Ocean. Stories of Humans and Climate Change

The ocean tells stories of climate change. Journalism brings them to the world. A dialogue on how climate change and pollution are affecting the ocean and people’s lives, and how stories grounded in scientific evidence can be made accessible to the public at large through journalism and writing.

Kenneth R. Weiss is a Pulitzer Prize winner for Explanatory Reporting with his work on Altered Oceans, a five-part series – published in the Los Angeles Times – about the unfolding crisis in the world’s oceans. As a writer and journalist, he focuses on science, the environment and public health. On World Ocean Day 2021, he joined a live-streaming and interactive dialogue session moderated by the renowned journalist Veronica Fernandes. The event “immersed” the audience in the deep intricacies of the ocean, revealing how climate change and pollution are affecting it and people’s lives, and showing how stories grounded in scientific evidence can be made accessible to the public at large through journalism and writing.

My job as a storyteller is to show the human faces associated with what’s coming. I start with the science: I learn what I need to learn about a specific slice of the issue, and then I go and look for examples. How can I “show” a problem and not just “tell” the science?  I think that showing and telling stories is a much more powerful way to connect with people than just summing up science in clear language.

Kenneth R. Weiss

Some communities will disappear. Flooding in the Kiribati villages is pretty common. I found a grey hair woman lying on a mat on the floorboards and I asked “Why don’t you move?” and she looked at me, astonished, and she said, “Where would I go?”

Kenneth R. Weiss

The live streaming event was part of the series Seeds. Words that feed the future for the CMCC Climate Change Communication Award “Rebecca Ballestra”.



Wildfires: Compromising A Key Natural Climate Solution

Australia is experiencing the worst wildfires seen in decades, as drought and heatwaves fan the flames. In the summer and Autumn of 2019, a significant increase in wildfires brought the Amazon close to a tipping point with global ramifications. Some of these fires were caused by man as land is cleared to make way for agribusiness, logging, mining and other “development” projects. While climate change is exacerbating bushfire intensity and damages, experts and policymakers are calling for strong measures to save what is one of the planet’s main carbon sinks and a vital natural climate solution.


When Science Feeds News

They build capacity and offer a voice for the areas which are most affected by Climate Change. They create a broad and fluid network of journalists and communicators that share resources, information and opportunities. All of which, in a very effective and innovative way. Discover Climate Tracker, the next generation of climate journalists.


Diving into the Future

Think of the Ocean as a Big Friendly Giant that needs to be driven and helped. And, in turn, it supports humankind by providing benefits and goods. The sustainable future of the Oceans is highly dependent on how the decision process will rely on science-based information, on how technology would provide the necessary facilities, and on our ability to make reliable and accurate forecasts.