Fern

Character Profiles

There are infinite ways a person can be connected to the climate crisis—so many that it would be impossible to catalog them. Luckily, nobody wants an exhaustive catalog. Instead, they want living, breathing characters. So what follows are snapshots of people who are in some way connected to the movement or impacted by this chaos. Some are based on existing people, some are fictionalized or aggregated, but all are rooted in the stark psychological realities of how the climate crisis is showing up in people’s lives.

We also encourage you to look to real-life people doing this wild work. In our Library of Experts, we highlight a whole bunch of real humans who also happen to be amazing characters. Check out Dr. Sarah Myhre, a climate scientist dealing with sexual violence and exploring gender expression, or Sharon Lavigne, a special-ed teacher who is fighting the fight in Cancer Alley. Maybe dig into Rania Batrice, first-gen Palestinian from West Texas pushing the Green New Deal, or Favianna Rodriguez, a Latinx artist calling out the racist systems that keep Oakland polluted.

But before we get to those real-life heroes, we hope the fictional profiles that follow spark some ideas, and maybe even breathe life into some characters for your own stories.

Character Profile

Bradford and Tim

A politician building a wind farm and his assigned angel
A portrait of Clark, a Black man in a suit and tie. In the foreground is an image of a farm and an oil tower.
Character Profile

Clark

A 38-year-old oil executive subverts success from the inside
Pink and orange flowers on a blue background
Character Profile

Ellen

A guilt-ridden millennial artist receives an ultimatum
A portrait of Gerald and Lucy, a young woman with short hair and a nose ring, and an older man wearing a baseball cap. In the background is an image of a sunset over water, with an old-style sailing ship on the horizon. In the foreground is an image of two men harvesting oysters in a boat.
Character Profile

Gerald and Lucy

Father and daughter Gulf Coast oyster fishers hold secrets
A portrait of Gracie, a young woman wearing a hijab. In the foreground is a scene of a protest, in the background is a phone showing an Instagram post with the words "10 WAYS YOU CAN HELP RIGHT NOW"
Character Profile

Gracie

A young Muslim climate activist torn between followers and sanity
A portrait of Karen and Barbara, two middle-aged Black women wearing scrubs. In the background is an image of a hospital hallway, in the foreground is an image of an ambulance and two nurses talking.
Character Profile

Karen and Barbara

Sibling nurses, transformed by a hurricane
Pink and orange flowers on a blue background
Character Profile

Lea

A trans water protector finding community at the heart of a protest
A portrait of Leilani with flowers in the foreground and the Hōkūleʻa in the background
Character Profile

Leilani

A Hawaiian voyager juggling motherhood and saving her homeland
A portrait of Peter Illyn, a middle-aged white man with a beard and eyepatch. In the background is a waterfall, in the foreground is a cat and llama.
Character Profile

Peter

A Christian environmental evangelist ignites a movement
A portrait of Ronnie in firefighter gear
Character Profile

Ronnie

An incarcerated Marine finding purpose in fighting wildfires
A portrait of Sam, a young Alaska Native man, and Otter, a sea otter. In the background is an image of an old wooden church at Fort Ross, as well as an image of two Russian fur trappers. In the foreground is an image of a young man in a kayak.
Character Profile

Sam and Otter

Interspecies Alaskan friends losing their way of life
Portrait of Rania Batrice with the US Capitol Building in the background and the mountains near Standing Rock in the foreground
Expert Profile

Rania Batrice

The woman pushing major policy like the Green New Deal
Expert Profile

Brandon Dennison

Providing green jobs and education in Appalachia
Expert Profile

Sarah Eagle Heart

An Indigenous storyteller
Expert Profile

Sharon Lavigne

An activist who grew up in Cancer Alley along the Mississippi River
Expert Profile

Dr. Sarah Myhre

A working mom, feminist, and climate scientist
Expert Profile

Tamara Toles O'Laughlin

Redefining the climate movement and creating space for Black women
Portrait of Favianna Rodriguez, with Oakland streets in the background and an aerial view of I-880 in the foreground
Expert Profile

Favianna Rodriguez

An Oakland-based Latinx artist fighting for clean air
A portrait of Amy Westervelt with leaves and flowers
Expert Profile

Amy Westervelt

A climate journalist and mother
A portrait of Rev. Lennox Yearwood, with Howard College in the foreground and Shreveport, LA in the background.
Expert Profile

Rev. Lennox Yearwood Jr.

President & CEO of Hip Hop Caucus

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