by Julian Cirineo | April 22, 2022| Published by Rappler | READ THE STORY HERE

Through poems, pictures, and stories – see how the world is changing from those closely watching

I wouldn’t call myself an environmentalist, but there was a brief period in my life when I was working actively to get environmental stories out there. And I do carry the same fear and frustrations that many in the environmental sector feel nowadays.

Many of my friends and former colleagues are disheartened by the apathy and sometimes animosity that people (whether the public, the government, or corporations) show towards efforts to reverse climate change. And in reading Harvest Moon: Poems and Stories from the Edge of the Climate Crisis, I’m given an even clearer picture of how the lack of action is affecting people on the ground.

Harvest Moon: Poems and Stories from the Edge of the Climate Crisis isn’t like any other book about the environment. Here, we read through the perspectives of people who either experienced disaster firsthand or have been closely watching how the world is changing for the worse.

In these beautifully designed and curated pages are haunting realities of flood and drought, deforestation, hunger, and other forms of devastation brought about by global warming written as essays or poetry. The book is also hopeful, being a collection of stories meant to call for more concrete and urgent action.

Harvest Moon is unique and refreshing as it tells the narratives of those from underrepresented parts of the world, and away from the usual western perspective. It contains 30 images and over 30 written works across 24 different countries in 11 different languages. The book features writers, photographers, activists, and artists from Africa, Asia, the Pacific, and Latin America.

The group behind the book, Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities’ Agam Agenda project, gathered different photographs and showed them to chosen contributors who used these images to draw out emotions and experiences to write about.

They were asked not to use any jargon or cliches to veer away from the usual storytelling used to describe the climate crisis.

“Through Harvest Moon, we hope to show that art and literature have a role to play, not just in communicating climate change, but also in accompanying us through the crisis, providing solace, companionship, and opening portals to new possibilities,” said Padmapani L. Perez, lead strategist for the Agam Agenda and Asia editor during the press launch of the book.

“The new works in this book counter this with language and stories that make the crisis legible and that bring it home for those of us who are most vulnerable to its effects. This book is a gathering of diverse voices, thanks to the work of my co-editors Rehana Rossouw, Alexandra Walter, and Red Constantino,” she added.

And I wholeheartedly agree. Experiences here were relatable, to say the least.

I envied Leila Mcleod’s story as she described how her parents readily agreed to stop using plastic bags in their home as I personally have become an unwilling participant in a capitalist society heavily reliant on plastic packaging. Mcleod was among the teenagers who participated in a school strike and marched to Sweden’s parliament for climate change as inspired by Greta Thunberg.

When I read the beginning of Marjorie Evasco’s Farol De Combate, I remembered what it was like to hear Typhoon Ondoy finally stop its downpour, and realizing how much of our house was underwater back in 2009. Evasco’s words – “The rain falls lighter now and I gaze at the dark descended onto our town” – brought memories of resigning myself to the tragedy as if it were just yesterday.

These were but some of the many pieces in here that touched me, and by sharing them here I hope you’re touched by them too. Or at the very least, I hope this convinces you enough to grab a copy.

Harvest Moon: Poems and Stories from the Edge of the Climate Crisis isn’t a book explaining how climate change occurs. It doesn’t break down the science behind global warming. It’s a book about how close to our daily lives climate change really is – that it’s happening now. The book gives us a firsthand look at how the climate crisis is affecting people across the globe on a personal level. –

Learn more about the Agam Agenda at, or follow their Instagram.