Saturday, March 25, 2017

La utopia verda de Kim Stanley Robinson: L'escriptor, convidat a Kosmopolis per parlar de la 'climate fiction', planteja escenaris utòpics després del canvi climàtic

UN CLÀSSIC DE LA CIÈNCIA-FICCIÓ, A KOSMOPOLIS

La utopia verda de Kim Stanley Robinson

L'escriptor, convidat a Kosmopolis per parlar de la 'climate fiction', planteja escenaris utòpics després del canvi climàtic

La utopia verda de Kim Stanley Robinson
JULIO CARBO
Dissabte, 25 de març del 2017
                                             
Quan Ian Watson va anunciar, en la passada Eurocon, que Kim Stanley Robinson seria un dels convidats a Kosmopolis, va llançar una pregunta. Si el canvi climàtic és potser el problema número u de la humanitat, i la ciència-ficció és l’únic gènere que l’ha abordat a fons, potser la seva rellevància és més gran de la que se li concedeix. Robinson, autor de Marte rojo, Marte azul i Marte verde, referent de la ciència-ficció amb intenció ecologista i consciència socialista, ha visitat finalment Barcelona. «La ciència-ficció tracta del futur, el pitjor de l’impacte del canvi climàtic es veurà en el futur, així que la ciència-ficció és la manera natural de parlar del canvi climàtic», confirma Robinson.
Fins i tot si s’escriu del passat cal incloure el canvi climàtic constant que ha marcat l’evolució de la terra. Ho ha fet en el seu últim llibre publicat a Espanya, Chamán (Minotauro), una història que es desenvolupa fa 32.000 anys, en plena edat de gel. «Sempre escric sobre la relació entre les persones i el seu planeta, el seu entorn», recorda.

NOVA YORK SOTA L' AIGUA

Tot i això, el seu últim llibre publicat als EUA, New York 2140, ens porta una sorpresa. Sí, Manhattan s’ha convertit en una espècie de Venècia. Però no es tracta d’una distopia climàtica, de la crònica d’un desastre. «El capitalisme global castiga el treballador, augmenta la desigualtat, no paga pel mal que fa a l’entorn i no pensa en l’impacte que tindrà en el futur. Però potser tot vagi en la direcció oposada. New York 2140 és una novel·la utòpica, descriu d’una manera pràctica una revolució financera d’esquerres».
¿I la climate fiction? «No m’agrada l’etiqueta. Cada vegada que la ciència-ficció es torna interessant s’inventen un nom nou per a ella. Per a mi, sempre és ciència-ficció».

"Hem d'acabar amb la idea que podem viatjar a les estrelles; és ciència-ficció convertida en fantasia"

A 'Aurora' (publicada l'any passat per Minotaure) Kim Stanley Robinson recull un tema clàssic de la ciència-ficció (una arca espacial, amb un viatge multigeneracional per colonitzar un planeta en una estrella més o menys pròxima) però el subverteix, per arribar a la conclusió que deixem de pensar a viatjar a altres planetes i ens centrem a salvar el nostre. "Això és ciència-ficció convertida en fantasia. Volia acabar amb la idea que podem viatjar a les estrelles; que podem utilitzar una segona Terra com a rescat. Tenia una altra motivació, la de tractar què passa en un microbioma. Per motius genètics, és un error pensar que una població pugui viure en un espai restringit com una nau espacial i seguir sana". Però no es pot negar que la imaginació es dispara davant l'onada de descobriments d'exoplanetes, o la possibilitat d'enviar petites sondes robòtiques a estrelles pròximes. "Sí, aquests planetes són allà però massa lluny perquè podem visitar-los. I un petit robot podria arribar-hi i fer unes fotos... en el millor dels casos després de trigar 60 o 70 anys. Les implicacions pràctiques de tot això sense pràcticament inexistents".

La Climate Fiction, aka Cli-Fi situada en un futur proper, és la ficció realista del nostre temps, i Kim Stanley Robinson n’és el practicant principal.

  1. La Climate Fiction, aka Cli-Fi situada en un futur proper, és la ficció realista del nostre temps, i Kim Stanley Robinson n’és el practicant principal. Ian Watson, autor veterà de la ciència-ficció, conversa amb KSR sobre la seva carrera, sempre compromès i amb propostes constructives per comprendre com la raça humana pot sobreviure a les crisis que s’estan produint ara mateix.
  • 25 marçh, 2017
  • 19.30 - 20.30 pm in SPAIN
  1. Kim Stanley Robinson: "La ciència ficció és com unes ulleres de 3D"
  2.  

