Climate writers: Cambridge wants to hear your story

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Are you a writer in an undergraduate program or in grad school? Or, a recent graduate?

Do you have a personal story to tell about climate change: how it has affected you or those you care about, already? Not in the future, but now?

Cambridge University and the citizen journalism project Climate Tracker want to hear your story.

Cambridge is holding a series of lectures on the immediacy of climate change beginning February 15, and in advance invites young people to contribute their own experiences, through essays, YouTube videos, or radio interviews. A selected piece will be presented at the lecture series, and five will receive recognition from Cambridge. See the details on how to contribute your story, your ideas for solutions, and how to find a media partner, through their campaign co-host Climate Tracker. The deadline for entries is February 2nd, 2018. The contest is initially intended for university students but high school students are encouraged to submit essays as well.

Your voice is needed. Your voice is powerful.

For our politicians to be able to respond at a rate that can address climate change, it needs to become an everyday conversation, with everyday demands.

In the US, in 2017, climate change influenced extreme weather that struck Texas (Hurricane Harvey), Florida, the Caribbean, and Puerto Rico (Hurricanes Irma and Maria). Record heat in California contributed to fires in Sonoma County, Santa Barbara, and Los Angeles.

In New York City, 2017 marked the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, from which the city has not fully recovered. The ocean facing communities of South Brooklyn and Queens are still rebuilding; NYCHA housing in Coney Island is still operating through this winter on jury-rigged temporary boilers while new systems are constructed. Next year, the MTA will shut down the L train between Brooklyn and Manhattan for 15 months, to repair corrosion damage in the Canarsie Tunnel caused by flooding during the storm.

Of all the stories affecting people in our area, Puerto Rico’s ongoing struggle to rebuild stands out. Four months after Maria struck the island, many areas are still without power.

84% of power generation is back, but 30% of residents remain cut off from the grid.

City Atlas will also publish selected essays we receive; you can copy us with a link to your content. All submissions will receive a reply.

For some thought provoking content, see this essay by Leah Stokes in the New York Times, on the fires in her backyard; an essay by Anya Grenier, writing in the Yale Daily News, on why she’s joined the group Climate Mobilization; and this inspiring, challenging and honest talk between climate scientists Hugh Hunt (one of the organizers of the Cambridge lectures) and Kevin Anderson (a speaker at the lectures last year):

Now: what is your story? 

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