Communicating sustainability isn’t easy. The story about what is happening to the planet and what we ought to do about it tends to become either so simplified that the solution to this very upsetting problem seems to be to buy the right “green” car – or so detailed and technical that very few feel it actually concerns them personally.
So how do you unite the emotional and the “brain” understandings? In a new book, which was released during the Rio+20 meeting and will have its Swedish release next month, there’s a serious ambition to do just this.
The Swedish photographer Mattias Klum has been all over the world an taken photos of Earth, with its beautiful natural habitats, endangered species, burned rainforests and people that inhabit cities and rural areas.
To accompany these moving photos, Johan Rockström, who is the executive director of Stockholm Resilience Centre, has written texts that nail down the scientific realities behind what we see. Taking a systems perspective on the challenges that humanity faces, he explains the complexity of this system, what is at stake if we don’t learn to stay within the planetary boundaries and what he thinks must be done about this (“a sustainability revolution”).
I find this boundary-breaking approach to information, where more artistic ways of expression can meet the hard facts, very useful. To make your own opinion about it, read the e-book preview of the book here.