Communal Listening for Climate Action


  • Garth Paine Professor of Digital Sound and Interactive Media, School of Arts Media and Engineering, Arizona State University
  • Celia Yang PhD. Candidate, School of Arts Media and Engineering, Arizona State University


environmental listening, climate change, agency, stewardship, placemaking, community engagement


This paper outlines a new initiative to establish a community embedded Environmental Listening Network that teaches environmental listening skills and conducts regular listening events free in the community. Using a network of key partnerships, it aims to share this simple yet powerful method of environmental engagement worldwide. An Environmental Listening Field Guide is in development for broad distributed. 

This approach addresses several challenges. The first is that the time commitment and financial commitment associated with engaging in environmental listening is minimal. All socio-economic groups can engage in these activities equally. Environmental listening can be practice daily, wherever the listener finds themselves. So doing helps develop an awareness of the subtleties of the ecosystem in which we live. As individual action is increasingly amplified by social media, the empowerment of individuals is one of the most powerful ways to achieve climate action, individual behavior must change.

Environmental Listening is an effective strategy for bringing about these changes and a key tool in addressing climate impact. The Community Environmental Listening Project envisions a future where, through acoustic ecology, people embrace their presence on the land on which they live to understand and foster a balanced ecosystem.