July 2015

Explaining Climate:  What Rockström Said!

Sometimes in the struggle to convey the seriousness and, above all, the immediacy of the threat of climate change, one runs across a speaker or writer that simply causes the reaction, “what he said!”

This was definitely the case for me on July 12 in Sweden when Johan Rockström,  former director of the Stockholm Environment Institute and now Executive Director of the Stockholm Resilience Center, gave what is called a “sommarprat” – literally, “summer talk” – a longstanding summer tradition on Swedish Public Radio.  Like all “sommarprat,” it intersperses the speaker’s favorite songs with monologues of their choice.  The best ones take you on a personal, intellectual and musical journey on lazy summer afternoons – and Rockström’s did all that.  With brilliant analogies, he described the current state of the climate crisis in ways that anyone from age 10 to age 100 could understand.

As I listened in my own summer garden, I thought, “we really must have this in English – perhaps ICCI can translate?”  But Rockström beat me to it – within a few days, an English version appeared on Swedish Radio’s website.  The link to stream or download (stream=”lyssna,” download “ladda ner”):


The “Sveriges Radio” podcast makes this climate tour de force available both with music, and spoken sections only (complete music only through October 12, thereafter only with limited musical interludes due to copyrights, but the spoken sections complete).  Listen, learn and enjoy!



By Amy Imdieke, Global Outreach Director, and Pam Pearson, Director of ICCI.
Published Aug. 20, 2015      Updated Aug. 29, 2015 11:03 pm