The clouds billowing across the cover of the second issue of It’s Freezing in LA! are treated images of the California wildfires that blazed through the state towards the end of 2018.
It was around that time that Donald Trump diverted attention from the serious issue of climate change by tweeting about how the Finnish sweep the floors of their forests, giving rise to endless memes and jokes but not doing much to tackle climate policy.
Just a few months on, as the second issue of this magazine about climate change hits the shelves, the fires already seem to have faded into distant memory for those of us not directly impacted by them.
Reading IFILA! is a bit of a wake up call though, in that no environmental disaster of that scale doesn’t have a wider impact. The editorial makes a case for paying attention to the interlinked nature of the ways different events across the globe feed into an escalating global problem, but that it’s not too late to halt, concluding that, ‘It’s clear that we need radical, profound, and immediate change.’
The red and green of the smoke clouds is an immediately ominous colour combination — the way they’re transparently laid on top of each other adding an unsettling vibe to the issue. The red and green carries through across the whole magazine, highlighting the stark black and red typography as green clouds blow across the headlines and text.
We really like this new and relevant magazine, (and from the number of instagram likes it received, we know that it’s clearly hitting a nerve with you too), and initial worries about it being too serious, and preaching to the converted, were allayed upon further reading. Just like any other magazine investigating a particular niche or theme, the broadness of contributions throw up many surprising and fascinating insights into the impact of climate change that we’ve never stopped to consider.
We find out about new perils to ourselves and the earth such as the moral implications of creating technology just because we can, the brutal inefficiency of theatre lighting (ilustrated by Charlotte Ager, above), and how surface water impacts the carbon absorbing qualities of peat bogs, among many other things.
A short manifesto by Caroline Lucas (above), in which she presents her vision of an environmentally-conscious political system, is reflected indirectly in other pieces that acknowledge the socio-economic difficulties of living a low-low-carbon lifestyle: often the low income are given no choice.
The editors of It’s Freezing in LA! are clearly passionate and one thing that drives the independent magazine scene is when enthusiastic people find a niche in the market that they want to fill. Issue two no longer features the exquisitely hand-stitched spine of the first edition, unsurprisingly as it must have been laborious, but the design and format adopt a functional approach that suits the subject – this is further backed up by the environmental notes about its production at the back of the issue. They even conduct a diversity audit on their own contributors, a small note that elevates the magazine even further.
We have a feeling that this won’t be the last magazine that will cross our path about climate change, but as our latest Magazine of the Week, It’s Freezing in LA! certainly sets a high benchmark.
Editor: Martha Dillon
Art and visual content: Nina Carter
Design: Matthew Lewis