Poetic license – UEA’s Creative Climate Writing Prize

People send me stuff. Here’s one about UEA offering a prize contest for “creative climate writing”. – Anthony

To: undisclosed-recipients:;
Subject: UEA Magazine – Climate Writing Clanger…

An article on page 16 of the University of East Anglia August/September
2012 Broadview Newsletter (see below/attached/link) invites MA students
to compete for prize money via creative writing on the subject of
climate change:

“The scholarship is open to all applicants to the Prose Fiction and Poetry strands of the MA, whose writing demonstrates a commitment to environmental themes, in particular to furthering the general understanding of the impact of climate change.”

Why not enter a synopsis of the output of Professor Phil Jones at the UEA Climate Research Unit? Many CRU pronouncements may not be ‘poetry’ but, rather than being based upon rigorous science, may eminently qualify as both ‘prose’ and ‘fiction’?

Here’s the text from: UEA–Broadview–August+12 (PDF)

£5,000 creative writing bursaries launched

Two new bursaries for postgraduates wanting to study creative writing at UEA have been announced. The Corsair Bursary will be awarded annually, and has been created to enable
someone to study for the MA Creative Writing (Prose Fiction).

The annual bursary, worth £5,000, is open to students undertaking the course who
will be aged 25 or younger at the start of the academic year in which they begin their
masters degree course at UEA.
The recipient will be chosen by a panel from Corsair, the literary imprint of publisher
Constable & Robinson, and based on the creative material submitted by students for
admission to the course. Meanwhile, the Onoto Creative Writing Scholarship will enable a student to study for the MA in Creative Writing at UEA.

The scholarship is open to all applicants to the Prose Fiction and Poetry strands
of the MA, whose writing demonstrates a commitment to environmental themes,
in particular to furthering the general understanding of the impact of climate
change.

The award is worth £5,000 towards the recipient’s course fees, plus an Onoto pen
worth £300. The first scholarship will be awarded in September 2013.

 

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68 Responses to Poetic license – UEA’s Creative Climate Writing Prize

  1. marchesarosa says:

    Well, at least the bursary is for fiction.

  2. JonasM says:

    Jokes here are way too easy……

  3. techgm says:

    Will it be called “The Briffa Prize”? Maybe it will spawn a similar contest/prize in the US – “The Mann Prize”.

  4. Bob Mount says:

    They really are asking for it! Sock it to ‘em, Anthony!!

  5. Well UEA is famous for it’s creative writing, shame it influenced the other departments !

  6. Tornadomark says:

    Fiction? NASAgis & HADcrut have that handled. Just submit one of there temperature graphs.

  7. davidmhoffer says:

    Might WUWT announce a contest for the best rebuttal to the winning fiction?

    Hey! We could even have a contest to name the WUWT contest! Let the sarcasm fly!

  8. mkelly says:

    …”plus an Onoto pen
    worth £300.”

    Is it better than a BIC?

  9. Blair says:

    It was a dark and stormy night; caused entirely by climate change…..

  10. world tomato
    red and ripe
    soon will rot
    bacteria

    From my poetry from ‘The Aspen School of Contemporary Art’ 1965. Can I enter?

  11. jorgekafkazar says:

    davidmhoffer says: “Hey! We could even have a contest to name the WUWT contest! Let the sarcasm fly!”

    The Anti-Lysenkoist Fiction Award.

  12. William Astley says:

    I would caution the new aspiring prose writers that the field of fictional climate change writing appears to be very close to saturation.

    “The Corsair Bursary will be awarded annually, and has been created to enable someone to study for the MA Creative Writing (Prose Fiction)….. ….The scholarship is open to all applicants to the Prose Fiction and Poetry strands of the MA, whose writing demonstrates a commitment to environmental themes, in particular to furthering the general understanding of the impact of climate change.”

    There are daily examples of fictional creative climate change writing. For example.

    http://news.yahoo.com/climate-vs-weather-extreme-events-narrow-doubts-000143938.html

    “Heatwaves, drought and floods that have struck the northern hemisphere for the third summer running are narrowing doubts that man-made warming is disrupting Earth’s climate system, say some scientists…. ….James Hansen, arguably the world’s most famous climate scientist, contends the link between extreme heat events and global warming is now all but irrefutable. The evidence, he says, comes not from computer simulations but from weather observations themselves.”

