Radford University English Professor writes book on climate change

Published: Jan. 28, 2019 at 5:06 PM EST
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You don't often hear about English Professors writing books about climate change, but one Radford University English Professor decided to take on the challenge.

Radford University English Professor Rick Van Noy felt that he had a different perspective to offer on climate change.

"We have lots of data and numbers and kind of graphs and charts that tell us that climate change is happening but words and images, they can kind of create a different kind of urgency and tell a story that might affect people in a way those kind of abstract numbers and maps can't," Van Noy said.

So he traveled across the country over the last three years to hear and share stories.

"I really wanted to sort of go to places that are seeing it, people that have front row seats to climate change, and what are they really seeing," he added.

He found that climate change directly affects many local communities--even here in Southwest Virginia.

Van Noy said, "Some of what I read says that the South is going to bear a big brunt of the effects of climate change because: A) it's already hot in the South and B) there are some places that are also poor and climate change could, will affect the poor pretty hard."

He discovered people in these communities are seeing the changes and they do care.

"They may not always want to engage in the causes or sometimes don't event want to call it climate change, they want to call it something else, but they see changes and they know something has to be done," He said.

Van Noy says the goal of his book--called "Sudden Spring: Stories of Adaptation in a Climate-Changed South"--is to paint a picture of what climate change looks like in communities across the South.