    1. "Sólo tenemos La Tierra. No hay plan B. Marte y otros planetas hoy no son viables". Kim Stanley Robinson. -- "THERE IS NO PLANET B!"
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    UN CLÀSSIC DE LA CIÈNCIA-FICCIÓ, A KOSMOPOLIS

    La utopia verda de Kim Stanley Robinson

    L'escriptor, convidat a Kosmopolis per parlar de la 'climate fiction', planteja escenaris utòpics després del canvi climàtic

    La utopia verda de Kim Stanley Robinson
    JULIO CARBO
    Dissabte, 25 de març del 2017 - 21:16 CET
    Quan Ian Watson va anunciar, en la passada Eurocon, que Kim Stanley Robinson seria un dels convidats a Kosmopolis, va llançar una pregunta. Si el canvi climàtic és potser el problema número u de la humanitat, i la ciència-ficció és l’únic gènere que l’ha abordat a fons, potser la seva rellevància és més gran de la que se li concedeix. Robinson, autor de Marte rojo, Marte azul i Marte verde, referent de la ciència-ficció amb intenció ecologista i consciència socialista, ha visitat finalment Barcelona. «La ciència-ficció tracta del futur, el pitjor de l’impacte del canvi climàtic es veurà en el futur, així que la ciència-ficció és la manera natural de parlar del canvi climàtic», confirma Robinson.
    Fins i tot si s’escriu del passat cal incloure el canvi climàtic constant que ha marcat l’evolució de la terra. Ho ha fet en el seu últim llibre publicat a Espanya, Chamán (Minotauro), una història que es desenvolupa fa 32.000 anys, en plena edat de gel. «Sempre escric sobre la relació entre les persones i el seu planeta, el seu entorn», recorda.

    NOVA YORK SOTA L' AIGUA

    Tot i això, el seu últim llibre publicat als EUA, New York 2140, ens porta una sorpresa. Sí, Manhattan s’ha convertit en una espècie de Venècia. Però no es tracta d’una distopia climàtica, de la crònica d’un desastre. «El capitalisme global castiga el treballador, augmenta la desigualtat, no paga pel mal que fa a l’entorn i no pensa en l’impacte que tindrà en el futur. Però potser tot vagi en la direcció oposada. New York 2140 és una novel·la utòpica, descriu d’una manera pràctica una revolució financera d’esquerres».
    ¿I la climate fiction? «No m’agrada l’etiqueta. Cada vegada que la ciència-ficció es torna interessant s’inventen un nom nou per a ella. Per a mi, sempre és ciència-ficció».

    "Hem d'acabar amb la idea que podem viatjar a les estrelles; és ciència-ficció convertida en fantasia"

    A 'Aurora' (publicada l'any passat per Minotaure) Kim Stanley Robinson recull un tema clàssic de la ciència-ficció (una arca espacial, amb un viatge multigeneracional per colonitzar un planeta en una estrella més o menys pròxima) però el subverteix, per arribar a la conclusió que deixem de pensar a viatjar a altres planetes i ens centrem a salvar el nostre. "Això és ciència-ficció convertida en fantasia. Volia acabar amb la idea que podem viatjar a les estrelles; que podem utilitzar una segona Terra com a rescat. Tenia una altra motivació, la de tractar què passa en un microbioma. Per motius genètics, és un error pensar que una població pugui viure en un espai restringit com una nau espacial i seguir sana". Però no es pot negar que la imaginació es dispara davant l'onada de descobriments d'exoplanetes, o la possibilitat d'enviar petites sondes robòtiques a estrelles pròximes. "Sí, aquests planetes són allà però massa lluny perquè podem visitar-los. I un petit robot podria arribar-hi i fer unes fotos... en el millor dels casos després de trigar 60 o 70 anys. Les implicacions pràctiques de tot això sense pràcticament inexistents".

    Thursday, March 23, 2017

    There is a Chinese-language idiom ...''TÁNG BÌ DĀNG CHĒ'' [螳臂当车] which means ''a mantis trying to stop a chariot''. It means to attempt the impossible!

    There is a Chinese-language idiom ...

    ''TÁNG  BÌ  DĀNG  CHĒ'' [螳臂当车]

    which means ''a mantis trying to stop a chariot''. It means to attempt the impossible!


     TÁNG = praying mantis
    BÌ = arm
    ...
    DĀNG = to be
    CHĒ = car, or chariot/cart

    In terms of humankind trying to stop runaway climate change, is this a noteworthy idiom to learn and remember? Are we humans the mantis and global warming is the chariot we cannot stop?

