We need culture change, not climate change!
Late Night Basketball, Port Arthur, Texas, 2017, John Fiege
For me, the strongest message of the climate crisis is that we must change—profoundly and quickly. And it’s not enough to just focus on changing our own habits—we need to figure out how to collectively steer the ship of humanity in a completely different direction. The path we’re on now brought us to this moment of climate chaos, mass extinction, and environmental injustice, and we’re definitely not turning the ship fast enough.
On the Chrysalis podcast, I’m in conversation with a remarkable group of environmental thinkers about their paths through life and the transformations they’ve experienced along the way. My guests are great writers, artists, activists, scientists, and spiritual leaders whose stories can help guide us into new ways of relating to the rest of life on Earth.
I’m not searching for simple answers or magical solutions. Rather, I am on a quest for ecological wisdom and compassion.
I believe in embracing complexity and questioning dogma—in robust dialogue with one another that lights up connections and sparks our imaginations. We need culture change, not climate change, and that transformation starts with the stories we tell each other and tell ourselves.
Moonlit Flow, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, 2018, John Fiege
Chrysalis is a storytelling project, but it is also a community-building project. When you subscribe for free on Substack, we’ll send you an invitation to the Chrysalis Discord server, where you can discuss an episode, ask a question, suggest future guests, find out about upcoming episodes, and explore related topics with the Chrysalis community.
If you would like to support Chrysalis, you can make a donation here, which will help us enormously with our current expenses, such as website hosting and sound mixing.
If you are a funder interested in supporting Chrysalis and helping us expand our reach, or if you have a business interested in sponsoring the podcast, please contact us.
We also hold live in-person recording events where we connect with listeners and catalyze connections to other people, organizations, and opportunities in their communities.
If you have an idea for a live event or want to host a live recording of an episode at your institution or organization, please contact us.
About John Fiege
In addition to working on Chrysalis, I tell stories through film and photography about our relationships with one another and the rest of life on Earth. My documentary films have been about immigrant poultry workers, the BP oil spill, the Keystone XL pipeline, Hurricane Harvey, and environmental justice on the Gulf Coast. They have played at SXSW, MoMA, Hot Docs, Cannes, and many other festivals and venues around the world, receiving distribution on Netflix, iTunes, Amazon, Sundance Now, and other platforms. I have received numerous fellowships, grants, and residencies, including from The Redford Center, Doc Society, CrossCurrents Foundation, University at Buffalo’s Humanities Institute, Austin Film Society, Film Society of Lincoln Center, Carleton College, Princess Grace Foundation, The University of Texas, University Film and Video Association, Kodak, and Smithsonian Institution. I hold graduate degrees in both geography and filmmaking and am currently Assistant Professor in the Department of Media Study at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York, and an affiliate of the Department of Environment and Sustainability.
I spend as much time as possible in the woods, hiking and camping with my family. I love to walk barefoot through streams, listen quietly to the wind through the leaves and the birds in the trees, and contemplate existence under a starry night sky.
Photo by Anita Grabowski
To learn more about me and my journey to creating this podcast and newsletter, please read my post, “A Quest for Ecological Wisdom and Compassion.”