- Deborah Chu
- 4 August 2019
A masterclass in storytelling and a vital perspective on the climate crisis from acclaimed science journalist Alanna Mitchell
In this remarkable feat of storytelling and reportage, journalist Alanna Mitchell lays bare the realities of what is currently happening to our world's oceans, and its catastrophic consequences for all life on earth. Having spent the past ten years interviewing marine scientists around the world and observing their research, Mitchell has experienced first-hand both the manifold wonders and devastating destruction that is taking place beneath the ocean surface, and is now here to report back from the front lines of the greatest crisis of our time.
As a seasoned journalist, Mitchell believes in the importance of an objective presentation of facts. This is one story, however, that no one can absent themselves from. Thus Mitchell deftly weaves together emotional accounts of the research that has taken her far, wide and deep, as well as the hard science that spell out the rapid toxification of the seas. Speaking from a bare stage with nothing but a chalkboard and shifting coloured lights, Mitchell is still able to paint a vivid picture of life at its most mysterious and miraculous, evoking coral blooms and chilling dead zones using only her words. In contrast to the sonorous, booming tones of David Attenborough, which works to highlight nature's stunning grandeur, Mitchell's softly-spoken narration fosters a sense of intimacy, seeking out the personal grief that is so often lost within climate change discourse.
But all is not yet lost. Mitchell expertly manages the tension in the room, warding away the paralytic effect of despair through funny anecdotes about pissing herself at the bottom of the ocean and a compassionate examination of why people of her generation tend to be slower to accept the facts of climate change. The future of our planet has yet to be written, she says, but we must decide how this crisis ends together, before it's too late.
CanadaHub @ King's Hall, until 25 Aug, 12.30pm, £11 (£9).