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2011/2011GL047711.shtml
    GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, VOL. 38, L14803, 6 PP., 2011 doi:10.1029/2011GL047711
    Recent historically low global tropical cyclone activity
    Tropical cyclone accumulated cyclone energy (ACE) has exhibited strikingly large global interannual variability during the past 40-years. In the pentad since 2006, Northern Hemisphere and global tropical cyclone ACE has decreased dramatically to the lowest levels since the late 1970s. Additionally, the global frequency of tropical cyclones has reached a historical low.

    Key Points
    • In the past 5-years, global tropical cyclone activity has decreased markedly
    • Tropical cyclone ACE is modulated by ENSO and PDO on a global scale
    • Heightened North Atlantic hurricane activity is not unexpected

    http://www.climatechangefacts.info/ClimateChangeDocuments/LandseaResignationLetterFromIPCC.htm
    After some prolonged deliberation, I have decided to withdraw from participating in the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). I am withdrawing because I have come to view the part of the IPCC to which my expertise is relevant as having become politicized. In addition, when I have raised my concerns to the IPCC leadership, their response was simply to dismiss my concerns….

    Shortly after Dr. Trenberth requested that I draft the Atlantic hurricane section for the AR4′s Observations chapter, Dr. Trenberth participated in a press conference organized by scientists at Harvard on the topic “Experts to warn global warming likely to continue spurring more outbreaks of intense hurricane activity” along with other media interviews on the topic. The result of this media interaction was widespread coverage that directly connected the very busy 2004 Atlantic hurricane season as being caused by anthropogenic greenhouse gas warming occurring today. Listening to and reading transcripts of this press conference and media interviews, it is apparent that Dr. Trenberth was being accurately quoted and summarized in such statements and was not being misrepresented in the media. These media sessions have potential to result in a widespread perception that global warming has made recent hurricane activity much more severe. Moreover, the evidence is quite strong and supported by the most recent credible studies that any impact in the future from global warming upon hurricane will likely be quite small. The latest results from the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (Knutson and Tuleya, Journal of Climate, 2004) suggest that by around 2080, hurricanes may have winds and rainfall about 5% more intense than today. It has been proposed that even this tiny change may be an exaggeration as to what may happen by the end of the 21st Century (Michaels, Knappenberger, and Landsea, Journal of Climate, 2005, submitted). It is beyond me why my colleagues would utilize the media to push an unsupported agenda that recent hurricane activity has been due to global warming. Given Dr. Trenberth’s role as the IPCC’s Lead Author responsible for preparing the text on hurricanes, his public statements so far outside of current scientific understanding led me to concern that it would be very difficult for the IPCC process to proceed objectively with regards to the assessment on hurricane activity.

  13. son of mulder says:

    Does this replace the creative climate science prize? At £5,000 it’s a lot cheaper than the previous funding for creativity in the hiding of declines.

  14. Neil McEvoy says:

    Michael Mann should enter. Nobody does it better. The prize would fund a lawyer for a couple of days.

  15. Gail Combs says:

    jorgekafkazar says: @ August 24, 2012 at 10:50 am
    …The Anti-Lysenkoist Fiction Award.
    ________________________________
    I like it.

    That name has my vote.

  16. AJB says:

    Clear winner: ClareLondon in the Grauniad comments here:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/discussion/comment-permalink/17861272

    The nutters at this comic get more and more shrill by the day.

  17. David Larsen says:

    Homeostasis: The tendency for a system taken out of its natural state to return back to that natural state. That is climate change.

  18. DirkH says:

    AJB says:
    August 24, 2012 at 11:28 am
    “Clear winner: ClareLondon in the Grauniad comments here:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/discussion/comment-permalink/17861272
    The nutters at this comic get more and more shrill by the day.”

