The Irma Diaries: Lesson for a Warmer World Compelling Survivor Stories from The Virgin Islands Inspires To Fight Climate Change

The climate action movement has forever struggled with bridging personal connections to climate change that actually inspire the lifestyle and other changes that will solve the climate crisis and save our planet. The Irma Diaries: Compelling Survivor Stories from The Virgin Islands offers up a new, creative solution.

Irma Diaries. Credit: Steven Kelley, NOAA, FlickrCC
NOAA GOES-16 satellite view of Hurricane Irma, British Virgin Islands, UVI, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Caribbean, and the eye of Irma.

At first glance, The Irma Diaries does not appear to be a book about climate change at all. And that’s exactly the point – it does not take the traditional approach of preaching science and impacts. Instead it uses the power of incredible, very human survivor stories from the frontlines to naturally draw people into the climate change storyline.

This action-packed book catapults readers directly into the horror and devastation of 2017 Category 5 Hurricane Irma – the strongest hurricane ever at time of landfall in Atlantic history. The Irma Diaries shares 25 very intimate, incredible survivor accounts that take readers on an emotional rollercoaster and connects them to climate change on a very deep, human, personal level. Studies by leading centers like the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication show that this approach has the best chance of inspiring action.

The stories include everything from a couple forced to swim through 25-foot storm surge to a man sheltering the brunt of the hurricane in nothing but an old refrigerator. Powerful connections to climate change are bridged by the characters themselves, many of whom connect the dots between this unprecedented hurricane and climate change. This is backed by the authority of two leading scientific voices in the climate change arena.

The Irma Diaries is already reaching the unsuspecting and bringing new, powerful actors to the climate movement. It is worth sharing as a novel and effective climate change communication tool. More information is available at