A Writer to Celebrate on Earth Day: Margaret Atwood
You may know Margaret Atwood because of The Handmaid’s Tale, but she is also the author of some of the most well-known fiction on climate change, sometimes called “cli-fi,” including The Year of the Flood. The novel is seen and told through the eyes of women and sends a strong message through a complex and compelling story that if we continue on a certain path, the future will be unrecognizable, the earth uninhabitable and the changes wrought on humanity unimaginable. Through her tireless campaigning, advocacy and creative writing on climate change, we see that the status quo can successfully be challenged through compelling story-telling, creativity and wit. As Margaret Atwood said, “I think calling it climate change is rather limiting. I would rather call it the everything change.”
These leaders paint a world that is not black and white, but a vibrant shade of green. They make me want to build a greener planet for the next generation and to persuade governments, businesses and individuals to do the same. They show me that while the challenge is great, following our hearts and being true to who we are as women is the path to change.
Terri Wills is the CEO of the World Green Building Council, a network of Green Building Councils in over 70 countries. WorldGBC’s mission is to create green buildings for everyone, everywhere, enabling people and planet to thrive today and tomorrow. In March 2017, Terri was named as one of 10 women leading the global push towards climate action, gender equality and social justice for all by Eco-Business. Terri is based in London, UK.
Terri adds: Women are frequently on the front lines in the battle against climate change, as they are often hit hardest by environmental issues – especially in developing countries. UN figures suggest that around 80 percent of people displaced by climate change are women – a fact recognized in the 2015 Paris Agreement. As primary providers of food and fuel, they are most likely to notice the signs of climate change and to be the first to feel its effects. So, it’s not surprising that they are usually the first group to take action.
We’ve seen a drastic shift in in the last few decades, with more women making their way into environmental leadership positions. I see this first-hand within our Green Building Council (GBC) movement, where 50 percent of our top-tier GBCs are led by women working within the male-dominated world of building and construction.
Women have a strong and powerful voice and while there are many environmental thought leaders that I admire, I chose five women worldwide to celebrate on Earth Day 2018.