    If it’s this Clare London (with picture)
    https://twitter.com/clare_london
    she might actually be practising already as she deems herself an author.
    http://clarelondon.livejournal.com/436670.html

  19. gringojay says:

    Climate Clangers better credit their predecessor Trolley Song Judy Garland sang in the 1944 movie Meet Me in Saint Louis:
    “Clang, clang, clang,” went the trolley,
    “Ding, ding, ding,” went the bell.
    “Zing, zing, zing,” went my heart-strings,

    “Chug, chug, chug,” went the motor,
    “Bump, bump, bump,” went the brake,
    “Thump, thump, thump,” went my heart strings,
    ….

  20. Amanda says:

    I could pass for 25 on a dark and stormy night. Right, my proposed entry is Hannah And Her Wierdsters, a Woody Allenish hilarous morality tale about global wierding and the dangers of poolside orgies during electrical storms. It’s absurd and has no connection really with the real world, but hey, according to Post Normal Science, the real world has no connection to the real world, so why should that stop me from winning the prize? (Never mind the pen. Can I have a leather jacket instead?)

  21. rogerknights says:

    Blair says:
    August 24, 2012 at 10:34 am

    It was a dark and stormy night; caused entirely by climate change…..

    L, as they say, OL.

  22. NZ Willy says:

    It says poetry also, so here are a couple from Bishop Hill’s recent impromptu competition:

    Who made the Maldives founder?
    Who made the oceans boil?
    Who made the coral crumble?
    T’was us bad boys and goils.

    There once was a group called “the Team”,
    who invented the climate change meme,
    but the data didn’t work,
    so they made it all up,
    and flatlined the whole Holocene.

  23. Neil says:

    I apply for a grant from Corsair!
    I’m not young, but I can spout hot air.
    Once I’m at UEA,
    I will write what I may,
    And I’ll [snip] all the young ladies fair.

  24. davidmhoffer says:

    There once was a writer named Mann
    Who came up with a most absurd plan
    A hockey stick they shall fear
    Medieval warming gone, it shall appear
    And so the plotting began…

  25. Kip Hansen says:

    This is will a fine addition to their current offering Creative Statistics (Numerical Fiction).

  26. Bill Parsons says:

    Hmm.

    It was a dark and unprecedentedly rainy night…

  27. Tom Bakewell says:

    Just when you think it’s safe to come out of the bomb shelter..
    The gods and goddesses do have a refined and delicate sense of humour.

  28. WillR says:

    Hey — I have a candidate to suggest…
    http://pesticidetruths.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/Reference-Culprit-Forman-2010-00-00-Biography.pdf

    Mr. Forman holds a Master’s degree in philosophy from McGill University. He interned at The
    Nation – America’s oldest weekly journal – and studied creative writing at the Banff Centre for the Arts. From 1997-2004, he was Vice President of Strategic Communications Inc., a firm that
    provides political consulting and fundraising advice to the non-profit sector. In 1999, Strategic
    Communications was named to The Profit 100 as one of Canada’s fastest growing firms.

    In 2004, he became Executive Director of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the
    Environment (CAPE). Under his leadership, CAPE won a gold medal at the 2006 Canadian
    Environment Awards. In 2007, he was the co-winner of a Virtuoso Award from the International
    Association of Business Communicators (London, England). He is currently a Judge for the Green Toronto Awards. His reviews and essays have appeared in The Globe and Mail, The Canadian Forum, and The Toronto Star, among other publications.

    As head of CAPE he makes things clear:

    About the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE)

    The association is an award-winning group of 5,400 doctors and concerned citizens working to provide education and advocacy to win environmental protection across Canada. Based in Toronto, the association is now working to close asbestos mines in Quebec, phase out coal-fired power in Ontario and ban lawn pesticides in British Columbia.

    In its coal campaign, association members met with cabinet ministers to present reports showing coal contributes to cancer, climate change and brain damage. In recent years, the association has had a lot of success – banning pesticides in Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes and pressuring the Ontario government to close all its coal plants by 2014 – the equivalent of removing six million cars from the road.

    What more could you ask from an environmentalist…???

  29. Bill Parsons says:

    Ah, I see Blair (August 24, 2012 at 10:34 am) is mining the same muse.

