The literary genre climate fiction is commonly known as Cli-Fi. The narratives deal with climate-change and global warming, although not necessarily speculative in nature the narratives center on the world as we know it or in the near future. In essence it is an off-shoot of eco-fiction addressing the effects of climate change in short stories or novels.
Although the term “cli-fi” came into use in the late 2000s to describe novels dealing with man-made climate change, it is certainly not a ‘new’ literary topic as natural disasters have been themes to novels in the past. For example Jules Verne’s The Purchase of the North Pole in 1889 relates to a change due to the Earth’s axis tilting. His Paris in the Twentieth Century, written in 1883, relays a sudden drop in temperature lasting three years in a titular city. J.G. Ballard used persistent hurricane-force winds in The Wind from Nowhere in 1961 and melted ice-caps and rising sea-levels caused by solar radiation in The Drowned World in 1962 (somewhat of a prophecy!)
This genre has grown as scientific knowledge of the effects of fossil fuel consumption and resulting increase in atmospheric CO2 concentrations has become the global warming phenomenon.
Other novels include Susan M. Gaine’s Carbon Dreams, Michael Crichton’s State of Fear, Margaret Atwood’s Oryx & Crake, the Year of the Flood and MaddAddam.
Fury – definition: 1. unrestrained or violent anger, rage, passion, or the like; 2. sudden violent power or force
Is it me or have there been an exceptional number of volcanic eruptions in 2013? That is not including earthquakes and tsunamis, which have also increased.
Could this be Mother Nature’s fury?
Has she had enough and is showing us how insignificant we really are? There is no human force that can resist or conquer a volcanic eruption or earthquake. We are at her mercy.
I follow a face book page by Gerri Bowen – https://www.facebook.com/gerri.bowen not just for her wonderful books but also because she finds the most interesting facts about seismic events around the world. This year has been extraordinary full of volcanic eruptions and earthquakes globally.
As you can see from these links – the globe has numerous active volcanoes and some have erupted this year after being dormant for a long time.
When you actually see the fault lines crisscrossing and moving under the earth’s crust, it is a wonder there are not more. Volcanoes have links to each other many miles underground so it is not surprising when one erupts, others follow.
If you have not seen the movies, The Impossible, I highly recommend it. Not only is it a true story, which has every parent agonizing with the mother but the sheer enormity of the family’s situation and those of the people around them is mind numbing. You ask yourself, ‘how would I cope?’, ‘could I survive?’ ‘would I be able to save my family?’. It is a powerful story of an event that devastated a vast area of South Asia.
So as not to spoil the movie for you I will not divulge more.
Have you used a natural or man-made disaster in a novel or story?
I refer to a past World War in my novel, Life in Slake Patch, which resulted in the formation of a matriarchal ruled world. Excerpt:
“Surely these are pictures are wild imaging’s of a possessed person, Jacob?”
“Somewhat my thoughts at first, my young friend, but on closer inspection I have discovered this book was compiled as some sort of historic and societal recording.”
“But – men and women living together, it’s…?”
“Yes, inconceivable to our present way of life but obviously prior to the Grand War life was lived very differently.”
“Can such change have come about in three hundred years, do you think, Jacob?”
“It may seem difficult to your young ideals, Evan, but some change can evolve slowly and others quite quickly. Drastic events can mean extreme measures have to be made. Upon reflection I can see The Grand War was reason enough to change society in such a fundamental way.”
Acclimatize – definition: to adapt oneself to one’s surroundings, environment, or climate
Most of us are familiar with how animal species have adapted to their environments. As a David Attenborough fan, I have watched numerous programs where he has shown these in glorious color. I will not go into the hundreds of adaptations here but this link is a great source of information, if you are interested. http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/adaptations
It is the adaptations of the human species, which concerns me. Earlier civilizations lived with their surroundings and maintained the natural balance. As humans developed and formed larger and larger groups, this changed and we began manipulating our surroundings to suit us. Areas of the planet previously uninhabited due to the climate or conditions were invaded and structures built to accommodate. Resources were, and still are, ravaged. Vast areas of the planet are now under concrete and this ‘invasion’ is still going on.
Humans adapt their environment in any way they can. From the sewing of furs, inventing shoes, discovering how to shear sheep to make wool for weaving clothing, taming fire, domesticating animals, and inventing agriculture, there has been an explosion of adaptations. Also housing became more and more sophisticated from caves to mud huts to brick buildings and wooden structures with insulation. Another discovery was herbs and how they could be used either for culinary or medicinal uses, and which were poisonous. Tools have developed and improved from split rocks with sharp edges to battery powered tools for every aspect of building. Yes, we are a ‘clever’ animal but at what cost?
Unfortunately, this behavior is continuing even though there is scientific proof that human impact on the planet and its inhabitants is destroying the only ‘home’ we have. Obviously, we can not unlearn our inventions and expectations for ourselves – everyone wants a nice home to live in and easy access to food and clothing.
What is the answer? That is the billion dollar question!
Celestial – definition: pertaining to the sky or heavens
The heavens have always fascinated humans throughout our evolution. Monoliths around the globe are evidence of our attempts to connect to whatever power we envisage resides there. My Greek and Roman literature course showed me a world full of complex relationships and deeds of good and bad. Gods sat in Olympus showering the population with favors or disasters.
This map shows a celestial map in 1515.
Modern day astrology utilizes the star signs to predict our live’s path. For some these ‘readings’ are believed while others choose only the ‘good’ predictions detailed in the newspaper.
Whatever religion you follow in some part there will be a celestial component. This belief is deeply rooted from our earliest ancestors worshiping the sun arriving each morning and the moon standing guard in the night.
There has been a shift since the first moon landings and the many deep space missions launched since, which have given us more information regarding the ‘heavens’ than ever before. We now know stars are actually planets or massive moons exploding and we are witnessing the last moment of glory as light travelling to us. However, we still enjoy the globe that is our moon on night’s it is a splendid full sphere. There is still magic in the sky above us. It is now crowded with satellites for communication and debris from our previous explorations but there is a wonder there. Our planet is only one of billions…something that is hard to comprehend.