Art at Net Zero Festival London

“The transboundary nature of digital art has allowed me to participate in fifteen international art shows during September.”

Selva Ozelli has been busy making art shows and interviewing artists, museums and international NGOs to support Net Zero Festival London and its aims to be a catalyst towards a net zero, equitable and resilient future. 

“Our planet needs everyone to work together, including the public, policymakers, academia, artists, business, community, civil society, NGOs and museums.”

Selva Ozelli is an environmentalist working as an artist, writer, international tax attorney and public accountant, who has curated a climate change art shows with various organisations.

 

Running parallel to the United Nations General Assembly — holding its 76th annual meeting between 14th and 30th September in New York City to bring countries together at a critical time for marshalling collective action to tackle the global environmental crisis which has worsened the COVID-19 Pandemic — the Net Zero Festival London aims to cover the full breadth of the green industrial revolution. I have prepared a new art show and collaborated with artists, museums and an international NGO on three themes.

Theme 1: Green, fair and resilient recovery from the pandemic

2021 – The International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development – has witnessed the rapid spread of the highly transmissible delta variant of Covid-19, as well as a new coronavirus variant, with multiple mutations amidst the worst wildfire season. But then, akin to pollution and corona, the transboundary nature of digital art has allowed me to participate in fifteen international art shows during September, with the theme of a sustainable and resilient recovery from the pandemic with my ‘Art in the Time of Corona’ series of art shows that were published by CUHK Jockey Club Museum of Climate Change

Theme 2: Road to  COP26

200 of the world’s leading health journals released a joint statement pleading with global leaders to cut greenhouse gas emissions to mitigate climate change, which they say is the greatest threat to public health.

New World Health Organization Global Air Quality Guidelines provide clear evidence of the damage air pollution inflicts on human health, at even lower concentrations than previously understood. The guidelines recommend new air quality levels to protect the health of populations, by reducing levels of key air pollutants, some of which also contribute to climate change. Air pollution is one of the biggest environmental threats to human health, alongside climate change.
   
Ambitious climate action has now become a matter of urgency according to the latest report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
. Especially since the initial NDC Synthesis report showed that the world is not on track to reach the Nationally Determined Contributions in accordance with the Paris Agreement to address climate change.

With thousands of companies now committed to delivering net zero emissions and the UK set to host the critical COP26 Climate Summit this November, the Net Zero Festival will provide both invaluable practical guidance on how to navigate the economic and technological shifts that are already underway and an exploration of how to accelerate decarbonization strategies towards a green recovery from the pandemic. My Net Zero Festival Booth is here.

Theme 3: Whole of society climate action

Our planet needs everyone to work together, including the public, policymakers, academia, artists, business, community, civil society, NGOs and museums. Ahead of Net Zero Festival London, I interviewed Viviane Gosselin for TiredEarth. Viviane, Director of Collections and Exhibitions for the Museum of Vancouver and a member of the Advisory Group for the Coalition of Museums for Climate Justice, explained “I just want to stress that it’s clear […] that social and environmental justice are interconnected.”


Net Zero Festival London runs from 29th September to 1st October and aims to cover the full breadth of the green industrial revolution. You can find Selva’s digital art shows the festival here. Selva’s Art in the Time of Corona, was originally published by CUHK Jockey Club Museum of Climate Change.

In the UK, The Lancet published the joint document, Call for emergency action to limit global temperature increases, restore biodiversity, and protect health (4/9/21).

Selva’s interview with Viviane Gosselin, Director of Collections and Exhibitions of the Museum of Vancouver and a member of the Advisory Group for the Coalition of Museums for Climate Justice, is published at TiredEarth.

Pole to Pole

“Unaware of last night’s events, the next day our friends resume their journey. Once again, the powerful ocean currents drag them ever southwards…”

In Alan Hesse‘s comic book, Pole to Pole, Captain Polo leaves his disrupted Arctic home, seeking better hunting grounds. Unbeknown to him, he has onboard a mysterious stowaway with his own agenda.

Pole to Pole


Alan Hesse is an author-illustrator, educator and conservation biologist inspired by nature’s majesty and fragility and the need to protect it and who believes that education should be fun.

Pole to Pole is Book 4 in my series of graphic novels about climate change, but it can be read as a stand-alone book as well. In Pole to Pole, Captain Polo the climate change bear (main character) once again leaves his ecologically and climatically disrupted Arctic home in search of better hunting grounds. Unbeknown to him, he has on board his trusty little sailing boat a mysterious stowaway with his own agenda, and before he knows it Captain Polo finds himself on another rollicking adventure in which he unwillingly travels far to the south, visiting different locations and meeting all sorts of colourful characters.