    However, not many remember how Bulwer-Lytton’s notable fiction continues:

    It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents—except at unprecedented intervals of killing drought, whence violent duststorms swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the paltry flames of the lamps of skeptics that struggled against the darkness.

    A powerful work of fiction.

  30. ntesdorf says:

    Clearly, all of us should submit a piece to this contest to give them something of substance to read on their way to acclaiming the usual puff-piece as the winner. Given a few thousand additional skeptical pieces they might ponder the truth.

  31. RobRoy says:

    The prize should be carbon credits. And may be they get to live “Green” for 6 months. In a grass and mud house without electricity or toilet paper or toilet..

  32. Mike Doner says:

    How about a poetic climate blues riff…….

    They call it Stormy Monday
    But Tuesday’s just as bad.
    They call it Stormy Monday
    But Tuesday’s just as bad.
    Mann, and Wednesday’s worse
    And Thursday’s all so sad.

    The eagle fry’s on Friday,
    Saturday I can’t go out to play.
    The eagle fry’s on Friday,
    Saturday I can’t go out to play.
    Sunday I go to CAGW church,
    Gonna kneel down and pray.

    Mann have mercy,
    Team have mercy on me.
    Gore have mercy,
    Team have mercy on me.
    Though I’m tryin’ and tryin’ to find my Gaia,
    Won’t someone please send her home to me.

    Apologies to the song writers and all the great blues bands that have performed this song. Please have mercy on me.

  33. Hmm, five grand, huh?

    Will this do?

  34. EternalOptimist says:

    Yesterday, all was fair
    I noticed Mann just wasn’t there
    He turned up when it rained today
    I wish that Mann would go away

  35. Ray says:

    Can the Onoto pen write on Bristlecone pine paper? If not, I don’t want it!

  36. davidmhoffer says:

    Derek Sorensen says:
    August 24, 2012 at 4:02 pm
    Hmm, five grand, huh?

    Will this do?
    http://dereksorensen.com/?p=119
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    EXCELLENT!

  37. corio37 says:

    By now. surely, “furthering the general understanding of” needs to be included with ‘terminological inexactitude’ and ‘economy with the truth’ as one of the great euphemisms for ‘telling lies’.

  38. Kev-in-Uk says:

    Hmm…just about anybody at UAE can write some garbage about the sky falling – Jones probably sponsored the prize too – he needs some fresh creative writing skills to replace his severely lacking scientific portfolio! Still, my 7 yr old writes better (as in, more believable) science fiction than those folk……..

  39. Kev-in-Uk says:

    Neil says:
    August 24, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    lol – have you seen east anglian women? you’ve seen Deliverance, right? nuff said……..

  40. ZT says:

    Unfortunately, nobody at the UEA knows how to operate ‘The Excel’ (hushed silence).

    …consequently these suggestions will be stored as pieces of paper in Phil’s shoe box. After some months, Keith will make a shambolic effort to rank the entries – but this will be halted when Keith loses his loaner laptop in Norwich. Finally Mann will write an abrupt email announcing that he is the winner.

  41. Rory says:

    On an isle south of England known as Mann,
    Loomed bird mincing towers and their fans.
    While those props spun the rotors
    Of their giant backwards … motors
    The Manx cursed the soul ‘o Mike-E. Mann.

  42. Gary says:

    They already have the Hugo Award….

  43. Now we know how we can all do our part to save the world from global warming.
    Here’s a hint — it’s not by writing poetry.
    If the CO2 rise we cannot stall
    Then the sea will rise over the atoll
    But if golfers fret
    That their balls will get wet
    The Maldives won’t sink after all.

  44. LazyTeenager says:

    Many CRU pronouncements may not be ‘poetry’ but, rather than being based upon rigorous science, may eminently qualify as both ‘prose’ and ‘fiction’?
    ———-
    But isn’t the CRU temperature record your favorite? Because it shows a recent plateau that supposedly means that climate change had turned the corner.

    And now your claiming this plateau is a fiction?

    I am so confused.

  45. Matthew W says:

    Can Kenji enter?

  46. Don Worley says:

    Sorry. Try as we may, no one can compete with the stuff that’s already been published in peer reviewed journals, and on RealClimate.org.

