My Climate

My climate is wild

Full of complexity

And pale reefs.

A special habitat of

Fire, ice,

And red herrings.


My climate is not OK

My climate is NOT a lie.

My climate is full of rising seas

And worldwide warming,

A risky economy

Of looming extinction

Fuelled by the basic laws of thermodynamics

And regression:

A human-caused energy imbalance.


My climate is a challenge;

A collection of

frequent extreme events.

A war of

Science integrity vs

Corporate PR machines.

Perverse denials and

Moral disasters

Caused by intergenerational inequality.


My climate is entangled;

A scary, dangerous, place

Full of loss and extremes.

No lights.

Less food.

An uncertain future where

We will all be refugees

Or extinct.

Sold out on self-interested, short-termism politics;

There’s been too much take

And not enough give –

A lack of responsibility.


Everything is broken by

Our denial and hubris.


We can fix it.

Can we fix it?

We need to rethink

What it means to be obligated

What it means to be innovative

What it means to be planning.

There is no Plan B

Because there is no Planet B

People say that

Small messages of hope can help

But how can they help?

When we need so much more

We need to act now

If we value fairness

If we value reality

If we value the lives of our children

Then we must come to accept that

Because of

My climate

We are all activists now.



My climate is worth saving –

It’s adapt or die.


A word cloud featuring the words that appeared on the LED display board on the Platform Building in Leeds during Green Great Britain Week; the larger font the more regularly the word appeared (Image Credit: James Norman).

This is a digitally-curated found poem, created using responses from the MyClimate Twitter campaign that was run by the Priestley International Centre for Climate and Leeds Climate Commission during Green Great Britain Week in Leeds 15-19  October 2018. During this campaign, members of the public tweeted using the #MyClimate with their responses to the question, “What does climate change mean to you?”. The words were displayed in 2m high LED letters from the windows of the Platform Building in Leeds, adjacent to the train station – spelling out a collective vision of what the climate meant to people, what it was now, and what it could potentially be in the future. This poem contains both the words and phrases that appeared on the board (which was limited to nine characters), and those that were contained within some of the longer tweets as well. Read more about it here.

You can listen to an audio recording of the poem here:


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