Pop-Up Climate Change Poetry for the IPCC

The Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) convened in Christchurch (New Zealand) on 26-27 March 2018. In Bernd's Christchurch base at Otakaro Ltd. he and his placemaking colleague Laura Taylor discussed how to make the delegates feel welcome. Bernd considered that an IPCC meeting would be dominated by evaluating left-brain mathematical models. Thus Christchurch might address them with right-brain poetry about climate change to balance their minds. Only recently Sam Illingworth and Dan Simpson had published the e-book A Change of Climatea collection of topical poems, and they decided to make a spontaneous street lecture of poems in front of The Piano Centre for Music and Arts, where the meeting took place.

Laura organised both funding and the artist Liv Worsnop to paint a mural on the shopfront of an adjacent building, abandoned since the earthquakes, and found out that one poet, Andrew Paul Wood, even was a local. He and a high school class came around to read a selection of poems and engage with the scientists, whose chairman commented that "this was the highlight of the session".