Toronto Star


The Star asked the same two ques­tions of five Cana­di­ans who are mak­ing cli­mate change a top pri­or­ity. Here is what they have to say.

- ME­GAN OGILVIE STAFF RE­PORTER Disasters · Canada News · Ecology · New York City · Toronto · Vancouver

Nina Mun­teanu is an ecol­o­gist, teacher and well-known Cana­dian au­thor of eco-fic­tion and cli­mate fic­tion. In 2016, Mar­garet At­wood rec­om­mended Mun­teanu’s book Wa­ter is… in the New York Times’ Year in Read­ing fea­ture. Mun­teanu’s short story, “The Way of Wa­ter,” was pub­lished in the 2018 an­thol­ogy Cli-Fi: Cana­dian Tales of Cli­mate Change, and her lat­est novel, A Di­ary in the Age of Wa­ter, will be pub­lished in 2020. The Star reached Mun­teanu in Toronto.

What is the one thing about cli­mate change that keeps you up at night?

I worry that we won’t make it. What keeps me up at night is that we are tak­ing down the en­tire planet and its biodiversi­ty with a cli­mate dis­rup­tion that we are re­spon­si­ble for. I worry that my son and his kids will end up ex­pe­ri­enc­ing one of my dystopias from one of my books. My son lives in Van­cou­ver and my main con­cern is that he and his kids won’t have the chance to live safely and en­joy a sta­ble and beau­ti­ful planet.

That leads me to the sec­ond thing that keeps me up at night, which is that no­body cares. Or that they are scared to care.

I’m a sci­en­tist and we’ve been talk­ing about this for a long time; for me, it’s been decades. My frus­tra­tion is that we are still de­bat­ing cli­mate change, and we should be act­ing on it. What is the one thing Cana­di­ans can do to act on cli­mate change? I think it has to be three things. First, plant a tree; make an ac­tual dif­fer­ence through ac­tion. By do­ing that, we get out from hid­ing un­der the bed and face the mon­ster of cli­mate change and show that we care and that we are not alone.

Sec­ond, vote for green politi­cians. Politi­cians need to hear di­rectly from their com­mu­ni­ties, they need you to push them to act on cli­mate change.

Third, find your tribe and cre­ate a move­ment. Ev­ery­one says that peo­ple have the power, but that power comes best through num­bers and sol­i­dar­ity. Find your tribe, and you’ll find your­self more mo­ti­vated.


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