Following are topics covered in the class “Climate-Based Fiction” in the2020 Fall 2 session of the Yavapai College Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI), https://YC.edu/PrescottOLLI. Facilitators are Susan Gerhart and Carol Hammond. Readings are distributed by email and 1.5 hour discussions are held by Zoom. We thank contributors of resources . Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Adams, John Joseph, Ed. Loosed Upon The World: The Saga Anthology of Climate Fiction. http://www.johnjosephadams.com/loosed-upon-the-world/
- Everything Change: An Anthology of Climate Fiction (2016) https://climateimagination.asu.edu/everything-change/
- Everything Change, Volume II (2018) https://climateimagination.asu.edu/everything-change-vol-2/
Week 1 November 4: Introduction To Climate Fiction
Climate Change Fiction Perspectives
- What Issues Concern You?
- What Does Science Say?
- Why read climate FICTION?
- follow your imagination to an unfamiliar future climate setting;
- observe how human confront or adapt to situations;
- accumulate a broader world view of humans and living with climate change;
- “What is Cli-Fi? A Beginner’s Guide to Climate Fiction.“ (Emily Martin 3 May 2018)
In the News:
The Globe on Fire
- How Climate Change is Affecting Wildfires Around the World.” (Carbonbrief, Jul 2020)
- “The Science Connecting Wildfires to Climate Change. (National Geographic 17 Sep 2020)
- “Ignorance does not make you fireproof when the world is burning.” (Canadian author/activist Nelou Meramati) Source: Colorado Health Institute
- Wildfires in the American West Source: Union of Concerned Scientists (2014 graphic)
- Kim Stanley Robinson (1952) “We should conceive of ourselves not as rulers of Earth, but as highly powerful, conscious stewards: The Earth is given to us in trust, and we can screw it up or make it work well and sustainably.” “Kim Stanley Robinson– Rethinking Our Relationship to the Biosphere”
Reading Climate-Based Literature
Consider these questions as you read
- Is there something to learn from the story about climate and reliable science?
- Is it a good story, hold your interest, connect with experiences, elicit empathy?
- Does it encourage deeper future thinking without too much science?
“A poet can imagine an iceberg singing a melancholic song while the world leaders find it difficult to imagine proper solution to global warming.” (Bangladeshi author Munia Khan, born 1981)
Week 1 Class Reading and Discussion
From “Everything Changed” Volume 1
- Kim Stanley Robinson, “Forward”
- Matthew S. Henry (Victor and the Fish”
Week 2? November 18 2020
In the News: Water and Rising Seas
- Read: Schwartz, Jen. “Surrendering to Rising Seas. “ Aug 2018 Scientific American. “ As sea levels rise, some coastal communities are confronting a future of both chronic and extreme flooding. Retreat—permanently moving people and property away from the water—is radical, but in some places, it is inevitable.” https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/surrendering-to-rising-seas/
- Watch:. Vicky Arroyo, “Let’s Prepare for Our New Climate.” TEDGlobal 2012, “Professor Arroyo oversees the Georgetown Climate Center’s work at the nexus of climate and energy policy, supervising staff and student work on climate mitigation and adaptation at the state and federal level.” Source: Georgetown Law School
Readings Short Stories Related to Water Issues/Rising Seas
- From Loosed Upon The World
- Author: Paolo Bacigalupi (1972) Bacigalupi’s science fiction and fantasy have won numerous awards (Hugo, Nebula). Foreward by Paolo Bacigalupi, pp. XIII-XVII
- Trudel, Jean-Louis. “The Snows of Yesteryear: (pp 88-110
- DeLancey, Craig. “Racing the Tide.” (pp 435-452)
- From Everything Change Vol I 2016 Redifer, Lindsay. “Standing Still.”
Related Stories recommended but not covered in meeting)
- From Loosed Upon The World Silverberg, Robert “”Hot Sky” (pp. 203-224)
- From Everything Change Vol I 2016 Anglin, Ashley Bevilacqua. “Acqua Alta.”
