Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Can cli-fi novels and movies help us combat climate change? Federico Kukso in Argentia say yes! (English translation here)


Can fiction help us combat climate change?

關於「cli-fi」的報導圖片 (來源:LA NACION (Argentina))

¿Puede la ficción ayudarnos a combatir el cambio climático?

LA NACION (Argentina)-2018年1月21日
El encanto fúnebre de ciudades sumergidas y la sutil atmósfera de melancolía que envolvía los últimos vestigios de una civilización prácticamente perdida para siempre fascinaban al escritor inglés, que, a su modo, se adelantaba a lo que recién en 2004 el periodista Dan Bloom bautizaría como " cli-fi" o ...
JG Ballard and Margaret Atwood, among others, and now many 
novelists ecological disasters have reported 
that since the empathy that generates a story, 
perhaps arouse greater awareness of the risks of global warming
Federico Kukso 
 1 january 21, 2018
via Google Translate Machine
Credit: Pablo Feliz

...Climate change and turbulence literature. 
And now, with warmth, a certain sector of literature seeks not so much change the weather -so altered for more than 150 years ago by human beings but rather to channel the global conversation, encourage adaptation to the climate crisis that already throbs and it is forecast to get worse. "Climate change not only affects the climate. It involves political, economic, cultural changes. It is already causing displaced, new refugees, riots," says the Italian writer Bruno Arpaia. His novel,Something out there -recently presented in the cycle "Narratives of reality" of the National University of San Martin, is around 2070, when the planet has warmed while the United States and some parts of Europe they have collapsed to drought and desertification. Amid political, economic and military, masses of refugees escaping conflict, seeking to reach the new paradise: the Nordic countries, Siberia or Canada, benefiting areas climate changes. "It's not about a dystopian and apocalyptic novel he insists. It is a realistic novel. I pose scenarios that scientists foresee, what will happen if we do nothing."
When JG Ballard wrote The submerged world (1962), the words "global warming" had not yet entered the public vocabulary, shaken more by terms such as "acid rain" and "thermonuclear war". The funeral charm of sunken cities and the subtle atmosphere of melancholy that enveloped the last vestiges of an almost lost civilization forever fascinated the English writer who, in his way, was ahead of what until 2004 the American journalist Dan Bloom coined ther term " cli-fi "or climate fiction; that is, stories that they borrow from their didactic fables intended to ethical and universal character to explore imaginary future, warn climate scenarios that await us and amplify the debate.
"The succession of huge geological upheavals that transformed the Earth's climate had begun sixty or seventy years ago," JG Ballard wrote  in his novel. "The average temperature rose a few degrees per year, worldwide. The tropics were soon uninhabitable and entire populations migrated, escaping at temperatures of 50 and 60 degrees. [...] Continued warming had begun to melt the polar ice caps. Tens of thousands of floes of the Arctic circle, Greenland and northern Europe spilled into the sea. "

Direct emotions

Unlike the daily bombing and depressive temperature increases, megatormentas, polar melting, ecological disasters and other tragedies that its saturating effect-and disturbing-shake our indifference rather than call to action, this rising new literary genre climate-themed novels appeal empathy and amend what many psychiatrists already know: the facts and information alone will not change our opinions on a topic.
We are more emotional than rational beings. Through his dramatic scaffolding, the cli-finovels are able to bring about a transformation: manage climate change - a problem considered abstract, alien, distant, inabarcable- an urgent threat, close, all becomes. "The goal is to reach people with -Indicates Bloom- emotions. Attract not only climate activists but also some of the deniers".
In 2005, the British writer Robert Macfarlane in a Guardian essay titled THE BURNING QUESTION asked, "Where are the novels, plays, poems, songs, on our contemporary climate anxiety?". Gradually emerges an answer. [Note, also in 2005, American activist Bill McKibben also wrote a similar essay in Grist magazine with the exact same theme and topic as the essay Macfarlane wrote. The topic was in the air. They both caught it at the same time, more or less'
Ian McEwan was dispatched with his scientific satire Solar. Social chaos and despair caused by environmental disasters seeped into the trilogy of novels Oryx and Crake, the year of the flood and MaddAdam, Margaret Atwood; Also, in Far North ecoapocalíptica, Marcel Theroux; Back to the Garden, Canadian Clara Hume; Odds Against Tomorrow,Nathaniel Rich, and the amazing novels Paolo Bacigalupi The Windup Girl and The Water Knife.
"History shows that the worst crises can lead to unity , " said the Finnish novelist Antti Tuomainen, who in his novel The Healer escapes the cliches of the disaster literature and unveiled a cli-fi thriller: the story of a murderer who kills family employers to blame for the constant rains, epidemics, the crisis of climate refugees in Helsinki and in the world.