Through each encounter, Captain Polo sheds light on different, sometimes little-known aspects of climate change effects and also solutions. Thus we learn about the effects of permafrost melt in Siberia, how warming temperatures are undermining the Sámi reindeer people and the Christmas tourist industry in Finland, and what the mysterious scientists locked into Iceland’s Hellisheidi Carbon Fixing Plant are all about. Captain Polo has an opportunity to explain the difference between climate and weather to a refreshingly open-minded climate denier he meets in Ireland, and he later gets interviewed by a climate-conscious reporter on Senegalese national television.

Polo’s final encounter is with multi-billionaire oilman and arch-villain Tex Greedyman, a meeting that quickly turns sour as our hero shares his views on fossil fuels and renewable energy in his characteristically blunt manner, a conversation that lands him trussed up in the hold of Greedyman’s luxury yacht, destined to be sold to a circus at their next port of call…

The idea behind all of my Captain Polo books is to deliver factual, up to date key information on climate change effects and solutions around the world in a novel, engaging format that draws upon the elements of fiction and storytelling to facilitate understanding as well as provide pure entertainment. The result is my 4-book series of Captain Polo’s adventures, non-fiction graphic novels targeting 9-12-year-old kids but actually also enjoyable and informative for adults. I decided to write graphic novels about this topic when I realized, about four years ago, that I actually knew very little about climate change. The news at the time was largely confusing, and certainly overwhelming. I decided that the best way for me to gain a clear understanding of different aspects of climate change, and crucially also help others to do likewise — especially children — was to create a graphic novel about it.

Climate change has become a multi-faceted topic that touches upon all sectors of society, industry and even culture. I dedicate my series of graphic novels to gradually explore these aspects, overturning one rock at a time to uncover the basic facts, in the hope of helping my readers increase their environmental and climate awareness, understanding of key terms and concepts, and above all feel a little more empowered on how to deal with it all. As such all the Captain Polo books hold positive messages, actionable, concrete tips on how we can all make a difference to protect and restore our natural environment.

Pole to Pole will be available in print and ebook. It will also be available in black and white, as a paperback colouring book. This is an experiment and will have a separate listing (which I haven’t set up yet); I’ve never done anything like that before and I’ve never seen a colouring comic book, but given the detailed images and the textual / non-fiction content (the same as in the regular book) I am betting that colouring in this comic book may well have as much educational impact as reading it, if not more!


Pole to Pole is available now on preorder and will be released on February 27th, International Polar Bear Day. 

Carbon Choices

“Even where I live in Scotland, I am aware of the changing climate around me.”

In Carbon Choices, Neil Kitching moves beyond our frustration with the lack of action to tackle climate change and nature loss over the past 30 years to set out the practical ways that governments, businesses and individuals can change now.

“Coming from Scotland, host of the global 2021 climate conference, Carbon Choices tells the most remarkable story on planet Earth. How one group of sociable animals came to emit 40 billion tonnes (40,000,000,000) of an invisible gas each year, changing the chemistry of the atmosphere and the oceans, and steadily destroying the environment and life support systems that we depend on. We have unwittingly driven the world into a climate and wildlife crisis by the endless extraction of raw materials and our excessive consumption – primarily by wealthier people and countries.”

Neil KitchingNeil Kitching is a geographer and energy specialist who has witnessed climate change’s creeping effects and whose book Carbon Choices addresses common-sense solutions to our climate and nature crises.

I wrote Carbon Choices from a frustration that I had known about the devastating impact of climate change for 30 years but failed to see sufficient action by politicians and others to tackle it. So many people were not taught about climate change at school, nor about the loss of biodiversity. In my own small way, I hope to change attitudes and bring about the changes that are required.

Even where I live in Scotland, I am aware of the changing climate around me. There is less snow, and when it does fall it doesn’t lie for long. There is more winter rainfall and more torrential rain in the summer months. I witnessed the big damaging flood in Perth in 1993. There are also more landslips blocking railway lines and roads. In the UK this is all an inconvenience; in developing countries, particularly those that are already semi-arid, these changes can be catastrophic for people and wildlife.

Originally I thought I would write a book when I retire. But it gradually dawned on me that this might be too late. The announcement of the global climate conference (COP26) to be held in Glasgow in November 2021 spurred me into action and I wrote Carbon Choices in six months whilst holding down a full-time job. The words literally poured out of my head.

This popular science book will fill any gaps in your understanding of climate change and nature loss. It lays out the solutions, including a green action plan for government, businesses and individuals. It will motivate you to change your behaviour and maybe inspire you to campaign to change business activity and government policy.


Carbon Choices is available to buy on Amazon, or you can order a signed copy from the authorThere is further information at the Carbon Choices site. 

You can follow Neil on Twitter @carbonchoicesuk