The change in climate around the world is not only affecting the ecosystem and the environment but it has adverse effects on humans as well. Ysabelle Kempe is on a journey to chronicle the effects of climate change on people across the United States. The journalism student at Northeastern University has taken up a long journey to cover various places and topics across the States. She has traveled 4000 miles in 18 days, across 6 states learning the stories of people affected by the rising temperatures and other changes due to climate change.
“Climate change is more and more becoming an intense issue. There are so many different subcultures in the United States, and I wanted to explore the different impacts that localized climate change is having and how they are responding, “ says Ysabelle about her idea of journaling her travels in this way.
“If you want to go somewhere, figure out a story that will take you there.”
She interviewed people everywhere she went to learn about the challenges they have faced or how things have changed over time. “When you talk to people about the losses, you’ll always hear ‘Oh, it’s just material things.’ No question about it, it is material things”, told a retired artist in Chico, California. “But in those material things included small treasures.”
Kempe heard and recorded stories from losing houses and 1,53,000 acres of land in wildfire to a freshwater swamp in New Orleans called Bayou Bienvenue turning into a saltwater marsh and many more.
“I was going to places with a lot of farmers. Climate change isn’t just asking them to switch to a reusable straw, but to change their entire way of life” says Kemp. “I think the best thing journalists can do in their reporting on climate change is to make it more humans. The more you put a human face on this issue, the more successful you’re going to be in getting people to care about it.”