    Wednesday, March 22, 2017

    Today, with the steady rise of dystopian literature, ecofiction and climate change fiction (otherwise known as “cli fi”), we see similar artistic responses to environmental change which steer readers away from complacency. As authors seek to express the gravity and severity of ecological crises, their literature holds the potential to inspire radical change

    Victoria Tedeschi is a PhD candidate studying English and Theatre Studies in the School of Culture and Communication at the University of Melbourne in Australia. Victoria has tutored literary studies at the University of Melbourne and Deakin University. Her research has been published in international, peer-reviewed journals and has received numerous accolades such as the Australian Postgraduate award, the Gwenda Ford English Literature award and the Percival Serle prize.
    Victoria is currently compiling a dissertation which employs an ecocritical methodology to identify how Victorian-era editions of Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale literature represented the ecosphere to a newfound child audience during a period of environmental upheaval. She is primarily interested in ecocritical research, ecofeminist discourse and representations of the environment in popular culture.
    =====================================

    Today, with the steady rise of dystopian literature, ecofiction and climate change fiction (otherwise known as “cli fi”), we see similar artistic responses to environmental change which steer readers away from complacency. As authors seek to express the gravity and severity of ecological crises, their literature holds the potential to inspire radical change

    Nathaniel Rich and Elizabeth Kolbert discuss cli-fi on stage at the New York Public Library lecture series a few years ago.......

    Subject:  listen video re Nathaniel Rich | Elizabeth Kolbert discuss CLI FI and SOME MAN IN TAIWAN at 45.35 into NYPL video:

      http://www.nypl.org/node/261377
      Nathaniel Rich | Elizabeth Kolbert discuss cli-fi

    ELIZABETH KOLBERT: What do you feel about the whole cli-fi, is it?
     NATHANIEL RICH: There's a new term called "cli-fi" that I started tohear ....(laughter) .....after my book came out if you're not familiar with it,there's a man in Taiwan who invented it and is its biggest promoter. I'm surprised you haven't heard from him.
     ELIZABETH KOLBERT: I know, I know.
    FULL TRANSCRIPT HERE: NATHANIEL RICH: And yeah and the novel got wrapped up in the>>> discussion of this genre, there was like an NPR story that I think>>> started. So the idea is fiction about the climate and I think there's>>> very little good fiction about the environment.

    There are a couple of>>> examples that come to mind. I think Ian McEwan's book Solar is very>>> good as an example of it's not didactic, it's not preachy, and it's>>> about sort of a convincing story about these issues.

    And there's a>>> good T. C. Boyle novel, Friend of the Earth, Barbara Kingsolver has>>> written about it, and some other. J. G. Ballard, I guess it's his>>> first or second novel, The Drowned World is a good early example, but>>> there's very little. And I would say even--I love Boyle and I love>>> McEwan, but I would say--and I love those books but they're not their>>> best books, those writers' best books, and I think there's a real>>> opening there, but I think, yeah, but I do have a wariness about--like,>>> anything, whenever anything crystallizes into a genre it's going to>>> have its clichés and its forms and I think if you want to do original>>> work, you have to resist that.

    VIDEO -- At 49-minute mark, Margaret Atwood gives her IMPORTANT NBCC lifetime achievement acceptance speech

    VIDEO -- At 49-minute mark,  Margaret Atwood gives her IMPORTANT NBCC lifetime achievement acceptance speech


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8LxJNslFVg

    How one professor is finding the funny in climate change

    SOCIETY

    How one professor is finding the funny in climate change

     
    And "climate fiction," or "cli-fi," is a budding field of literature, increasingly being taught on college campuses across the country.
     
    BOULDER, Colorado USA — We have rising sea levels, world-record warming, acidifying oceans, an approaching food crisis and a president who is determined to cut any federal budget that is aimed at mitigating climate change. Is there anything that's funny about this?

    That's a question about human behavior that Maxwell Boykoff, an associate professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder, is studying because he thinks humor may bring more people closer to understanding the threats and potential solutions to the problem of climate change.

    He and a colleague, Beth Osnes, have produced "Creative Climate Communications," a class for graduating seniors majoring in environmental science that probes their fears about climate change and stresses the need for explaining policies that can cope with it.

    Much of the literature about climate change is focused on the year 2050, a time when scientists predict rising oceans may begin to threaten many of the nation's coastal cities and states like Florida. By then, graduating seniors will be 55 years old, squarely in the middle of this mess, perhaps struggling with a collapsing economy and wild weather while trying to put children through college.

