Hello and welcome to 1.5 Degrees Live! We are excited to share our resources and experience with you so that you can share this event in your community. If you have any questions please get in touch! email@example.com
What is the IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 Degrees?
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the United Nations body for assessing the science related to climate change. In October 2018, they rocked the world with their Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 ºC. Global headlines declared that we have 12 years left to save the world.
Why is it important and why should we read it?
The report says a lot. A lot. It details the science and the likelihood of the impact of 1.5 degrees of warming as compared to 2 degrees warming on both nature and humans. It tells us we need to get our act together and transform our societies starting right now. The report is written by a huge number of scientists, references thousands of studies, and is produced by an extremely well respected international body. It is quite difficult, at times, to read aloud, and may prove challenging to listen to and comprehend. Do not despair! By bearing witness to this report we, collectively, bring awareness to the warnings and the opportunities for change.
We want everyone to be able to play their part in the conversation about how we get out of this mess. This is too important to leave to politicians and corporations alone. We deserve this truth. We demand it.
“All pathways begin now and involve rapid and unprecedented societal transformation.”
IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 Degrees: Section 1.7
The report calls on us to transform the way we live, especially those countries that are most responsible for the current crisis. We face the biggest creative project of all time. We know our future will require creative solutions and minds of great imagination and compassion.
Who we are
We are a small group of ordinary people who are worried about the climate and ecological crisis. So we decided to read the whole IPCC report out as a show in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. We asked more than 100 performers, activists, politicians, scientists, artists and members of the public to join us for a 50 hour endurance test in which we made the IPCC Report on Global Warming a presence in the Edinburgh Festival in 2019.
Since then we have supported communities and groups to stage reading events in London, Perth (Australia) and Christchurch (New Zealand) and in 2020 we have readings in Canada, USA, UK as well as the Adelaide Fringe and we are planning more.
The report tells us that we will all need to play our part in making a fairer, more beautiful and biodiverse world. We want as many groups to share this event as possible.
‘Embedded in the goal of limiting warming to 1.5°C is the opportunity for intentional societal transformation.’
IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 Degrees Chapter 1.4.3
How does it work?
This is up to you. Basically it’s about getting a space, arranging for people to come and be part of the public reading and facilitating discussions around the issues raised in the report.
So far we have had 3 main ‘styles’ of event.
Theatre Show– We sold tickets and asked people to stay for 1 hour to hear 2 readers introduce themselves and read from the report. We staged it in a shipping container with space for 10 audience members but you could use any small space. The seating encouraged people to listen and engage as if we were a performance or theatre piece and because we staged it in a festival we were able to ask lots of performers, actors as well as activists and politicians. This small, intimate space led to an interesting and effective learning and sharing space.
Protest– We used this style of event at the Scottish Parliament as well as in Western Australia. Here the report was read as a protest. It was read outside the Scottish Parliament to protest the recent Climate Bill, and at the gates to an art festival sponsored by a fossil fuel company in Western Australia. We did not really establish an audience but many more people were able to witness the event for a short period of time as they passed by. In Scottish Parliament we read for 5 hours each day for two days, in Australia the team read for 1 hour a day for 10 days.
Open Seating– Used in London and Christchurch, although the Christchurch event was the full 5 day reading and London was 10 hours. These events were open to the public to walk past and join us but we set up seating for audience members to be able to engage with the reading. Both events used microphones to make the readings more accessible and utilised interviews and chat between the audience and readers and ‘host’.
We invited a variety of people to read (members of the public, politicians, community leaders, teachers, activists as well as artists, authors and performers). You can choose who you think might be interested to read, and who you think will be of interest to your audience or activists.
Other ways to use the materials
As well as a 10 and 50 hour version of the report, we have gathered shorter sections (a few minutes) and key quotes (single sentences) which you might like to use. Quotes could be put on banners, social media, to back up a media story, or used as talking points. Short sections could be used to build people’s knowledge on a particular subject, as a short reading at a performance event, or to prompt a discussion about a topic. You are welcome to use them in the way that seems most useful to you.
The language of the report can sometimes be challenging and inaccessible so we suggest you consider this in your plans. In some sessions we’ve had readers able to explain the content, in others, we’ve cut out the more technical sections, sometimes we’ve just read it all. Different approaches will suit different groups.
These are just examples of ways we have used the report in our communities and we want each group to add to our ideas, our experience and our story.
Videos of the events can be found here- https://vimeo.com/user99303115
Our website is here https://1point5degreeslive.org
Our main twitter is @1point5degrees1
First held in August 2019 as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, 1.5 Degrees Live! was a 50-hour mass reading of the most important report on climate change ever released. It was read by over 140 people from all walks of live – from politicians to sports personalities to activists. It has since been read at the Scottish Parliament in Hollyrood, and at Westminster Abbey; it is currently programmed as part of the Adelaide Fringe and formed part of the Climate Change Competition – The Grand Challenge at the Shylock Association of Theatrical University Center of Venice in October 2019.
1.5 Degrees Live! is an attempt to generate engagement and discussion around the most important document that you’ve never read.
1.5 Degrees Live! Christchurch will follow the same format, taking place over a seven-day period during January/February 2020. Timed to coincide with the 2020 Buskers Festival it will capitalise on the festival’s foot traffic and engaged public. We are looking at sites on the Gallery Forecourt.
The readings will take place in a modified open sided shipping container, and we will activate the surrounding space as a place to gather, talk and take action. The container provides space for branding and decorations, and we will make this as visually attractive and appealing as possible, including working with local artists or schools. We expect to provide space for gathering, discussion, seating and refreshments. We will be bringing a diverse range or interesting and influential speakers to the Gallery to talk during the week.
In 2018 the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change set out for the first time the pace and depth of change required in order to combat the existential crisis humankind now finds itself in. The report was quickly distilled down to one key takeaway message by the media – we have twelve years to do something. And it quickly became mired in politics and inertia.
The report states that ‘Embedded in the goal of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees is the opportunity for intentional societal transformation.’ 1.5 Degrees Live! aims to encourage as many people as possible to engage in shaping this societal transformation through the democratisation of this report. It helps us to hold decision and policy makers to account by allowing us to say ‘We have read the science. Have you?’
We urgently need to take control of the narrative around climate change, and resist efforts to continue portraying it as a political choice. The 2018 IPCC report has largely been distilled down to one key takeaway message by the media – we have twelve years to do something. 1.5 Degrees Live brings people together to bear witness to, discuss and share this incredibly complex and important document.
We will be approaching readers from across the political and social spectrum and by activating the potential of the site for people to gather and actively participate in the event, this project will contribute to cementing the Gallery’s identity as a key public space in Ōtautahi.
We are running out of time and the city needs to get behind the public in its need and desire for change. Both CCC and its affiliated organisation ECAN agrees that this is an emergency. It is all our jobs to address this issue.
If not us, then who?
1.5 Degrees Live! was created by Katie Smith and Paddy Dunne, with a large team of volunteers. 1.5 Degrees Live! Christchurch will be managed by a team of volunteers, and draw upon the expertise of a number of key local professionals. The local organisers are Ryan Reynolds, co-founder of Gap Filler who brings a huge amount of experience in activating spaces, and David Simpson, who brings experience as a writer and communicator to the project. We’re also working with Lizzie Davidson of Brown Bread for communications, and Leon White for design. The original organisers of the project, Katie Smith and Paddy Dunne are relatives of David’s and we have full access to all their invaluable experience in running the project.