The Electronic Textual Cultures Lab at UVic is pleased to invite you to a talk with Sean Holman (Wayne Crookes Professor in Environmental and Climate Journalism, UVic) on the climate disaster project.

When: Tuesday 19 October 2021, 2pm-3pm Pacific Time
Where: Please RSVP to to receive location details (RSVP is required; space is limited)

Abstract: The best available science forecasts that climate change could result in the forced migration or premature deaths of millions of people. However, much of the reporting on global warming excludes its human impacts, despite the fact climate change-driven natural disasters have already caused untold misery around the world. Indeed, in a New York Times interview last year, activist Greta Thunberg observed the news media is not telling the public about “people whose lives are being lost and whose livelihoods are being taken away – we don’t realize they exist. Even if we are told, we feel as if they are too far away.”

In partnership with twelve other postsecondary institutions across Canada, the climate disaster project will surface these stories through an intersectional lens by investigating the human effects past and emerging climate change-driven natural disasters have had. It will do so by working with the survivors of those disasters to collect oral histories of their experiences, preserving them in a memory vault and disseminating them via media partners. Through these accounts, the project will seek to better understand the profoundly unequal economic, health, and psychological impacts this phenomenon is having in Canada and elsewhere in the world, especially on Indigenous peoples, people of colour, and women, as well as people who are homeless or poor. The project will also investigate the reactive and proactive responses of local, provincial, and federal government bodies to these disasters, using investigative journalism and legal undertakings to identify improvements in funding and policy and holding those institutions accountable for their failures.

In doing so, the project will amplify the voices of climate change survivors and victims, helping create and mobilize a community around this emerging identity and their resulting calls for action. At the same time, this project will affect broader societal and political change by demonstrating climate change isn’t something that’s “too far” away. Instead, it is something already close at hand and causing irreparable damage to the health and wellbeing of our families, friends, neighbours, and fellow citizens.

Biography: Sean Holman is the Wayne Crookes Professor in Environmental and Climate Journalism at the University of Victoria, where he researches climate change coverage, how we use information in democracies, and the intersection between those issues. An award-winning investigative reporter and documentary filmmaker, Holman authored a widely shared open letter in 2019 calling on the Canadian news media to treat global warming with the urgency it demands. Since then, he has continued that work. Holman is currently conducting a national survey measuring how journalists and climate scientists perceive climate change and climate change coverage, as well as launching an initiative to record the oral histories of climate disaster survivors.

Important notes:

  • RSVP is required to attend this talk. Please email to save your seat. Space is limited
  • Adherence to UVic’s health & safety guidelines is mandatory to attend this event (including the wearing of masks in indoor public/common areas)

Feel free to email us at if you have questions.

-The ETCL team