Introduction to Stories for Earth

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Today, humanity faces the greatest threat to our existence, ironically a threat of our own making: the climate crisis and ecological destruction.

This is a global emergency, and as people all around the world begin waking up to it and answering the call of duty, we will need inspiration, strength, and resilience for the many battles we will surely fight.

These virtues come from many places, but for me personally and for millions—perhaps even billions of others—they come from stories.

For thousands of years, humans have been storytellers. We are the only species on this planet to evolve a language complex enough that lets us communicate abstract thoughts, and we use this gift of language to teach each other about the world outside our present, immediate experience.

Nowadays we have books, television shows, films, social media, video games, recorded music, podcasts, and other ways to relate this information, but it all started with oral traditions, with people telling stories out loud to each other, over and over again for generations.

We still tell stories all the time—stories about ourselves, about others, about nature, the universe, religion, and philosophy. The stories we choose to tell and the ones we cherish help us piece together our collective consciousness.

In turn, stories become tools that inform every bit of culture, from identity to values to fears. Stories tell us who we are and who we want to be. Which is exactly why I think we need stories now more than ever.

Perhaps you, too, love a good story that makes you feel better equipped to grapple with the world and the human experience. If so, then this podcast is for you.

Perhaps you’ve never considered yourself a lover of stories but you need to find courage to persevere through what is already here and through what might get much worse. If this is you, I’m making this podcast for you, too.

Or perhaps you’ve stumbled across this podcast not realizing there is an emergency until right now. I hate to be the one to tell you, but we are in an emergency. This podcast, especially, is for you.

No matter why you find yourself listening in today, I’m glad we found each other, and I hope what we’ll cover together will help.

It’s going to take a lot to defeat the climate crisis, and I truly believe that stories—some of our oldest companions in facing numerous challenges and threats throughout our species’ history—can give us bravery in the face of death, resiliency through the midst of change, and compassion for each other as we do this together.

I hope you’ll follow along each month as we look at some of the best-suited stories for helping us fight the climate crisis. We will of course talk about books and short stories and poems, but we’ll also talk about movies, TV shows, video games, firsthand experiences, and any other kind of story told through any kind of medium that gives us strength.

My name Forrest Brown, and this is Stories for Earth, a podcast devoted to sharing the stories we’ll need to overcome the climate crisis.

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