.....Kim Stanley Robinson has proven to be one of the most present and strong voices in this field so often disparaged from the ivory tower of high literature. After getting tired of imagining human expansion for our small solar system (for example, in his trilogy Red Mars, Green Mars and Blue Mars), this American writer returned to Earth dream. In his ambitious and recent New York 2140, situated in a future not too distant or too close, climate change has worsened and millions of people have died. The waters rose about 15 meters and much of the Big Apple has become a "SuperVenecia". The great enemy is savage capitalism, greed, inequality. Unlike news headlines and weather feed our nihilism and choke us with heaping images of desperation, Robinson injected into his book necessary dose of optimism: despite the ecological disaster, New Yorkers manage to adapt. The climate crisis shakes the lives of thousands, but does not mean the end of civilization. "Life is robust writes the author. It is stronger than money, that weapons and bad policies. It is stronger than capitalism. With climate change will not end the world. That means that climate change we will have are dealing with a lot of new problems, but the apocalypse has come. "

Living in fiction

Since traveled to Antarctica in 1995 and was surprised by what he saw, Robinson has been obsessed with climate change. In his trilogy Science in the Capital -written during the presidency of George W. Bush and also located in the cercano- future ecological catastrophe strikes Washington: first, the overflowing of the Potomac River, and then days of clashes between untie deep freeze researchers and bureaucrats of a system that denies the reality and resist policy change. "My original idea was to write a realistic novel as if it counts science fiction. This approach seemed the most appropriate because these days we live in a science fiction novel that we are writing together."
As the biosphere, the solar system, a black hole or Internet, the British philosopher Timothy Morton who teaches now in Texas sees climate change as a very big topic which is such a big phenomenon in time and space that we can not grasp or understand fully . We see only blurred fragments. Only through the humanities-the art, music, literature-says, we feel our new reality and thus leave only thinking about climate change to begin to feel crumbles around our planet, becoming less hospitable world like we had taken for granted.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Cli-Fi Short stories from Germany in German -- Der Schnee von morgen: 2017 Collection of Cli-Fi Short Stories

Die besten 23 Kurzgeschichten zum Thema Klimawandel aus dem Wettbewerb von TOR ONLINE präsentiert modernphantastik in dieser lesenswerten, spannenden Anthologie. Was wäre wenn ... lassen Sie sich in die unterschiedlichsten Zukunftsszenarien begleiten, erleben Sie spannende, komische, tragische und hoffnungsvolle Momente, wenn es darum geht, was uns ein Klimawandel bescheren würde. Oder wenden wir ihn ab? Unsere visionären AutorInnen sind: die Gewinnerin des Wettbewerbs Lisa-Marie Reuter, Anja Bagus, Regine Bott, Ulf Fildebrandt, Wolf Welling, Friedhelm Schneidewind, Bernhard Kempen, Andrea Bannert, Maike Braun, Stefan Lammers, Chris Schlicht, Lars Hannig, Susanne Richter, R. West, Sabine Frambach, Johann Seidl, Jasmin Aurel, Christian Schmidt, Anne Neuschwander, Jens Berke, Tristan Mahlow, Sandra Florean und Sven Draht. Viel Spaß allen Lesern!

Der Schnee von morgen: 2017 Collection of Cli-Fi Short Stories --- Kindle Edition

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

How the Human World Is Going to End: A Prediction and a Prophecy from a Modern-Day Jeremiah (Dan Bloom's Generous 3000-Year Timeline: Read it and Weep)

UPDATE: This oped should *not* be seen as taking pressure off need to tackle climate change.
 - Dan Bloom notes

Photo by Sci-Fi Author Yann Quero in France at a church in northeast France near the ocean where the limestone statue has become weather-beaten by, well, the weather....

