Home / World News / The Optimism of Young Climate Activists and the Secret Sounds of ‘Dune’: The Week in Narrated Articles

The Optimism of Young Climate Activists and the Secret Sounds of ‘Dune’: The Week in Narrated Articles

This weekend, listen to a collection of narrated articles from around The New York Times, read aloud by the reporters who wrote them.

Alaina Wood is well aware that, planetarily speaking, things aren’t looking so great. She’s read the dire climate reports, tracked cataclysmic weather events and gone through more than a few dark nights of the soul.

She is also part of a growing cadre of people, many of them young, who are fighting climate doomism, the notion that it’s too late to turn things around. They believe that focusing solely on terrible climate news can sow dread and paralysis, foster inaction, and become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

“People are almost tired of hearing how bad it is; the narrative needs to move onto solutions,” said Ms. Wood, 25, a sustainability scientist who communicates much of her climate messaging on TikTok, the most popular social media platform among young Americans. “The science says things are bad. But it’s only going to get worse the longer it takes to act.”

Some climate advocates refer to the stance taken by Ms. Wood and her allies as “OK Doomer,” a riff on “OK Boomer,” the Gen Z rebuttal to condescension from older people.

In April 2019, Marie Yovanovitch was abruptly recalled from her post as the ambassador to Ukraine, ordered to return to the United States “immediately,” though at the time she wasn’t told why.

“The State Department, my home of 30-plus years, was kicking me to the curb,” Ms. Yovanovitch writes in her absorbing new memoir, “Lessons From the Edge.” “This was not the way I had ever imagined my career as a diplomat ending: being pulled out of post in the middle of the night, under a dark cloud, to face an uncertain future.”

That uncertain future would eventually include her memorable testimony at the first impeachment of President Donald Trump in November 2019, when Ms. Yovanovitch explained how she wasn’t surprised that Ukrainians who had long benefited from corruption had sought to remove her, but she hadn’t expected officials in her own country to green-light, much less actively encourage, such machinations.

In her memoir, Ms. Yovanovitch explores the experience of testifying at the impeachment and recounts her career in public service.

“Dune” is in the details, and Denis Villeneuve knows nearly all of them. But recently in Malibu, Calif., as he regarded a blue cereal box with evident amusement, Mr. Villeneuve admitted that one key detail had eluded him until now. “I’m learning today there were Rice Krispies in ‘Dune,’” he said.

Pouring Rice Krispies onto sand was one of the techniques the Oscar-nominated sound editors Mark Mangini and Theo Green used to enliven Arrakis, the desert planet where the “Dune” hero Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet) discovers his destiny.

“Dune” is full of those clever, secret noises, nearly all of which are derived from real life: Of the 3,200 bespoke sounds created for the movie, only four were made solely with electronic equipment and synthesizers. Mr. Green noted that with many science-fiction and fantasy films, there is a tendency to indicate futurism by using sounds that we’ve never heard before.

“But it was very much Denis’s vision that this movie should feel every bit as familiar as certain areas of planet Earth,” Green said. “We’re not putting you in a sci-fi movie, we’re putting you in a documentary about people on Arrakis.”

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline — the number posted on student identification cards, atop Google search results and in warning labels on television shows — is about to get a major reboot, casting it as the 911 for mental health.

With an infusion of federal money, the upgraded lifeline starting in July will have its own three-digit number, 988, and operators who will not only counsel callers but also eventually be equipped to dispatch specially trained responders. That will reduce interventions by armed law enforcement and reliance on emergency rooms — and ultimately keep people alive, advocates say.

But there are growing concerns that the 24-hour hotline, already straining to meet demand, will not be able to deliver on the promises of the overhaul unless states supplement the federal money with significant funds for staffing, according to interviews and government reports.

Charles E. Entenmann, whose very surname conjures a white-and-blue box with a cellophane glimpse of some baked treat that is both good and bad for you, died last month at age 92.

His passing reminds the Times writer Dan Barry of what Entenmann’s meant, and still does, in its birthplace — banana crunch, polysorbate 60 and all.

“For some self-conscious fans, buying an Entenmann’s pastry may call for a little wink-and-nod,” writes Mr. Barry, “but Long Island working-class families like mine believed that a box of Entenmann’s conveyed class. It would be on proud display in the kitchen, prominent on the refrigerator or displacing plastic flowers as the table centerpiece.”



The Times’s narrated articles are made by Tally Abecassis, Parin Behrooz, Anna Diamond, Sarah Diamond, Jack D’Isidoro, Aaron Esposito, Dan Farrell, Elena Hecht, Adrienne Hurst, Elisheba Ittoop, Emma Kehlbeck, Marion Lozano, Tanya Pérez, Krish Seenivasan, Margaret H. Willison, Kate Winslett, John Woo and Tiana Young. Special thanks to Sam Dolnick, Ryan Wegner, Julia Simon and Desiree Ibekwe.

About brandsauthority

Check Also

ALM, ALW set to launch maiden pride round

The A-League intends to launch its first pride round across both the men’s and women’s …

%d bloggers like this: