What is your role at Acclimatise? What does a typical workday look life for you?
I manage Acclimatise’s work on communicating climate risk and resilience. We’re one of the very few climate change consulting firms that specialises in communicating risk, so I feel really fortunate to be able to work alongside colleagues with such varied skillsets, from technical risk analysists and data wizards, to policy specialists and communications scientists.
Who knows what a typical workday is anymore in these times of COVID?! Most of my time at work is spent writing about climate resilience in some form or another, interspersed with drinking tea.
What inspired you to work on climate issues?
It’s the defining issue of our times, and to some extent, I felt compelled to – we’ve got a host of these really big, intersecting challenges that are all converging at the moment: climate change, biodiversity loss, soil quality, ocean acidification – they demand our attention. The implications of inaction are hard to fathom.
What album, book, and luxury item would you take with you on a deserted island?
This is like the UK radio show “Desert Island Discs”… I’m going to assume that I get the Beatles’ records as standard (they’re already on the Island). In that case probably, The Velvet Underground’s eponymous 1967 record. The book would be 100-years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez – apt for the island, and is such an epic. Luxury item – Swiss Army knife.
What have you been up to during lockdown?
I’ve been holed-up on my folk’s farm in Herefordshire for most of the lockdown, so have been lucky to have had some space to roam. I’m a keen runner, so have been exploring some of the more isolated trails in the surrounding hills – social isolation at its finest.
Why should climate change and communications go hand-in-hand?
Climate change has always fascinated me because it’s an issue that we know a huge amount about how to solve, and yet we are collectively failing to do so. This is why I think climate communications is such a central issue, and is what drew me to it. We’ve known what causes climate change for over 100 years, we know what needs to be done to slow it down, and we know a lot about what to do to make ourselves more resilient to its impacts. The science is settled. Yet governments have been talking for over 25 years about how to fix it, without making a dent in greenhouse gas emissions. The way that the climate threat has been communicated and translated into policy and behavioural change has been a major issue. In many ways, our collective failure to successfully tackle climate change is one of communication.
What is a subject that you would love to learn more about?
Oh, so many things! Talking to my fifteen-year-old nephew about physics really lets me know how little I know about things that are just incredibly amazing. But human behaviour has always fascinated me, what influences it, how it changes, what drives us to do what we do…
View Will’s team page here.