Climate crisis magazines
The threat posed by climate crisis has been brought into stark focus by a series of scientific warnings this year, alongside ever-increasing examples of extreme weather across the world.
It’s a subject that can seem so vast that it’s easier to ignore than engage with it—what can we as individuals do? The following five magazines each offer useful insight into various aspects of climate change, as well as being great sources for learning about the subject. They also demonstrate how magazines can develop their own voice and distinct approach to same subject.
It’s Freezing in LA!
UK, seven issues to date
The most immediately accessible magazine here, IFLA! shares inspirational stories with a fast-moving and approachable graphic style; its layouts reflect the magazine’s can-do attitude with a guidebook-like language. As well as detailed looks at subjects such as the environmental effect of rebuilding versus rennovating city living space, issue seven also reports on the risks and benefits of online environmental activism as well as applying a new filter to the traditonal world of indie guitar music.
Key story: a report from Zimbabwe about the clash between the desire to shift to a more sustainable approach to agriculture and the unavoidable weather effects of climate change.
Where the Leaves Fall
UK, seven issues to date
Exploring the connection between humankind and nature, WtLF is the most peoplecentric mag in this set. Most stories involve an interview or dialogue with a person whose day-to-day role is centred around encouraging change. And those featured come from across the world, sharing examples of local cultures and how they regard the link between us and our planet.
Key story: Tamara Dean’s series of photographs of humans immersed in nature perfectly represent the magazine’s remit.
US, two issues to date
A bookish annual magazine backed up with regular online stories, Emergence fleshes out the meaning of humankind’s relationship with our environment. Leaving others to cover the effects and solutions of climate change, it carries philosophical essays about the end of the world and histories of indigenous languages, as well examples of successful symbiotic relationships between humans and nature, such as the coppicing and pollarding of trees. Lushly produced, this is a magazine of spirituality, drawing on multiple traditions to remind we humans of our place in history.
Key story: a literary history of the environmental movement, reminding us of the origins of Earth Day (launched in 1970).
Luxembourg, three issues to date
The most indepth magazine of these five, Icarus Complex takes on the big subjects with longform reports. The current issue three is built around the theme of Loss and includes the dessertification of Europe, the Lithium gold rush and carbon capture. It refuses to oversimplify, often linking issues together and debunking easy solutions as it focuses on how business and the environment are collaborating/might collaborate. There’s also always space for the relative reflection that art can offer.
Key story: a moving series of photographs from Iran showing how the drying up of Lake Urmia has changed lives as well as the environment.
US, one issue to date
We’ve seen a few fashion mags focus on environmentalism but all have struggled with the obvious paradox of the fashion imperative to sell more each season. This new mag deals with this by featuring only vintage clothes. ‘It’s not inherently about discarding consumerism, it’s about celebrating longevity…’ is how it introduces itself. Produced to fashion-world standards, Display Copy is carefully styled and richly photographic, confounding expectations of how vintage clothes might appear. Its mix of clothes and accessories—over 100 brands are represented in its pages—suits today’s pluralist mix-and-match era.
Key story: De(ni)mocracy, a shoot about jeans and their timeless adaptability.