    Maybe I can plagiarize Ray Ladbury.

  47. Gunga Din says:

    Here’s my entry. I first entered this under “Weather Cows” back in April. (“Weather Cows” had to do with which direction cows face in a storm.)

    “All this talk of cows and weather predictions got me curious about something. So, to satisfy my curiosity, I checked out some old emails on the UVa. server. Lo and behold, I discovered that the lesser known but very first “Hockey Stick” wasn’t based on tree rings at all! It seems a certain someone studied a series of preserved hoof prints. Not being a farm boy, he could only tell which direction they faced by noting the location of any assoiated cow pies. After discarding those that didn’t have a cow pie, he determined the direction of the remainder. Assuming any wind coming from the direction of Tennessee would be warmer (for some unknown reason), he plotted his proxies and the very first “Hockey Stick” was born! But … alas … someone saw his raw data and it was discovered that he wasn’t looking at cow prints and cow pies at all but rather bull prints and bull … scat. But he liked his “Hockey Stick”! Rather than admit what “The Stick” was really based on, he looked for something else to plot that would produce the same results as the original bull-based plot. When he noticed the first rise of his stick seemed to correspond to Al Gore’s winning his first election, he turned to something wooden. This is how the second but better known “Hockey Stick” was born. And now you know the rest of the story!”

    (Of course, I’d be disqualified if this turns out to non-fiction.8-(

  48. John Trigge (in Oz) says:

    If, as is quite possible, the IPCC use the winning entry in it nth Assessment Report, will it then be classified as non-fiction and the winner will have to hand back the Onoto pen and repay the monies paid towards their MA?

    I thought I’d written fiction
    but, my diction,
    whilst quaint
    was used by the IPCC
    so my fiction,
    ain’t

  49. David Ball says:

    It was the best of climes, it was the worst of climes, ……

  50. Skeptik says:

    You forgot the sarc tag Anthony.
    You were taking the piss out of us?

  51. Creative Writing, like as in Creative Accounting!
    More of the same, support CAGW, get rewarded.

  52. Science Fiction or Fantasy?

  53. Willhelm says:

    It was a dark and stormy night. The screen door slammed. Suddenly a shot rang out.

    Global warming entered the kitchen and the climate changed. Buxom Betty knew it was not the weather. She knew she had to hide the decline, so she grabbed her hockey stick and called out to her Mann…………

    (Feel free to add…………..)

  54. davidmhoffer says:

    Charles Gerard Nelson says:
    August 24, 2012 at 6:57 pm
    Science Fiction or Fantasy?
    >>>>>>>>>>>>

    Horror.

  55. noaaprogrammer says:

    Whether the weather be hot,
    Whether the weather be cold.
    Whatever the weather, we’ll weather the weather,
    Whether we like it or not.

  56. Peter Wilson says:

    Neil McEvoy says:
    August 24, 2012 at 11:21 am
    Michael Mann should enter. Nobody does it better. The prize would fund a lawyer for a couple of days.

    Not the kind of lawyer he’s going to need. Couple of hours more like!

  57. g1lgam3sh says:

    They’ll be up against some stiff competition who’ve had years of practice.

  58. theduke says:

    Poetic licentiousness?

  59. Hot under the collar says:

    The computer models were all in vain,
    The ‘hockey stick’ scientist has struck again!

  60. Roy Hogue says:

    This says it all:

    There once was a student named Rufus,
    who thought climate change he could prove-us.
    He tried and he tried,
    but his theory, it died.
    And now he just looks like a doofus.

  61. John G. says:

    This is an abstract of my submission for the prize:

    A large outbreak of tornadoes, caused entirely by climate change, ravages Kansas. A farm house within which there is a little girl name Dori and her dog Toga is struck by a tornado and whirled into the air. It crashes far far away in the land of Penn where it kills an evil climate change warlock. The local people are so happy to be rid of the warlock they ask Dori and Toga to stay with them but Dori just wants to go home. So the locals give Dori some money and put her on the road to a nearby town where she can catch a bus to take her back to Kansas. On the way she meets several colorful characters and experiences some very unusual weather cause entirely by climate change. When she gets to the bus station she finds she doesn’t have enough money so she falls asleep in the waiting room. When she awakes she finds she’s back in the farmhouse, the tornado was just a dream and she realizes that climate change is the pre-eminent danger of all mankind. The End. PS I’d rather have the $300 than the pen (small bills please).

