By Camille Hamet
via ULYCES website in Paris
ENGLISH TRANSLATION VIA MACHINE:
In the United States, this sub-genre of sci-fi has even a name: "Cli-fi", for "climate fiction", a term coined by the journalist Dan Bloom in 2008. And it is not merely we predict an ecological disaster. It also assures us that sometimes the means that we implement to avoid will lead us ..[MORE AT LINK]
'Climate fiction' aka ''cli-fi'
" The Earth trembles if often on your world that civilization is threatened continuously. The worst is moreover already produces more than once: major cataclysms destroyed the more proud cited and submitted the planet to the terrible winters, of endless nights which humanity has survived that of correctness. People like you, the orogens, who have the talent to tame volcanoes and earthquakes, should be revered. But the reverse is true. You must hide you, make you go for another. Until the day where your husband discovers the truth, the massacre of his fists your Son to three years and kidnaps your daughter. You will find them, and regardless of whether the world is in the process of beginning to pieces. "
Thus begins the saga of the books of the land fractured N. K. Jemisin, who won the very prestigious Hugo Awards the best novel two times in a row, in 2016 and in 2017, with the first two tomes. By an ecological disaster, scenario which seems of our days more and more plausible, and which has been widely explored by science-fiction since the publication, in 1966, of the green sun of Harry Harrison. Inthe urban monads of Robert Silverberg, the population of the world, having reached the 75 billion of individuals, must book all the land for agriculture and piling in skyscrapers to ensure its subsistence. In Globalia of Jean-Christophe Rufin, she is forced to take refuge under the bubbles of glass to escape the pollution. In the road of Cormac McCs-Unis, this sub-genre has even a name: "CLI-fi", for "climate fiction", a term coined by the journalist Dan Bloom in 2008. And it is not merely we predict an ecological disaster. It also assures us that sometimes the means that we are implementing for the avoid we will lead to another disaster.
For example, in the real world, bio-engineering, which is to apply the electrical engineering and mechanical engineering in biology, is envisaged as a possible response to the problems correlated pollution and the erosion of biodiversity. In 2012, researchers from the University College of London have genetically modified a bacterium to make it able to aggregate the particles that pollute our oceans, train 'islands of Plastic" recyclable, and therefore to clean the marine environment. The biologist Steve Palumbi, him, has imagined isolate the gene protector of Corals The most resistant to the pollution to integrate with their congeners. But in the daughter automatede Paolo Bacigalupi, Hugo Awards the best novel in 2010, the nature that they purported to check by the bio-engineering is impoverished precisely because of genetically modified bacteria.
As to the Geo-engineering, which seeks to manipulate the climate of the earth to counteract the warming due to greenhouse gas emissions, it appears as a business particularly risky in blue like an orange from Norman Spinrad. " Because if the waters have mounted and the deserts progressed at Any Pace, if New York is drowned and the majority of the planet hungry, it is for the greater profit of a few corporations who enrich themselves by artificially cooling the atmosphere. "On the other hand, the terraforming appears as feasible in the trilogy of March of Kim Stanley Robinson. The famous red planet becomes green and then blue, thanks to the introduction of plant species genetically modified capable to develop on the infertile soils.
The evidence, if it needed, that the cli-fi is not unanimously pessimistic.
"I was pessimistic when I was a teenager, but I found the optimism in aging," says the writer Linda Nagata. Its text "the Obelisk of Mars", which is nominated for the Hugo Awards in the best new 2018, takes place in the framework of a collapse at once social and environmental. "This is the story of a woman who has been a witness to a long decline and who has lost any hope of a better future, but who finds this hope in the circumstances the more improbable. Today, most of the people in power are only interested in the fact to increase their own wealth, already overwhelming, without regard for the future of our planet. But I believe that we can change things. We live in the world the most beautiful and the most incredible that either. We must take care of him. "
And precisely, the CLI-fi is replete with ideas for "take care" of the earth. In the first novel of Linda Nagata," a substantive element is the use of nanotechnology to clean up the pollution". As to Kim Stanley Robinson, it proposes to build large intelligent cities and to focus the human beings. "The Territories emptied should not be called wild", precise-t he nevertheless in a forum published on 20 March last. "The wild nature is a good idea in some contexts, but these territories would be emptied of territories useful, of common land perhaps, where grazing and agriculture might still have their place. All persons concentrated in the cities would still need to eat, and food production requires of the earth. "
" The cities must be green cities, of course," continues the writer. "We have of transport and the production of clean energy, roofs white, gardens on each parcel empty, the generalized recycling, and all other sustainable development technologies that we develop already. "His vision does not seem to require that the human being pushes the boundaries of its technological capabilities beyond the reasonable. Quite the contrary: paint a roof in White has nothing of a feat. This allows yet to keep the heat in winter and cool in summer, and therefore to limit our energy expenditure in terms of heating and air conditioning. And the white roofs spread already, including in New York, in the framework of the program Cool roofs (" roofs costs"), launched in 2010 by Michael Bloomberg, then mayor of the city.