- Sudbanthad, Pitchaya. “Floating.” Guernica: 15 Years of Global Arts and Politics. https://www.guernicamag.com/floating/
- Ted Talk (Kotchakorn Voraak hom 2018, Thailand) “How to Transform Sinking Cities into Landscapes that Fight Floods” https://www.ted.com/talks/kotchakorn_voraakhom_how_to_transform_sinking_cities_into_landscapes_that_fight_floods
- United Nations . “Water and Climate Change” https://www.unwater.org/water-facts/climate-change/ Explained: World’s Water Crisis (18 min, 2020) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C65iqOSCZOY
- “The Future of Water” (2018, 10 min) https://www.youtube.com/watch
Week 3 (Dec 2) Land
Author: Frank Herbert (1020-1986). His 1965 novel Dune is the best-selling SF novel of all time and originated from his research on the dunes near Florence, Oregon.
Watch a PBS interview with Herbert (1968, 4 min)
from Loosed Upon The World
- Kress, Nancy. “A Hundred Hundred Daisies.” Pp. 129-142 “…We see how drought creates a new dispossessed with an inheritance of dust, anger and violence.” (source: Mike Finn’s Fiction, Book Reviews and Short Stories, 2019)
- Penrose, Angela. “Staying Afloat.” pp. 323-340. In Mexico, “Professor Paula Casillas searches for new ways of keeping crops alive, fighting the floods and the sliding hillsides”
- Bacigalupi, Paolo. “The Tamarisk Hunter.” pp. 511-525 This story “describes a land controlled by the government, where water is the scarce liquid gold that everyone needed to survive… Lolo, the main character, is making a living, in some respects, by saving the water.” (source: U. of Oregon ENG 104)
- Recommended from Loosed Upon The World
- McGuire, Seanan. “The Myth of Rain.” Pp. 25-38. Great description of birds and habitat in vein of Barbara Kingsolver. Weighing the needs of human beings against impact in individual species/nature.
- Quifan, Chen. “The Smog Society.” Pp. 419-433. Impact of air pollution on daily life by Chinese SF Author Chen. Realistic with interesting surprises.
Week 4 (Dec. 9) Systems
Author: Charlie Jane Anders
- Watch: Charlie Jane Anders TEDWomen 2019 “Go ahead, dream about the future.” “You don’t predict the future — you imagine the future,” says sci-fi writer Charlie Jane Anders. In a talk that’s part dream, part research-based extrapolation, she takes us on a wild, speculative tour of the delights and challenges the future may hold — and shows how dreaming up weird, futuristic possibilities empowers us to construct a better tomorrow.”
- Podcast co-narrator entitled “Our Opinions are Correct” about writing, sci fi, and culture https://OurOpinionsAreCorrect.com
In The News
- Read: “How Climate Change Will Alter our Food. “ (Renee Cho, 2018 State of the Planet, Columbia University.
- Indigenous Peoples and Climate Change “It’s taking science a long time to catch up to the local and traditional knowledge of our communities. We’ve been noticing climate effects for forty, fifty, or more years,” says Patricia Cochran, an Inupiat Eskimo and executive director of the Alaska Native Science Commission. “Because we live off the land and are closely tied to the environment, we can see the subtlest of changes.” Read: “Indigenous Peoples and Climate Change: from Recognition to Rule of Law” (2014 The Christensen Fund)
Continued from Week 3
- Loosed Upon The World McGuire, Seanan. “The Myth of Rain.” Pp. 25-38. and
- Quifan, Chen. “The Smog Society.” Pp. 419-433. Learn More about Chinese Science Fiction here: 2019 interview with Chen Quifan
Readings from Loosed Upon The World
- Anders, Charlie Jane. “The Day it All Ended. “ pp. 407-418.
- Feldringer, Nicole. “Outliers” pp. 386-399.
