Interview with Willow Defebaugh, Editor-in-cheif of Atmos
We are excited to share our most recent interview! We speak with Willow Defebaugh, Editor-in-cheif of climate and culture platform and magazine Atmos. We ask about all things Atmos, being part of the climate movement, what's inspiring Willow and more!
1. Atmos is an exploration of climate and culture, a biannual magazine and digital platform curated by an ecosystem of adventurers, creatives, and journalists dedicated to pioneering progress around the world. Congratulations on the latest Volume, could you share the mission and vision behind this?
Our mission with Atmos comes down to our guiding belief that if we want to change the story of the climate crisis, we have to change the storytelling—meaning that we need stories told by and centering the people who are most impacted, stories that illuminate how the climate crisis is a human crisis, that uplift and inspire meaningful change. Volume 05: Hive explores synergy and symbiosis, decolonization and different examples of community in the natural world (including among humankind). It’s a testament to the power of collaboration.
2. Have you always been passionate about climate and progressive ideas to help shape our world? Where did your passions develop and stem from?
I would say that I have always been passionate about nature—about ideas and stories that bring us back to nature and remind us that we are inseparable from it. That passion can be traced back to a lifelong enchantment with the Earth. When I look at the intricacies and interconnectivity of ecosystems, I can’t help but see it all as magic. When you see the world through a lens of wonder, there can be no doubt in your mind that it’s worth giving your all to protect it.
3. What platforms/ individuals inspire you most within the area you work?
Whether we’re working with Future Earth, Intersectional Environmentalist, Parley for the Oceans, or Lonely Whale, one of the most rewarding aspects of being part of the environmental movement is how collaborative it is. It truly feels like an ecosystem—one that we are grateful to be a part of.
4. The latest Volume explores the need to work together in order to restore balance between our ecology and humankind. The Volume refers to healing that’s needed in order to move forward, could you share with us your view on healing as a method to create change?
Health and holism go hand in hand. Western medicine is finally beginning to understand that you can’t treat the disease by only addressing the symptoms, anymore than you can heal a tree without going to the root. I believe the same is true for the climate crisis. We have to go to the root of it, which is our perceived separation from nature. It is a spiritual and psychological change that needs to occur, not just a behavioural one. Healing happens from within.
5. If you had to select one inspiring story or feature from the latest Volume, which would it be and why?
I’m a total fungi geek, so I’d have to say the interview between Whitney Bauck and mycologist Merlin Sheldrake, who is the author of Entangled Life. They talk about everything we have to learn from fungi, from the climate solutions they are already helping us develop to the spiritual wisdom inherent in how they exist and embody collaboration and connection. Alexandra Von Fuerst created a beautifully psychedelic series of images to accompany it as well. That story perfectly encapsulates what the issue and Atmos are all about.