Nathan Higham, a 28-year old theatre maker from Kent, and 30-year old Casey Breeden, a Spanish language teacher from Southeast London are two of London’s brightest performers on the spoken word scene. They’re presenting in Crystal Palace Friday, after meeting through poetry workshops on climate change sponsored by the Royal Society of Chemistry and the US State Department. Casey’s “Poets Palace” hosted the crowning event, a data-driven Climate Slam which crowned Nathan as champion, walking away with the top prize of £350.
No demographic in the UK recognises what scientists understand: climate change is 100% attributable to man. For more on this, click here:
That’s significant in poetry circles, but not as significant as the common cause Nathan, Casey and colleagues have found in a mission to bring spoken word poetry into classrooms across London. To teach fundamental science as it relates to climate change, and to drive home a message that a majority of the British public do not grasp: current warming is entirely attributed to man.
Studies show that the British public understands the reality of climate change and the severity of its implications. Fewer than half, however, understand what scientists are nearly unanimous on: natural processes which historically control earth’s climate are swamped by man’s contributions. Which is critical. Without understanding man’s dominant role, how can we expect people to do something about it?
It’s a point Casey Breeden addressed in his ode to Charles Keeling, who spent his life studying atmospheric CO2 levels above Mauna Loa volcano in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
“….man’s contributions are more than 100%”
“That’s where my poem was supposed to end,” says Nathan about his prize winning effort which tried to explain 55MM years of carbon dioxide history within the limits of poetry slam rules.
Casey Breeden runs the Poets Palace. He was the 2022 Word Play & Flow “Best Poem” winner.
“I wanted to wrap it up by saying, ‘welcome to the 25% who understand we’re the cause’, I just couldn’t get there in 3 minutes,” he says.
They’ll have more time to get there soon. At Your Canal Boat we’re developing grants to bring them and poetry colleagues into classrooms where they’ll show English and science teachers how spoken word can catalyze new interest in their students. But you can see them, along with a jam-packed lineup of other poets tonight Poets Palace. A few tickets are still available from Eventbrite, at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/552635135567