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Climate Fresk workshop gives participants a look at causes, consequences of climate change

Participants learn about climate change causes and outcomes at Climate Fresk. (Courtesy of Sheila Suarez de Flores)
Participants learn about climate change causes and outcomes at Climate Fresk. (Courtesy of Sheila Suarez de Flores)

What if there was a way to learn about climate change while sipping a drink in a trendy Parisian bar?

It is for the French-based non-profit organization Climate Fresk. The organization has been holding laid-back educational workshops on global warming since 2018. The workshops are a smash hit in Paris and are gaining popularity around the world, including the United States.

In those workshops, participants use illustrated cards that represent the causes and consequences of climate change and discuss potential solutions they could take part in. The cards, which span from agriculture to transportation to fossil fuel, among many other topics, are based on data from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. And with those cards, people create large climate frescoes — hence the name Climate Fresk — to gain a better understanding of global warming.

Environmental educator Sheila Suarez de Flores is a U.S. co-coordinator for the workshops. She says people are empowered by this process to think differently about how how their daily life and consumption can contribute to climate solutions.

“They’re using the cards that create a system’s view that speaks to them,“ she says. “They say, ‘We see that human activities based off of carbon is the cause of this, but that means that we’re also the solution of that.”

Suarez de Flores says the workshop has created a global community of “climate communicators.” She says there are roughly 60,000 such communicators across the world. And the workshop teachings have reached 1.2 million participants.

“It’s not just that it’s a social phenomenon because it inspires people to learn and move into action,” she says. “But part of the action is just to become a climate communicator and to join these cathartic beautiful communities.”

Adeline Sire produced and edited this interview for broadcast with Todd Mundt. Sire also adapted it for the web.

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