  62. Six Scientists of Climate Change

    There were six learned scientists
    Who spoke upon a dais
    They were environmentalists
    And each one had a bias:
    Each scientist within this list
    Knew climate change would fry us.

    These honest women, honest men
    Read others’ proclamations
    And sure they were: each one of them
    From all the Earthly nations
    Thought Climate Change results were in
    — at everyone else’s stations

    The first one measured Greenland ice
    And nearly went berserk
    It’s thicker! But upon advice
    From his new PR clerk
    He learned that Climate Change relies
    On someone else’s work.

    The second measured CO2
    And how fast it would grow
    He looked at rocks and ice cores too
    From very long ago
    It’s much less now! But this won’t do
    So “that part we won’t show.”

    For if we’ve got a tiny part
    Of CO2 we had
    When plants evolved and got their start
    Why, more would make them glad
    And grow much faster! But take heart:
    He’s sure it’s really bad.

    Another looks at temperature
    By Jones and Mann and Hansen
    The Hockey Stick is now unsure
    (Poor methods they were chancin’)
    Small towns are cooler? He’ll obscure
    With clever software dancin’

    The fourth? She quantifies our star
    And how hot it appears
    It’s now more radiant by far
    Than in eight thousand years
    But that increase won’t make the bar
    Man can’t change solar gears

    And still another looks at salt
    The ocean deeps are trappin’
    Effects aren’t large in ice, basalt
    Or mud, but still they’re yappin’:
    “New movies! Books! It’s mankind’s fault!
    ‘Cause you know, it COULD happen!”

    The last of all is hunting trees
    For signs unprecedented
    He seeks in rings the cool degrees
    He hopes the past presented
    But evidence of warmth he sees
    So that part he’s invented

    And so on. Each researcher knows
    Catastrophe is near!
    And mankind is the cause. It grows
    More dire every year
    Despite that solid evidence
    Is “everywhere but here.”

    Each day they chanted, loud and long
    To ward off private doubts
    The news folks made the language strong
    And now are doomsday touts
    But read the research! PR’s wrong!
    The data is what counts.

    - – – – – – – – -

    With apologies to John Godfrey Saxe. I wrote the above years before ClimateGate.

    ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

  63. johnbuk says:

    “It was a dark and stormy night; caused entirely by climate change…..”
    Blair, you owe me a new laptop! I shall be instructing my lawyers forthwith.
    Now, where’s that bloody coffee cup?

  64. Richdo says:

    Apologies to CCR. Feel free to sing along

    I see the cold sun arising.
    I see trouble on the way
    I see snowstorms afrightnin’.
    I see bad times today.

    Don’t go around tonight,
    Well, it’s bound to freeze your life,
    There’s a cold sun on the rise.

    I hear no hurricanes ablowing.
    I know the end is coming soon.
    I fear ice rivers over flowing.
    I hear the voice of rage and ruin.

    Don’t go around tonight,
    Well, it’s bound to freeze your life,
    There’s a cold sun on the rise.
    All right!

    Hope you got your things together.
    Hope you are quite prepared to die.
    Looks like we’re in for nasty weather.
    One eye is taken for an eye.

    Don’t go around tonight,
    Well, it’s bound to freeze your life,
    There’s a cold sun on the rise.

    Don’t go around tonight,
    Well, it’s bound to freeze your life,
    There’s a cold sun on the rise.

  65. David Cage says:

    Everything on the climate from the UEA is creative writing, so what’s new? Let’s be fair though creative writing as such is what the university excels at and it is a shame that in the end the whole university’s name will stink of the climate studies department’s incompetence and dishonesty..

  66. higley7 says:

    Hansen gets the prize! We’re done.

  67. Y’all just wait till I whip out my Detective Mandingo climate-noir. That prize is mine!

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