep look at what life is really like for them. In this clip, he talks about the death of polar bears and the things we can do to change the outcome.