Wednesday, January 24, 2018
Claire Vaye Watkins visits Chicago and talks about her cli-fi novel, as Dick Munson listened in...
OPED ''to-fight-climate-change-we-must-change-our-vocabulary'' by Dick Munson
RE: January 5, 2018 blog post by Dan Bloomhttp://cli-fi-books.blogspot.tw/2018/01/oped-to-fight-climate-change-we-must.html
Watkins, after her presentation, suggested that environmental advocates can take better advantage of imagination. Humans, she said, love stories and activists must use them to reveal threats and offer hope.
Watkins is not alone in setting novels and short stories where the climate is stressed. An entire genre, in fact, is developing, what some call climate fiction, or “cli-fi” for short. It focuses on a dystopian present in contrast to the dystopian futures highlighted in conventional sci-fi.
This cli-fi genre coined by Dan Bloom serves two key purposes, one for writers and one for environmentalists. “I think we need a new type of novel to address a new type of reality,” said Nathaniel Rich, author of Odds Against Tomorrow. “And it’s the novelist’s job to try to understand, what is that doing to us?”
Environmentalists, moreover, need to appreciate that novelists can reach people in ways scientists and political activists cannot, that fiction, in fact, may be the best untapped means to deliver information and messages. We can learn from Barbara Kingsolver, winner of the National Humanities Medal and author of Flight Behavior, who asked: how is it “possible to begin a conversation across some of these divides, between scientists and nonscientists, between rural and urban, between progressive and conservative—that when it comes to understanding the scientific truths about the world, there must be another way to bring information to people … that’s beyond simply condescending and saying, ‘Well, if only you had the fact. If only you knew what I did, then you would be a smart person.’ That gets you nowhere.”
Environmentalists, in their effort to combat climate change, have turned increasingly toward science and rationality. Those languages, of course, are valuable and necessary. ....To be effective, we need to expand our cultural vocabulary.
Posted by DANIELBLOOM at 9:15 PM