To David Salvesen, director of the Sustainable Triangle Field Site at the UNC Institute for the Environment, showing the public the threat presented by climate change takes more than explaining the science behind it. It takes real people talking about the real impact they’ve already experienced.
“So I had this idea that if people who aren’t scientists, who are just ordinary people, talked about the changes they’ve seen in the climate, how it’s affected them, maybe that would be a more effective way of helping inform people about climate change,” Salvesen said. “So I sought people who spent a lot of time outdoors and whose livelihood is affected by the climate.”
Salvesen developed the Climate Stories NC video project with this mindset over two years ago. Backed by the Institute for the Environment, he and various contributors from the University and the Triangle have produced 17 videos documenting unique perspectives on the way climate change has altered our world.
From meteorologists to beekeepers to hunters, each video explores individuals in important societal roles and the ways they have seen climate change create challenges in their work. Along with getting to know people he may never have otherwise met, Salvesen said this project motivated him to further his own environmental efforts.
“To see that there are quite a few people all over the state that are saying, ‘Yeah, I’ve seen climate change and we need to do something about it,’ that helps motivate me to continue my work, and I’m hoping it motivates others in a similar fashion,” said Salvesen.