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Why have leading economists and environmentalists turned to folk tales?

Oct 30, 2017

Andrew Simms writes:

It’s Hallowe’en today. Why is a group of leading scientists, economists, environmentalists and policy experts turning to modern folk tales to get their message across?

The answer is that our new book Knock Twice is part of an ongoing project of the New Weather Institute. Decades of campaigning for a better world still finds us all in troubling times, on the verge of potentially irreversible ecological decline and toxic social division.

Knock Twice is our second volume of tales following There was a Knock at the Door, which was produced jointly with our friends at Bread, Print & Roses. In his foreword for the first collection, the author Philip Pullman wrote:

“Stories are one of the most ancient and most effective ways of making sense of the world… When we try to live a good life in a world we seem to be simultaneously destroying, there is nothing more valuable or worth encouraging.”

Knock Twice brings together earth scientists, experts on climate change and finance, archaeologists, writers, poets, economists, activists and artists (download contents and contributors). Each contributor works daily in different ways to make the world safe from systemic threats, but has become aware of the limits of simply throwing facts at people and hoping for change.

Instead, they’ve decided to take a new approach, and to try and tell some better stories. We thank them all very much for their creative gifts and being willing – in fact enthusiastic – to try something different. These tales are very modern, yet rooted in ancient story telling traditions.

We hope that, when you knock, they will open doors…

Knock Twice is available as a paperback, also on kindle from here, and as an epub or pdf file from here.

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