Anthology: Six Degrees

The sub-project I’ve been working at lately has been ocean poetry! I thought it would be a great opportunity to merge two of my major passions to produce works which have some real meaning to them. First up is my climate change inspired poetry – Six Degrees.

Anthology: Six Degrees

In response to the growing concerns of a six degree global Earth temperature rise

One Degree

Waves ebb and flow,
undulating in absent patterns,
flowing tentatively
with the blares of silent alarms.

Fragile ecosystems
marbled with murky waters,
factory fumes,
plastic, paper,
a burdened atmosphere
wrapped in a cover page aesthetic.
A breadth of the deep unknown.

Two Degrees

The dawn of the consumer,
footprints littered with CO2 and
hopes of productivity,
societies painted with
tracks of convenience and
slim margins for error.

Pristine environments,
threatened, weak,
melting polar ice caps,
muddied rivers.
And in panic,
protesters hold blank signs:
the ocean’s very pollutants,
shout muted words
no one understands.

We listen not as generation x,
generation y or generation z.
Not as pioneers, as heroes
or as individuals.
We listen helpless,
because we do not know how to help
only how to hear.

Three Degrees

One chance to pull back
to pull together,
one chance to pull the chains
on our environment,
to keep it from
a part.
Violent natural disasters,
torrential weather,
hurricane, tornadoes, frequent
earthquakes, floods, tsunamis.
Homes and hearts
in ruins.

Temperamental ecosystems
meddled with,
dials pushed to breaking point.
burnt fossil fuels, spent oil reserves.
Seas climb a dangerous ladder,
coastal land underwater.
And here, in our isolation,
resources will be stretched thin,
economies will be reshaped, nonexistent,
oceans will drown
In their own water.

At a rapid rate we
lose carbon sinks with
global ocean cover,
pH the only thing sinking
in our acidifying oceans.
Food security, basic needs,
economic growth stifled,
whole societies changed radically

Time to protect the reefs,
to define sustainable ,
to refine our practices.
We are the throwaway society,
oblivious, ordinary,
obscured from our own capabilities.
But only we can act:
to save our climate;
to save our ocean.
Though still, it’s quiet –
nature is louder than you and me.

Four Degrees

Humanity struggling
To keep up with the climate,
The era of climate refugees
fleeing the threat of
Melting poles and 50m
of sea level rise.
Forest fires assert their
85% of the Amazon
rainforest gone.

Five Degrees

The poles wiped of ice,
the Earth coloured sick,
muted shades of brown and blue.
Summer too hot, too long,
Global temperature rise progressing
Too fast for adaptation.
Nothing to buy, nothing to sell,
conflict and wars
throttle any sign of

Six Degrees

ten letters built in six degrees,
by eight million people and counting.
Heating, burning, feeding
the climate with poison,
and deadly methane eruptions.
Forests –
blackened embers,
Rivers –
parched ground.
In just years,
everything is
Everything, all life is

E Wen Wong


Our Earth is facing growing concerns of climate change and global Earth temperature rise, with a six degree rise being breaking point. On the surface, this issue may seem purely environmental, but from a social justice perspective, climate change impacts have the potential to be huge. From forced relocation away from coastal areas and climate refugees to civil wars and racial injustice, experts predict impacts of climate change will extend over a very broad spectrum. Sat alongside environmental troubles, this could go on to cause economic hardship for coastal cities and their residents as well as non-coastal areas as pressure is increasingly applied to their land and resources. If we thought the present migration crisis is bad enough, what could climate change disasters mean for us?

So what can we do? We can help to mitigate the effects of climate change, and hence its impacts on numerous other social, economic and environmental injustices by doing small things such as picking up any litter if we see it, bringing our own reusable bags for shopping and buying products that use little plastic or are made from recyclable products. In addition, each tree planted cuts CO2 emissions by 2kg a year, each recycling household saves 91kg, energy saving light bulbs 120kg, giving up car 2 tonnes and giving up meat 1.2 tonnes a year These figures alone may not seem big enough, but if we all did our part, we could help to mitigate the injustices placed upon people particularly vulnerable to climate change. But for that to happen, we need to change, all of us need to change. It’s either we change or the climate beats us to it.


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