Inspiration Forum

On Time and Water

On the possibilities of language in a time of unprecedented change

opening speech and conversation

According to leading scientists, the shape of almost all water on the planet will change fundamentally in the next hundred years. Melting glaciers and permafrost, rising sea levels, changes in the amount and intensity of rain and snowfall, unprecedented pH levels in the world's oceans. The disruption of the delicate balance of not only water cycles by anthropogenic climate change is the originator of events that are historical, geological and mythological in nature and proportion. How do we talk about phenomena so vast, ubiquitous and remote at the same time? How can we understand something that is perhaps larger than language? Magnason suggests telling stories woven from family histories, science, old films and mythology.


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