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An Immersive Experience: Climate Parables Live Performance in San Francisco

The Climate Parables live event held 12 and 13 May in San Francisco at Saint Joseph’s Arts Foundation was indeed two unforgettable — and sold out — nights of live journalism, science, technology, fiction and nonfiction, video, art, and music where the audience was asked to ponder the question – what could possibly go right? Hundreds of people joined in person and 2,000 more watched online as actors and an orchestra brought the Climate Parables series to life in collaboration with Back Pocket Media and The Long Now Foundation. The series is based on the idea that survival in the Anthropocene depends on upgrading not just our technology, but also our collective imagination.

Scroll through for images from the event:

Vestibules bordered the seating area where Anthropocene Magazine, which publishes Climate Parables, and Future Earth, which is the publisher of the magazine, and sponsors Charm Industrial, Living Carbon, Vesta, and Lithos Carbon shared their products and projects and made connections with attendees. The sponsors are all working to make a difference in the world of carbon removal. You can watch a recording of the event below along with details on the programming.

Featured programming

The evening’s featured programming included stories drawn from Kim Stanley Robinson’s latest book, “Ministry of the Future,” in which a NSF research team in the year 2040 embarks on an audacious scheme to put the brakes on sea-level rise by drilling holes deep into the Antarctic Ice Sheet to pin it to the bedrock, as well as a piece by the acclaimed writer Eliot Peper, and internationally bestselling author Mark Alpert. 

The evening wrapped up with “The Science Behind the Fiction,” a conversation moderated by series editor W. Wayt Gibbs. Senior climate scientist Ken Caldeira of the Carnegie Institution, Kelly Wanser, founder and executive director of SilverLining, and former Scientific American journalist turned novelist Mark Alpert explored where the science depicted in the stories is today, where it could be headed in the future, and the political and economic hurdles that lie ahead.

The night’s MC was Amanda Font of KQED, a producer on the Bay Curious podcast and the host and co-producer of the series Audible Cosmos. She guided the audience through the event’s immersive experience, helping to tie the different elements together into one unforgettable night.

At the end of the evening, attendees were allowed to either take their program with them, or watch it dissolve in a bowl of water…

We want to thank the sponsors for their support and V. Kann Rasmussen Foundation for funding support for Climate Parables.