How Ripple Effect Artists is Tackling Climate Change

As the world heads towards the COP 26 UN Climate Change Conference I reflect on the time Ripple Effect Artists picked Climate Change as the theme of the year. Unless someone has been living under a rock, they would know that climate change is the most discussed topic today. Everyone from school children to world leaders are talking about it. The Covid-19 pandemic made it an even more urgent issue than it already was and rightly so. Discussing and managing the effects of climate change are an extremely important step in protecting the future of our species. This is not about philanthropy, this is about survival!

However, before the pandemic and California wildfires made climate change a priority, we were already looking ahead at what would matter most to the world and planning projects around the subject. We chose climate change as the theme for the year in what was Season 9 for Ripple Effect Artists in 2018/2019. Little did we know, that picking this theme would result in two dynamic productions from our company and be such a force for change that they would take on a life of their own.

So, without further ado, let’s talk a bit about this:

Why is Climate Change important?

The first thing to understand is that Climate is not the same as weather. Climate changes as time goes on but for life to survive on the planet a certain equilibrium needs to be maintained. This equilibrium is maintained through greenhouse gases such as Carbon dioxide and Methane. However, when these gases become higher than usual in our atmosphere the heating begins to surpass the levels that allow for comfortable living. This is the situation we are in today and this is what needs to come under control.

Now, you may ask how we know that this situation is troubling and that would be a perfectly valid question? The first thing to understand is that the numbers are not just thrown around based on temperature records over the years. If that was the case we would never know what was going on in the ice age as there was no weather man! These studies are conducted by studying the cores of trees and layers of ice in the Antarctic, where scientists known as paleoclimatologists use trees, ice cores, lake and ocean sediment to study the evolution of the Earth’s climate. What they have found is that over the last 650,000 years, the Earth’s glacial activity has advanced and retreated several times but now, we are at a point where the glacial melt is catastrophic. If this is not controlled now, we risk overheating the planet to a point where the survival of ours and several other species will be at peril.

How does that translate to theatre then? Well, we took the facts, impacts, history and a predicted future and turned them into two spectacular productions.

Ripple Effect Artists: 2071 The World We’ll Leave Our Grandchildren

2071: The World We’ll Leave Our Grandchildren

This was our first production on climate change which as you can guess by the name was placed in the year 2071. 2071 is a dramatized lecture written by scientist Chris Rapley and playwright Duncan McMillan. The piece is partially a memoir of Rapley’s life and career and partially an explanation of climate change and of the controversies surrounding it. In this play Rapley thinks about the world his grandchildren will inherit when they are his age. At the age of 67 he performed this play at the Royal Court Theater in London to talk about how he spoke at the Paris Climate Summit and yet when his grandchildren will be 67, the world will not look a bit like it does in his time. This play is about the heartbreak of generations that missed the opportunity to leave a better legacy. It is also an extremely important cautionary tale about how we have to make today count.

Ripple Effect Artists: Here Comes Freida

Here Comes Freida

Along came the pandemic and all we could do was to stick with theatre and radio but we are survivors. We make our own way, so what did we do? Well, we went out and made a movie! That is how Here Comes Freida was born. This movie is where science fiction meets dystopian fantasy and gives us a world where we live amongst superstorms and droughts that are gradually destroying all life on Earth. It may be a work of fiction for now but when you watch it, it will get you thinking that this can easily turn into reality. It is relatable with regards to how human beings view each other, how competition drives our survival and what it may come to, to survive! Here Comes Freida has received immense recognition by being screened at 12 film festivals worldwide and even at a private event with a Tech Giant! We had the pleasure of showing the movie at an event open to all employees of said Tech Giant and it was accompanied by informative talks by three of our Board Members.

With these two important first steps take in the right direction of making a strong contribution to our climate footprint, we intend to fuel more projects and awareness about this extremely critical issue. We can only survive by sticking together so let’s come together to protect our past and future!

Jessie Fahay for Ripple Effect Artists. Jessie is an actress, playwright and author who is heavily invested in bringing about societal change through the dramatic arts. After years of working in Educational Theatre, as a public speaker, actress, author, graduate student, and her work with Landmark Education and United Global Shift, she has developed an even stronger commitment to making a difference through her love of theatre and appreciation for theatre-education as a vehicle. Thus, Ripple Effect Artists was conceived. With a committed team of Board Members, Actors, Directors, and Theatre Lovers, Jessie has seen her wish of pushing audiences from apathy to action come together and hopes to continue inspiring change in generations to come.

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Ripple Talk

Ripple Talk

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Ripple Talk is a Blog by Ripple Effect Artists, a Not For Profit that addresses social change through theatre