Science Facts, Science Fictions- Call #2 Summary


Science Facts, Science Fictions

What will happen if we don’t take action on climate change? The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report presents different visions of the future depending on the action and policies that we take. These visions range from an equitable utopia to a fascist dystopia. Join us to learn about the science behind climate change predictions, and to hear stories of creative leaders who imagine with their hands, creating the best case scenarios for a just climate future through their visions and community work. 

Our conversation on how artists and cultural workers can get involved with a Green New Deal continued with Ananda Lee Tan, Demetrius Johnson, Kali Akuno, and Carrie Schneider discussing the visionary roles that BIPOC (black, indigenous, and people of color) and artists play in the movement for climate justice. We were inspired by your enthusiasm, and the steps that you have taken since our last call to inspire your communities towards action. (Want to access the call recording? Sign up here and we’ll send you the link—and other goodies!)

What did we learn?

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We began with a briefing about the science and history at the foundation of today’s fight for a Green New Deal.

Rachel Schragis, our Minister of the Bureau of Energy, Power, and Art,  walked us through some of the basics of the 2018 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report.  She explained the report’s concept of the “Shared Socioeconomic Pathways”-- scientific and sociological predictions of what directions the world could go, and what they look like for the climate.  The pathways point to the conclusion that it’s social questions: will there be war or peace? Will we invest in education and fight for economic equity? that most determine whether the world will address the climate crisis.  

Ananda Lee Tan, Climate Justice Alliance, emphasized the concept of Just Transition--a vision of a shift from an extractive economy to an equitable one, lead by the communities most impacted by the crisis, and redressing historic harms.  He spoke about the history of the movement for a Just Transition, and some of the key moments where community members from across the US and the world have worked together to build a vision of what it will take to shift from a “dig, burn, dump” economy to an economy of social and ecological wellbeing. He posed the question of what it will take to make the Green New Deal an enactment of Just Transition--it’s possible, but not a certainty.  “ You can download the briefing here. 


What does a climate justice platform centered in indigenous sovereignty look like? Demetrius Johnson from Albuquerque Red Nation spoke about how the Red Deal, proposed by the Red Nation, encompasses the climate justice demands of a Green New Deal while also addressing areas of struggle including: End the Occupation, Heal Our Bodies, and Heal Our Planet. He connected the Red Deal to local efforts to protect Chaco Canyon, a Pueblo and Navajo sacred site in Northern New Mexico, from oil and gas development. Read the full Red Deal platform here.

How are communities embodying the principles of Just Transition? Kali Akuno, Executive Director of Cooperation Jackson, spoke about their work to realize a Just Transition.

in Jackson, Mississippi. Cooperation Jackson’s Just Transition plan includes building community land trusts, worker owned cooperatives, food sovereignty, a network of eco-villages, and policy transformation on a municipal level. Kali emphasized that the policy for a Green New Deal needs to be shaped by grassroots efforts, noting that “it's often easier to act a new way of thinking rather than to think a new way of acting...this is intentional cultural development.” More examples of Cooperation Jackson’s work on utilizing art and imagination to transform community can be found on their Facebook.


And finally, how are artists responding to and visioning an environmentally just future? Houston-based artist Carrie Marie Schneider presented about her project Washing Water, a way to heal trauma and build community post-Hurricane Harvey. Carrie created a disco fish tank in which participants could make waterscapes and, through play and creativity, reimagine their relationships with water. Carrie’s work reminds us that in the future, artists will need to be both healers and visionaries when it comes to climate change. Learn more about Carrie’s work at, and watch her presentation here.

What did we hear?


During the breakout groups, many of you expressed gratitude for the Just Transition framework that centered BIPOC communities, and were inspired by the way that Cooperation Jackson and Washing Water addressed climate change on the local, and even bodily level. During the Q&A session, you were curious about how to build momentum on the grassroots level in order to make policy advocacy possible. Our speakers emphasized utilizing art to find moments of connection and hope, while at the same time not romanticizing the impact of climate change and other injustices. Our speakers also emphasized that modelling possibility at the grassroots level through art, community organizing, and creative uses of public space is what ultimately leads to policy change.

What’s next? 


We highlighted the conversation using pieces of our graphic recording, done in real time by Emily Simons! You can download the recap bundle to access the full picture here.

We hope to see you on our final call! Join us for Building Strategy and Co-Creating Culture with Sunrise Movement and Groundwater Arts on September 5 at 5pm PST/8pm EST. 

Some of you have already taken action towards organizing your communities, such as organizing watch parties and sharing the information in our briefings. In our final call, we hope to take it a step further and build with you about how we can coordinate our efforts around the upcoming September 20 Global Climate Strike and beyond.

Sign up at to make sure that you receive the registration link and updates about this series!