The ecological society imagined by Ernest Callenbach in Écotopie does not require, it not more, technological revolution. Its members, the Écotopiens, have particularly renounced the productivism and generalized the recycling. They favor renewable energy and the forms of organization decentralized. Just as the people of the moon Anarres, in the dispossessed of Ursula K. The GUIN, follow the principles libertarians and cooperative. The scarcity of resources available obliges them to a binding economy but democratically accepted.
"We have as a law that the principle of aid between individuals," proclaim-they. "We have as a government that the principle of the free association. We have not of States, not of nations, not of Presidents, not of leaders, not of heads, not of general, no bosses, no bankers, not of lords, not of salaries, not handouts, no police, no soldiers, no wars. And we have few other things. We share, we do not have. "
The response made by these novels to the challenges of climate change are before any policy. Others, such as the novels of Iain Mr Banks, rely heavily on the technology. They take place in effect for most within a great civilization pan-galactic, Culture, which enjoys a material wealth is practically unlimited thanks to the technology. But again, the policy plays a not insignificant role, because this wealth is distributed in an equal manner by artificial intelligences caring.
However, for Kim Stanley Robinson, "the right" and "justice" are "technologies" as the other. They are even "the software of the System". "Solid rights for women stabilize the families and the people
The answer given by these novels to the challenges of climate change are before any policy. Others, such as the novels of Iain Mr Banks, rely heavily on the technology. They take place in effect for most within a great civilization pan-galactic, Culture, which enjoys a material wealth is practically unlimited thanks to the technology. But again, the policy plays a not insignificant role, because this wealth is distributed in an equal manner by artificial intelligences caring.
However, for Kim Stanley Robinson, "the right" and "justice" are "technologies" as the other. They are even "the software of the System". "Solid rights for women stabilize families and the population," he wrote. "The adequacy of income and the progressive taxation prevent the poorest and the richest to harm the biosphere in the same way that the extreme poverty or extreme wealth. Peace, justice, equality and the rule of law are all survival strategies necessary. "
And if they are achievable, then the CLI-fi can inspire the ecology of tomorrow.
"Many of the technologies of the future imagined by science-fiction are become of innovations", reminds Thomas Michaud, prospectiviste and author of the book The Innovation, between science and science-fiction. "Submarines will already appear in the work of Jules Verne, which seems to have described the Apollo missions in the Earth to the Moon. More recently, it has also been able to see the influence of cyberpunk on the vocabulary and the aesthetics of the new technologies. "
Other sub-genre of science fiction, cyberpunk comes, according to the words of the writer Michael Bruce Sterling," of a universe where the crazy of informatics and the rocker will join, a broth culture where the kinks of genetic chains fit together". But it sometimes encounter the CLI-fi, especially with the new of Philip K. Dick to the origin of Blade Runner, which takes place in a world rainy weather where animals have been replaced by beasts artificial. And it shows to what point reality and fiction can be interleaved.
Even the ideas the wildest of the science-fiction are likely to inspire the science, and vice versa. At the cinema, the idea of reducing the size of the human beings goes back at least to the Bride of Frankenstein of James Whale. It has also been explored by the man who shrinks, then by Honey I Shrunk the Kids, and finally by downsizing, which in fact a solution to our environmental problems. In the meantime, the Director of the Center on the Bioethics of the University of New York, Matthew Liao, and his colleagues, Anders Sandberg and Rebecca Roache, have published a series of proposals for "Biomedical changes of the human" in order to reduce its impact on the planet, among which there is the reduction of its size.
"One of the things that was noticed was that the ecological footprint of a human is in part related to its size," explained then Liao. "If we reduced the average of the size of the Americans to 15 centimeters, it decreases the body mass of 21% for a man and 25 per cent for a woman, which corresponds to a reduction of 15 to 18 per cent of basic metabolism. "To achieve this objective, three strategies are possible according to the scientist. The first would be to use the preimplantation diagnosis, which already allows to differentiate the healthy embryos to those achieved a genetic disease after in vitro fertilization, to select the embryos in function of their size. The second would be to cause the closure of the cartilage of growth earlier than planned by hormonal treatment. The third, finally, would be to promote the copy inherited from a gene of the mother rather than a gene from the father, or vice versa, when there is a large disparity between the sizes of the parents.
Each of these strategies raises difficult ethical issues. But it is precisely here that can intervene science-fiction to believe Yannick Rumpala. "With its stories, which are as much of the experiences of thought, science-fiction can provide a support quite useful to expand or complement of reflections already more or less committed, or even to initiate new," he wrote. "Far from limiting itself to be only a reflection of the world and of its through, the fiction is therefore a place of production of the company to come: through a deconstruction of the certainties and an exploration of the possible, but also of the Impossible, science-fiction participates in the transformation of social representations from which we act and we explain the world", add the sociologists Corinne Gendron and René Audet
if it may not have all the answers, the CLI-FI has therefore at least the merit of good questions.