Guest essay by Eric Worrall
The Guardian thinks climate change is so “dire”, people can only make sense of it with the help of science fiction.
According to The Guardian;
Climate change is so dire we need a new kind of science fiction to make sense of it
Star Trek was one way of dealing with the social anxieties of the 1960s. Since sci-fi mirrors the present, ecological collapse requires a new dystopian fiction.
Build an imaginary world in your mind, hanging in space. Spin it around a bit; kick the tires. Now change one thing about that world. Throw a bug of your choice into the machine. What if the oceans reclaim your coastal cities? What if you can’t support life? What if the life you bear can’t support you?
It can be difficult to conceive of something so enormous through facts alone. But the right fiction can be a mirror, a map and a crystal ball, helping us to see ourselves in the world, negotiate our way out of disaster and imagine how we might live differently.
The point is that Anthropocene fiction isn’t just science fiction; nor is it just climate fiction. It’s both those things and more. It is all the stories we should tell our children: near-future tales of ecological systems, collapse, responsibility and possibility along with visions of long-term cohabitation with our own environment. The point is to show them not just how the story ends but how we might get through the middle – while we still have a shot at changing it.
I must say, I find the green obsession with frightening the kids with apocalyptic fairy tales, dressed up as predictions, a little disturbing. My parents didn’t let me watch Star Trek, until I was old enough to understand that what I was seeing was just entertaining fiction.