Monday, July 10, 2017

When essayist David Wallace-Wells speaks about The End of the World, all hell breaks loose on the internet

Well, it had to happen sooner or later. A reporter in New York with a good track record of writing cogent, powerful essays on a variety of topics finally bored into the subject of global warming and the future of humankind. He said things will end in this century. Others replied that his ideas were "climate porn."
Dozens of magazine articles appeared the very next day taking issue with the original article, although a few took the author's side in the brouhaha. No matter what side of the climate debate you are on, all this is must-reading in the summer of 2017.
One thing I found a bit disconcerting was that neither the author, 30-something David Wallace-Wells, a well-known New York journalist, nor any of his critics mentioned or even discussed the rising genre of cli-fi. In fact, cli-fi is a literary genre for novels and movies that explore the very same issues the entire debate was focused on but there was not a peep out of anyone. It is as if cli-fi does not exist in the universe that most scientists and academics live in. And most journalists, Mr Wallace-Wells included, ignore the new genre, even though it has reached a level of popularity unheard of just a few years ago.
Perhaps as a result of the New York Magazine brouhaha, more journalists and literary critics (and academics and scientists) will explore just what cli-fi is all about. It's not your grandfather's sci-fi; it's an entirely new genre with a completele different focus.
Kevin Drum at Mother Jones magazine, a liberal progressive left of center magazine, took a different approach in his article about the New York magazine piece, writing in his headline "Our Approach to Climate Change Isn’t Working. Let’s Try Something Else" here.
Your point of view on all this, pro and con. Comments are welcome from all sides of the aisle. Email me or leave a comment below.


Said one commenter online: ''This article by David Wallace-Wells in NY mag was neither despairing nor hopeful. It was facts. Facts are needed. To demand 'hope' when in fact humanity may very well be doomed is 'fake-news.' Deal with the facts.''

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