Q. and A.

Q. Why did you write this future envisioning essay?
A. I wanted to leave a message to the deep future before I die in 2025. It's also a visionary oped for the present. Readers can make of it what they will. It's not going to be a cli-fi novel or a sci-fi movie. It's just a vision I wanted to share before I depart the mortal coil.
Do you expect anyone to take it seriously? I mean, you have no credentials, no academic sponsorships, no PhD, no degrees in theology or climate science. You're nothing but an unaffiliated gadfly.
I expect a few people to take me seriously. I'll be happy with ten positive reactions. I didn't write this for mass appeal. I wrote it for those who "get it."
Get what?
Get that we as a species are doomed by our own hand, by our own making, by our own greed and divorce from nature. We blew it. This is what we get. It's a good theme and subject for future clifi novels to explore, perhaps in published novels in 2030 or 2040.
So you wrote this for novelists and movie producers to read?
Yes. It's not for scientists or academics or newspaper editors. For the most part, ther are all frozen to their careers and can't face reality. Or visions.
Do you think you can monetize this timeline?
No way! This is beyond money. Don't you get it yet?
As an interviewer I need to ask questions. I thought you might want to monetize your brand.
I don't have a brand. I'm a one man band banging on a wall that doesn't transmit sound. That's why I chose to release this in print. Words sometimes have wings. Let's see.
One more question. Are you off your rocker?
Well, at my age, I'm just getting used to my rocking chair, an old man's leisure.
So you're not worried about the future of humankind in terns of global warming.?
I'm very worried. But I don't let that stress me out. I'm a very laid back visionary. Take me as you wish. I'm not seeking approval or applause. I'm beyond that.
Oh really?
You sound like a very grounded, balanced gadfly.
Thanks. That's my M.O.
AND A COMMENT ON THE OPED BY A TOP LITERARY CRITIC IN INDIA: "While fixing timelines is slightly problematic, changes are already visible. Whether these are major or minor is debatable. Think of resurgent diseases fr example. For those living in low lying coastal zones & small islands the threat is existential & immediate ''
AN ARTICLE IN THE GUARDIAN ON JANUARY 18, 2018 with headline and subheadline:



So many people are divided into two camps relating to global warming and climate change. There are those like David Wells-Wallace who see the worst-case scenarios and say these events will occur in the next 100 years. He's wrong of course. These events will occur but not for another 500 to 1000 years. See The Cli-Fi Report for details

And then there are those naive people who still cling to hope that technology or God or human resourcefulness will save us from the coming Climapocalypse and these people are also wrong, though bless 'em for their optimism and hopefulness. Remember the late great Walter Benjamin once said "Hope if for the hopeless."

And there's experts like Dr Charles Geisler, an emeritus development sociologist at Cornell University, who has predicted that 2 billion people may be displaced by rising sea levels by the year 2100.

He is SO wrong! Not gonna happen for another 500 to 1000 years. SEE BELOW.

Geisler says coastal peoples will press inland, while farmland off the coasts is likely to be increasingly compromised by drought and desertification. He concludes: “Bottom line: Far more people are going to be living on far less land, and land that is not as fertile and habitable and sustainable as the low-elevation coastal zone... And it’s coming at us faster than we thought.”

Kids now in just 5 and 8 years old  will be in their 80s .... when Geisler's predictions will not come to pass. These kids today can’t, of course, know about any of these possible catastrophes, but we adults already sense that they’re picking up on something subtly fragile and vulnerable about our relatively settled lives together. How do we respond to them? What do we as a parent do in the face of such a potentially bleak future?  How and when do we break news like that? Are we supposed to help our children and grandchildren cultivate a taste for crickets instead of hamburger or start building a solar powered hydroponic farm in our basement? Worse yet, whatever we could imagine suggesting wouldn’t be enough. It wouldn’t protect them. It wouldn’t even prepare them for such a future.

