A story of hope

The Whale Who Disappeared is a children's story with a difference...

As a writer immersed in the realm of digital communications, often confined to the glow of screens, it's easy to feel disconnected from the wild, untamed beauty of nature. The constant bombardment of alarming statistics and dire predictions only serves to heighten our eco-anxiety, often leaving us feeling powerless. It’s hard to imagine how you could ever have a positive or profound impact on it.

But that should never stop us from trying. Each day brings a deluge of scientific papers and data, warning us of impending environmental catastrophe. Yet, all too often, these warnings are either buried in the depths of academic journals, sensationalised by the media, or lost amidst the endless stream of digital noise that fills our lives.

Unless we tell a story.

Stories can captivate, inspire and move us to action. They provide a narrative framework through which we can make sense of the world around us, and envision a better future. And what better hero for our story than a child, armed with nothing but compassion and determination?

So I gave it a go.

A few years ago, I stumbled across a tweet that shook me to my core. It depicted a solitary whale, surrounded by a sea of orange dots symbolising boat traffic. The noise pollution from these vessels drowned out the whale's calls, leaving it unable to feed and ultimately starving to death. It was a haunting reminder of the devastating impact our current demands are having on the natural world.

The tweet performed well, but like all social media traffic, it moved along in the motorway of user-generated content and was soon forgotten. I wonder how many people changed their behaviour or challenged policies as a result of that scientific paper and tweet?

I decided to rewrite the ending of that story. I wanted to inject hope and empowerment into the narrative, to show that even the smallest of individuals can make a difference. So I penned a tale of a child who refused to accept the fate of the whale, who rallied others to her cause and sparked real change.

For those struggling to find hope amidst the doom and gloom, I urge you to seek out stories like these. There are many others out there. Stories have the power to remind us of our own agency, and the potential for change that lies within each of us.

I firmly believe that the key to creating change lies in normalising the behaviours we wish to see. By filling our children’s libraries and bookshelves with tales of conservation, restoration, and the triumph of the human spirit, we can inspire a new generation of environmental stewards, marine biologists and nature defenders.

So to all the storytellers out there, I issue a challenge: How will you use your platform to amplify the voices of those fighting for our planet? Will you rise to the occasion, and help us rewrite the story of our future?

The Whale Who Disappeared is published by Fisher King Publishing, and available to buy at Waterstones.

It is also available to buy via Amazon.