Environment and Climate Change
Special Interest Group: Environment and Climate Change
(For information on Special Interest Groups, see “Introducing Special Interest Groups”)
It is clear from existing scientific evidence that we are entering a period of dramatic environmental change brought on by human-induced climate change, biodiversity loss, global clean water shortages and soil degradation. This change has already begun to have profound implications on the way humans live, work and interact with one another.
In this rapidly changing world what role should oral historians play? Can we play a part in mitigating the worst effects of environmental degradation or help people adapt to the changes that are coming? Or is our role simply to capture stories from a disappearing world?
What is the Environment and Climate Change Special Interest Group?
ECCSIG seeks to bring together Oral History Society members who are working in environment and climate change fields, or who are interested in the issues and practice involved, to gather and share knowledge, to explore these and related questions, and to formulate an Oral History Society response that can be useful for the wider oral history community.
ECCSIG’s purpose in the first instance is to
- Bring together members of the Oral History Society with an interest in issues related to the environment and climate change
As a new undertaking, the group’s purpose beyond that first exchange will emerge from the group, but some or all of the following are likely to be useful:
- To create a social media presence for the facilitation of the exchange of ideas and information about oral history projects related to climate change
- Collate information about existing oral history projects in the UK that relate to environment and climate change, initially through social media and, depending on resources, potentially through the creation of a report or a dedicated website.
- To establish a database of existing UK projects that seek to engage with issues related to environment and climate change (depending on resources within the group)
- To connect with the international experience of environment and climate change as recorded through oral history (could be a role for someone or a job shared between people)
- To explore the role of oral history in creating public history projects related to environment and climate change (as above)
- To give support to and create momentum for new small and large scale oral history projects relating to environment and climate change, either with communities affected by the changing climate or with groups involved with climate protection (this I see as a long term goal and is entirely dependent on resources. It is perhaps the sort of thing that could be included in a funding bid).
- To discuss the potential for creating a long term climate change engagement plan with a set of priorities and standards that could potentially be supported and promoted by the Oral History Society.