Tuesday, September 12, 2017

What can we do about climate change

Whenever the media gets worried about hurricanes and floods and heatwaves and methane bombs in the Arctic, editors trot out the usual headline: "What can we to do about climate change?"

And for their news stories, they go to the usual climate change experts and scientists and weather bloggers and quote them for paragraphs and paragraphs about the usual scientific and technological answers.
But not once do the reporters ever venture into the real answer of "cli-fi" novels and movies, where emotional resonance matters more than charts and statistics.
And yet, if you want to know the truth, to answer the question "What can we do about climate change?", the answer is to forget listening to the so-called "experts" drone on and on about this chart and this statistic -- boring! boring! -- and instead tell readers that one very important thing we can do about climate change is to encourage more and more novelists to write cli-fi novels and cli-fi movie scripts over the next 100 years, and to nurture these authors and to nurture this rising new literary genre.
That's what we can really do about climate change. All the rest is pissing in the wind.
The "experts" know nothing, although they are of course not "know-nothings." They are very capable and intelligent people, but they are just wasting our time. The key lies with "cli-fi" novels and movies.
The media needs to wake up about this and stop interviewing the wrong people (scientists and weather forecasters). Start interviewing novelists and literary agents and publishing executives instead. And start interviewing literary critics like Pamela Paul and Michiko Kakutani and James Bradley instead.

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