Well, I've been thinking about all thsi for the past ten years, every since the IPCC report came out. And those interviews with James Lovelock. And working on my Cli-Fi Report website as a platform for novelists and movie producers to create cli-fi novels and movies warning us of what is coming down the road. Most people are not listening to me, and I don't blame. It just doesn't compute for most people today in West or the East or in Africa or anyway on Earth. But there are those who do "get it" and I am one of those. Please don't accept me at my words below. Do your own research and come up with your own plans and strategies. But this is how I see the future coming at us and I say this with all due respect for my friends who are still hopeful and want to be optimists. They are wrong. THIS is what is going to happen but I am giving you a generous timeline so don't panic and don't fret, There is still time to prepare our descendants 30 to 60 generatiosn down the road for the End. How to prepare for their End. Our End? It's not going to happen in our lifetime so stop worrying. Write a good cli-fi novel instead about all this.



2018 - 2100 ---- (nothing much changes. Basically the same as today, no big changes)

2100 to 2150  --  (nothing much changes. Basically the same as today, no big changes)

2150 to 2200 -- (more heat waves, floods, droughts, but no major sea level rises...)

2200 to 2300  -- (more heatwaves, floods, droughts, but no mjaor sea level rises...)

2300 - 2500 -- (OKAY, things now grow tragic, yes and BILLIONS die in massive human die-offs worldwide, with some 25 billion people fated to die unspeakable, unfathomable, tragic deaths)

2500 - 3000 A.D. -- (Humanity dies off, remnants of the human race are left behind in some rare pockets of survival, perhaps a total of 10,000 humans are left on Earth by the year 3000 A.D.)

3000 - 5000 A.D. -- END OF HUMAN LIFE ON EARTH.....

So stop complaining. Quitcherbellyaching. We are done for as a species, but not yet, not now, and not any time soon. But yes, the End will come within the next 30 to 60 generations of man (WOMAN) and then it will be all over. What can we do? PREPARE PREPARE PREPARE: mentally, spiritually, psychogically, stoicly, bravely, existentially. This is the truth. All else is wishful "sell those magazines and books" wishful thinking.

My advice to novelists? Write that cli-fi novel now. Soon. There is still time to warn the future.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Du « nature writing » à la « climate fiction » by CLAIRE PERRIN in FRANCE


At the turn of the years 2010, the American press reminisced about the emergence of a new literary genre, the "CLI-fi" (for climate fiction), a term coined in 2008 by the writer and blogger Dan bloom. The novels of "Climate fiction" generally take the form of stories post-apocalyptic views where the characters are evolving in a world ravaged by the effects of climate change.
If the novels of CLI-fi are praised by the American press to the sympathy ecologists, they remain stationed in France to a niche audience.
The "nature writing" to the "climate fiction" in
the United States, the popularity and the number of the novels of CLI-fi can be explained first by the cultural importance of the nature in this country. Include here the poet Walt Whitman and philosophers Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson, who were among the first helped to make the nature The main character in the novel American national.
By contrast, French literature is passionate about the city: at Victor Hugo, Honoré de Balzac or Charles Baudelaire, it is Paris, interiors, the arts, in short everything that falls under the "culture" and "civilization" which seems worthy of fiction. The nature and the campaign - that this either in the fields of Guy de Maupassant or well in Madame Bovary Gustave Flaubert - are the theater of the debasement morale.
If the nature becomes a subject of interest for the french readers, which is reflected in the return in vogue works of Henry David Thoreau, the subject seems to remain confined to the literature of test or to travel stories as in Sylvain Tesson.
The late arrival of the Cli-fi in France can also be explained by a certain literary elitism disdaining still largely science-fiction, which approximates quite naturally this new kind.

