Isabel Wood's Climate Activism

By Jacob Hervey

Climate change is an existential threat jeopardizing the future of our planet. With rising sea levels and warming temperatures, everything about the way we live our life is at risk. Global warming used to be a risk for future generations; however, its impacts are beginning to unfold before our eyes. Isabel Wood is a junior at Duke University with a passion for the environment. This documentary traces her own unique form of student activism that takes form in numerous different ways. She leads a house course for fellow students on climate justice and is involved in various environmental organizations as a student. She works with colleagues and friends like Nhu Bui who join Isabel in her fight against climate change. At the end of the day, Isabel shows us that no matter who you are (even if you are still a student), you can play a role in protecting our planet from the impending climate catastrophe.

As a photographer and student, this project has been particularly powerful. In the classroom, it is often difficult to conceptualize ort visualize the long-lasting impacts humans have had on the environment as global warming is something that happens across national borders and over decades of time. Nonetheless, this documentary has provided a valuable tool to translate the idea of climate change into something visual. This has demonstrated the power that interconnected photos can have on articulating a coherent story. Meanwhile, this endeavor has demonstrated to me that there is no correct form of activism; everyone should get involved or engaged on issues they are passionate about in a capacity that is meaningful to them. Isabel's climate activism may materialize through education and research, but other students may find it more meaningful to get engaged through political actions or other forms of activism. That's the beauty in activism: we all have our unique lenses from which we interpret issues, and from there, we all curate different platforms of advocacy. There is no correct approach; instead, we should value and embrace the broad gradient of different types of activism in the fight towards a more just and safe future.

I would like to thank Isabel Wood for her help throughout this project. She has never hesitated to bring me along to her meetings and classes. Along the way, she has taught me more about the state of our climate than I have ever learned in a classroom. Without her, his project would not be possible, and I would never have learned these valuable lessons.