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Jess Bugg
You Had to Be There
Jess Bugg , author
You Had to Be There is an unconventional, interdisciplinary reconsideration of established themes surrounding climate change. Alternating between the academic and the personal, Jess Bugg reaches a unique, and ultimately hopeful, conclusion. Operating at the crossroads of memoir, academia, and literature, You Had to Be There offers a fresh, hopeful perspective on the seemingly hopeless subject of climate grief. Over the course of eleven essays, interrogations, and reflections, the author invites readers to examine the ways in which the media influences our reaction to the events befalling us, not only in how we feel but also in how we behave in the face of such overwhelming circumstances. From TED Talks to Camus, from My Octopus Teacher to The New York Times, Jess Bugg examines what the culture is serving us about climate change—what we should be discarding and what we should be taking to heart. One of a vanishingly small number of graduates from RISD’s Nature, Culture, and Sustainability program, the author has spent years considering the question of where to turn once you pass the tipping point and writes about the small acts that might keep us afloat even if they don’t promise to save us.