Climate change activist Greta Thunberg has said more stories need to be told about the climate change crisis.
Speaking at the Edinburgh TV Festival on Tuesday alongside Norwegian crime writer Jo Nesbo, Thunberg encouraged attendees to turn their attention to the environment in their work.
“I know so many — whether it is artists, storytellers, journalists — who tell me they really want to write about [the climate crisis], they really want to make stories about this, report about this, make movies about it, make art about this, but that they don’t really have that support in order to do that,” she said. “So I think yes, there’s a big lack of storytelling when it comes to the climate crisis, whether it is fictional or whether it is reflecting the reality as it looks like today.”
“I think if we would start writing about this, if we were making stories about this, I think there would be a demand on for that,” Thunberg added. “We underestimate interest in the climate crisis.”
Although agreeing with Thunberg, Nesbo acknowledged the topic is “not an easy sell,” particularly because we are in the middle of the climate crisis with no idea how it will end.
“If you look at all the crises in the world, you see that much of the storytelling doesn’t take place until after the events,” he said. “If you look at, for example, the Vietnam War, the wave of movies about the trauma of that war didn’t come until the late ‘70s, long after the war. During the Vietnam War there wasn’t many movies made about that. So I think that this is like a crisis, it would be easier to tell the story if we could see an end, or if it was behind us.”
“This is like a limbo,” Thunberg acknowledged. “It’s not the past so we can’t tell the whole story, but it’s not either the future because we don’t know how it’s going to turn out. We’re telling the story in the now and then of course that’s much harder, because anything can still happen.”
Thunberg was herself the subject of a feature documentary, entitled “I Am Greta,” in the last year. The film premiered at the 2020 Venice Film Festival.