The question of the dangers of over-exploitation of nature and the dream of terraforming other planets is indeed at the heart of many science fiction novels, in the image of Dune (1965) of Frank Herbert. Also include J.G. Ballard who published a year before the classic of Herbert drought, the third component of its quadrilogie of worlds devastated; there depicts a revelation caused by the disappearance of the terrestrial them under the effect of the industrial pollution of the oceans.
But it is possible to raise the climate fiction even further. With the Grapes of Wrath of John Steinbeck (1939), for example. There discovers the social consequences of the climate episode of the "dust bowl" of the 1930s during which dust storms pounded the American Great Plains. Climatologists and historians of the environment agree today to say that the Dust Bowl was the direct consequence of agricultural techniques deleterious.
Against the Crazy dreams of the Geo-engineering
Another characteristic of the science-fiction is to denounce societies grayed out by their innovation capacity, control of the nature, scientific and technological progress. Derived from the Sci-Fi, the CLI-fi does not escape the rule.
One of the most striking examples is found in the American Paolo Bacigalupi. Crowned in 2010 by the prices Nebula and Hugo for his first book The Daughter plc, Paolo Bacigalupi was long a journalist within the review ecologist High Country News. The author depicts in his novel A world struck by a shortage of petroleum resources and a rise of the levels of the oceans due to climate warming.
In 2015, Paolo Bacigalupi publishes a second novel of CLI-fi, the Water knife. There described, in a context of apocalyptic drought linked to human activities, the struggle between the States of the American Southwest for the access to the water of the Colorado River. Under the crushing sun of the Arizona desert, the inhabitants of Phoenix are reduced to drink their own urine recycled…
The more fortunate, as to them, survive comfortably under domes artificially recreating of ecosystems paradise. This type of construction, project in several major cities of the world poses for Bacigalupi several essential questions: who will have access? And what about the nature outside of these structures?

Denouncing both capitalism and the dreams of geo-engineering of multinational firms, the novels of Paolo Bacigalupi illustrate the fringe of the Cli-fi the most politicized and the more invested by the question of human responsibilities in the climate change.

Meeting with Paolo Bacigalupi (Laurence Honnorat/YouTube, 2016).
A response to the Climatic scepticism
in a context where climatic personalities-skeptical occupy in the United States The highest functions, a literary genre such as the Cli-fi can truly do the work of resistance.
In seeking to awaken consciences to the help of apocalyptic narratives, the CLI-fi thus joins the rhetoric of environmentalists Americans and Europeans denouncing the overexploitation of the nature and the absence of suitable reaction in the face of climate change.
These eschatological accents expose however the novelists of the criticism of environmentalists more moderate : represent the global warming phenomenon as an apocalyptic returns to cut the grass under the foot in risking to ignore the public of the question, convinced by these works that there is nothing more to do.
The stories rather than of the curves of CO2
If the CLI-fi is often catastrophiste, it is not limited to the stories of prefabricated apocalypses.
In 2017, appeared in French The Sands of the Amargosa (of the clear Caliornienne Vaye Watkins. While the Climate Change comprised the central subject of the novel of Paolo Bacigalupi, they appear here as a rear-realistic plan of the story featuring a torque of Californians trying to survive drought in joining the followers of a guru water witch and manipulator.

Another amazing aspect, Claire Vaye Watkins lists, in chapters pastichant the great naturalists and American explorers, new animal species emerged with the climate change.
For this which is of the Cli-fi French, we can cite the novel distant land of Pierre-Yves Touzot. Post-apocalyptic without pay in the sensationalism, this novel begins on the awakening of a character, who know neither his identity nor its past, in an environment populated by strange creatures and familiar to the time in which it will attempt to survive and to understand what happened during his sleep. On 300 pages, Pierre-Yves Touzot presents accurately and accessible all theories and scientific data to take the measure of the environmental crisis.
Achieve the imaginary
C is the whole challenge of the climate fiction: expose the magnitude of the environmental crisis and civilizational to mobilize consciences. The common point between the works of CLI-fi is not both the place accorded to the environment that this direct link that they trace between human activities and climate change.
The fiction climate may today constitute an effective weapon for the defenders of the environment: after having heard the multiple cries of alarm researchers, read with horror the IPCC reports and followed all the campaigns to raise awareness of the issue of climate, it may be surprising - with Bruno Latour (face-to-Gaia), Clive Hamilton (Requiem for the human species) and all other thinkers of the environmental question - that nothing has yet been done to the extent of the problem. Using the medium of the story and that of the literature, it was to be hoped that the authors of CLI-Fi will bring their stone to this necessary awareness.
It is very possible that those who read the CLI-fi are already sensitive to these issues, it may be hoped that readers of science-fiction still little responsive to the dangers of climate change will have a change of opinion by immersing herself in a novel of Paolo Bacigalupi, Claire Vaye Watkins or Pierre-Yves Touzot.
In any event, it must rejoice in the growing presence of the climate issue in all forms of art. In populating now the imaginary, it becomes more and more difficult to ignore.