- Buckell, Tobias & Karl Schroeder, “Mitigation.” Pp. 537-554. Read: “Norwegian seed vault preserves seeds for global food security and diversity”
Other Recommended Readings
- from Loosed Upon The World Benford, Gregory. “Eagle.” Pp. 362-384.
- from Everything Change Vol I (2016) Flynn, Adam & Andrew Dana Hudson. “Sunshine State.” Pp. 3-23. https://climateimagination.asu.edu/everything-change/
Week 5 (Dec. 16
In The News
- Watch her Jan 28 2019Ted Talk “The Disarming Case to Act Right now on Climate Change”
Author: Vandana Singh ( India/USA)
- homepage: http://vandana-writes.com/
- Read: “Beyond the Single Story: Vandana Singh” (Nov 25 2019) https://beyondthesinglestory.wordpress.com/2019/11/25/vandana-singh/
Author Revisiting Kim Stanley Robinson
- Watch: “Rethinking our Relationship to the Biosphere” (24 min, 2015)) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=489I0gZlepM
Readings: Week 5
from Loosed Upon The World
- Robinson, Kim Stanley. “Truth and Consequences.”pp. 240-268.” Actually, excerpts from 3 of Robinson’s novel, great locale and overview of Robinson’s themes.
- Singh, Vindana. “Entanglement.” Pp. 269-323. This novella. Told in vignettes by characters fighting change around the globe, “…always moving, set in interesting exotic locations, and full of believable characters.” Source Riebwolf. Com
- “You cannot protect the environment unless you empower people, you inform them, and you help them understand that these resources are their own, that they must protect them.” —
- Discussion: how have these stories changed your optimism or pessimism, and your actions, regarding climate change? Which story influenced you the most?
Directory for Podcasts about Climate Change
Overview for Podcasts and Podcasting
Podcasts present audio episodes, often as interviews or roundtables. Podcasts are delivered by subscriptions managed by a podcatcher, usually apps on smart phones or like iTunes or Stitcher on computers. Podcast episodes can be organized as play lists and sorted, e.g. newest/oldest, longest/shortest, … Podcast episodes arrive as mp3 files when the pod catcher gets a refresh command. A podcast episode has show notes for synopsis and references. Pod catchers have directories and search over zillions of podcasts to add subscriptions.
Below are names of podcasts related to climate change.
- News: Climate Connections (Yale), Science Friday, hot take
- Adaptation: America Adapts, Speak Up for the Ocean Blue, My Climate Journey, Climate Cast
- Scholarly, A Matter of Degrees, CCLIMAS (Southwest Climate, Climate History, Climate Change Audio, e.g. monsoon), Climate Scientists, Brave New Planet, Inquiring Minds
- Social movement: Arctic Audio, Climate 2020, Climate Change Unfolding, Climate Pod, Climate 1, Hot and Bothered (denial), Climate Changers, Drills (true crime), Green Dreamers, Climate Ready, How to Save The Planet, Polar Geopolitics, The Climate Pod, Inherited, Mothers of Invention, Foreign Policy Play list, Hot Take
- cryosphere narratives: Iced Coffee (Antarctica), In the Arctic Seas, Polar Geopolitics, Reversing Climate Change, Voice of the Iceberg, Curiously polar, Threshold
- Science fiction Writing: Our Opinions are Correct (Charley Jane Anders)
- significant: 2020 Book “The Ministry For the Future” by Kim Stanley Robinson interview: https://www.vox.com/2020/11/30/21726563/kim-stanley-robinson-the-ezra-klein-show-climate-change
Compiled December 2020
- Environmental Literature as Persuasion: An Experimental Test of the Effects of Reading Climate Fiction Matthew Schneider-Mayersona, Abel Gustafson b, Anthony Leiserowitz c, ABSTRACT Literary works of fiction about climate change are becoming more common and more popular among critics and readers. While much research has indicated the persuasive effectiveness of narrative storytelling in general, empirical research has not yet tested the effects of reading climate fiction. …
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