5 Most Popular Posts of 2018 – Coalition of Museums for Climate Justice

steven vandesande / unsplash

From the practical to the philosophical, from the local to the international, from big to small museums of all types, the 2018 posts of the Coalition of Museums for Climate Justice Blog are provocative but full of hope. Here are the top five most visited blog posts … I encourage you to revisit them all. What do you think? Which are your favourites? Most useful? Please share your thoughts below.

#1 The True Costs of Collecting – Museums, Climate, and Carbon

In the most frequently read post of 2018 Erin Richardson and Douglas Worts explored the thought provoking questions – How much energy is required to maintain temperature and humidity levels inside a museum? Are collections really necessary? Read more here.

#2 Questioning the Sustainability of Museum Exhibit Design – Expensive to Build, Difficult to Change

Haida Heritage Centre at Kay Llnagaay, Skidegate, Haida Gwaii, B.C.

David Jensen questioned the traditional Canadian approach to museum exhibits, suggesting that permanent exhibits produce significant, unnecessary waste that eventually ends up in the land fill. So, for both financial and environmental reasons, we need to find a new way of doing things. Read more here.

#3 The Talanoa of Museums – Report from the first International Symposium on Climate Change and Museums, Manchester, UK

Participants in the first International Symposium on Museums and Climate Change, Manchester University, UK, April 11 – 13, 2018. Credit: Manchester Museum

We are acting beyond our museums, too. Sarah Sutton reminded us that we must change our practice as individuals and professionals, and that we must leverage the special value of museums to help others do so as well.

She wrote about a remarkable conference, organized by Henry McGhie, that used the Talanoa framework to encourage participants to plan their work by using three questions:

  • Where are we?
  • Where do we want to go?
  • How shall we get there?

It is how the supporters of the Paris Agreement are developing their work plans in support of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Read more here.

#4 The 5 Most Popular Museum Climate Action Stories of Year 1

Joshua Rawson-Harris / Unsplash

Bob Janes, Founder and Co-Chair of the Coalition of Museums for Climate Justice, told us here that two of the most important concrete actions museums can take to help their communities move toward climate solutions are to (1) form partnerships with environmental allies and (2) tell stories and educate. The first year of the Coalition of Museums for Climate Justice’s Climate Action Stories and Case Studies initiative worked toward sharing such stories and partnerships. Read more here.

#5 Toronto Museum Educators For Climate Justice Workshop – How We Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Systems Thinking

Folks and flip charts
Photo courtesy Megan Crawford

Megan Crawford reflected on a memorable workshop – Museums Educators for Climate Justice Workshop, held in Toronto on Jan. 22/18 – the purpose of which was to discover what museums, and other cultural centres, could do to help our communities mitigate climate change. She was expecting to learn some practical ways in which museums could address climate change.

I didn’t expect to reflect on the actual role of museums in communities; what is their purpose? Why are they here? However, this is exactly what happened.

Megan Crawford

Read more here.

Just a reminder that there are many “hidden gems” amongst our blog posts for 2018 that for whatever reason (timing, title, etc., etc.) did not make the list of greatest hits. I encourage you to check out the complete list here.

And, finally, a big THANK YOU to ALL the wonderful writers who contributed blog posts in 2018 – Sarah Sutton (multiple posts), Camille-Mary Sharp,(multiple posts) Megan Crawford, Erin Richardson, Douglas Worts (multiple posts), David Jensen,(multiple posts) Robert R. Janes, Jaime Clifton-Ross, Lynda Kelly, Rodney Rowland, Chantal Bilodeau, Marci Segal, Naomi Grattan, Lauren McCallum, Valentina Perzolla, Rebecca Shulman Herz, Joy Davis (multiple posts), M. Christine Castle (multiple posts), Kate Petrusa, George Farrell, Irina D. Mihalache, Robert Lapp, Lana Tran, Julie Tomé, and Peter Ord. Apologies if I have missed anyone!

We invite YOU to join this illustrious list. Write for the Coalition Blog in 2019! More information here.

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