 Robin MacArthur publlished a

collection of short stories, HALF WILD, published by ECCO (Harper Collins) in 2016. She is a freelance writer, educator, musician (Red Heart the Ticker) and mother of two who lives on the rock-studded hillside where she was born in southern Vermont.

Now in her early 40s, Robin got an MFA in Fiction from 
Vermont College of Fine Arts  and a BA from Brown University.

 When not writing, she spends her time prying rocks out of unruly garden soil, picking blackberries and raspberries outside her back door, and traipsing through woods with her big-hearted and half-wild children.

Vermont ''cli-fi'' novel debut by Robin MacArthur illuminates ''spiritual substance during dark times''


Kevin O'Connor reviews for

Book excerpt:

Robin MacArthur

The darkest night of the year. An ice storm. A party! She puts on her warmest boots and coat, gathers the champagne she bought three days ago for this occasion. She’s about to leave when she sees the deer vertebra and her mother’s sneaker on the kitchen counter. An unbearable shrine. She places them in a paper bag, tucks it under her arm, and sets off up the hill to Hazel’s house.
She has to punch through the crust with the heel of her boot to not slide, barely makes it up the already ice-slicked field. But if there’s going to be an ice storm, the old house is the place to be. She wonders how many ice storms its bones have stood through. And isn’t this what people have always done — will continue to do — during dark times: gather?
— Robin MacArthur, from her novel “Heart Spring Mountain”

Robin MacArthur won the publishing lottery when HarperCollins offered her a book contract to pen a novel that depicts how climate change — and, specifically, 2011’s Tropical Storm Irene — can alter the course of land and life.

Then the 2016 presidential election hit her with an equally hard wallop. Could a leader of the free world actually doubt the science behind her book, the Marlboro writer wondered, and who would want to read fiction when reality had turned so surreal?

Nevertheless, she persisted.

“I realized this is very relevant,” MacArthur says, “because it’s about how we find spiritual substance during dark times.”

 “Heart Spring Mountain'',
tackles global warming — as well as heroin addiction and women’s struggles — at the most local level.

She wrote some short stories as a teenager and take her first writing class in her 20s. But juggling marriage, music, two young children and a hammer to build a family house in Vermont, she kept her words confined to her computer.

Then an editor at HarperCollins contacted her and offered to publish a collection of her short stories, 2016’s PEN/New England Award-winning “Half Wild,” with the contract calling for a follow-up book -- a novel.

“There is no better way to force oneself to write a novel,” she says, “than to have a contract to write one.”

And so the author came up with a three-generation family of characters — including a farming widow, a back-to-the-land dreamer and an owl-loving hermit — and a plot set in the days and weeks after the Aug. 28, 2011, storm that ravaged her southeastern Vermont hometown.
Robin MacArthur

“I quote writer Evan Pritchard in the novel, who says, ‘To do damage to the earth does spiritual damage as well.’ This book is, in some ways, about that spiritual damage — what does it feel like to live in this time of disconnection — from community, from the land, from families — and this time where the most basic of givens — seasons, food cycles — have been upended? Will we have apples? Will there be honeybees? When and where will the next catastrophic storm strike?”

MacArthur labels the book “a meditation on what we do with this spiritual malaise.”

Others have called it a poetic cli-fi novel,part of the new literary genre of climate fiction, dubbed cli-fi, about global warming and climate changes memes.

“I wrote the first fragments of this book 9 years ago when I was first becoming a mother. The concerns then were how to love and give of oneself and do so well. I picked the book up 6 years later and my concerns were different. All I could think about were the ailments of the world and how they were linked. How the machinations of capitalization had led to a loss of connection to one another and to the natural landscape, to the wisdom of our ancestors. At that point the question of the book became we are so broken, everywhere. How do we heal?”

Library Journal may sum up her novel as “soberingly relevant,” but the book also contains what Kirkus Reviews calls “a sliver of optimism.”

“We find community and connection where we are,” MacArthur says. “We find communion in the most old-fashioned of ways — with food, and wine, and music, and art and candlelight. Ultimately, this is a story about hope. Dark times are here, and more dark times await us, but love and connection and resiliency can be found, and will hold us when they are.”