    Boykoff, who is 43 and has a doctorate in environmental studies, wanted to set up what he calls a "living laboratory" to examine what his students think about this. So he built a course that involves producing annual comedy shows involving stand-up comics, skits and short videos to explore the humorous side of climate change.

     
    "At first there was almost mutiny," Boykoff recalled. "They felt you're [tasking] us to take a very serious issue and find funny in there." To talk lightly about "scientifically grounded evidence"? This is impossible, they told him.

    But Boykoff insisted that they would all learn something because communicating with other people about solutions to climate change is becoming extremely difficult. "Expressions of doom and gloom don't help open conversations" that are increasingly necessary to finding solutions.

    He cited statistics showing newspaper coverage of climate change is declining, except for stories about the Trump administration's latest actions. He argued that people use climate denial to avoid thinking about needed changes and told students, "You may be able to use humor to meet people where they are."

    Taking aim at ski bums, Inhofe and weather reports

    The class comes at a time when scientists and other advocates for tackling climate change are seeking new ways to communicate catastrophic threats to the planet. The Showtime series "Years of Living Dangerously" featured big-name celebrities, including comedians like David Letterman, to tell the stories of how rising temperatures are affecting the planet. Some have sought to draw parallels between global warming and the HBO hit "Game of Thrones."

    And "climate fiction," or "cli-fi," is a budding field of literature, increasingly being taught on college campuses across the country.

    Change in attitudes among Boykoff's students and other participants in his show came slowly — some of them had no idea they were going on stage — but it came. One example is a short video that appeared in this year's show, "Stand Up for Climate Change: An Experiment With Creative Climate Comedy."

    The video features a talking baby explaining to President Trump, who will be 71 in June: "You won't be around to face the consequences of climate change, but I will. So please, Mr. Trump, planet Earth first!"
    In last year's show, the class took on three presidential candidates in a skit where they posed as bachelors and bachelorettes on a mock version of the television show "The Dating Game."
    In another, three students walk into a dorm carrying ski gear while another keeps trying to light his bong. A woman reminds the would-be skiers that it hasn't snowed for months. "We've got to do something about this," says one of them, who seems surprised. The student smoking the bong looks up in glassy-eyed despair: "Shit. We're fucked."

    Luke Campbell, one of last year's students, started with a stand-up routine that mocked Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) for walking into the Senate and throwing a snowball during a late-spring snowstorm, as if that proved climate change to be a hoax. But then Campbell seemed to drift off script, admitting that it was unfair to blame Inhofe or any other single person for climate change.
    "Blame yourself and everyone else," he told the audience in a small campus theater. "Climate change is bad news. Eventually something terrible is going to happen, and everyone is on their phones saying we probably shouldn't do that," he said, referring on a common reliance on gasoline to drive for even short errands in their cars. "And they do and they do and they keep doing that."

    Perhaps the funniest moment of Boykoff's first two seasons as a comedy impresario came in a short video from Vancouver, British Columbia, where Heather Libby, a writer and graphic designer, was inspired by years of hating local television news programs to produce one of her own. It was titled "Weathergirl Goes Rogue."

    The announcer, played by Libby's partner, a former CTV bureau chief, kicks it off: "It's the Labor Day weekend, last chance to lounge by that pool and wrap up your summer reading list," and then summons Pippa, the weather girl, to explain why "the nice warm weather isn't quite ready to leave."
    Pippa replies sarcastically, "I don't know why you would imagine that. We've broken thousands of temperature records across the country and the planet this year. In fact, we're heading into the 329th consecutive month with a global temperature above the 20th-century average."
    Announcer, looking puzzled: "Well it's definitely time to light up that barbecue." He invites Pippa to give her seven-day forecast.

    Pippa starts with the weather "way up north." The Arctic is missing 4 million square kilometers of ice. "That's bigger than India," she points out. Instead of a white ice sheet reflecting the sunlight back into space, there is "dark water sucking up even more heat, making it warm up faster and faster!"
    The announcer, frowning, reminds Pippa he asked for a weather report.
    Pippa screams at him, "You think all this is a coincidence? You want a weather report? This is a reality report!" She predicts "total mayhem if it continues."

    The announcer has the control room turn off Pippa's sound. "So all and all, it looks like a great Labor Day weekend," he says, smiling, "and good times for the air conditioner industry."
    Pippa: "Until the power goes out, you moron!"

    As the announcer turns to celebrity news, the weather girl lunges at him from across the studio, knocking him off his chair.

    An 'aha moment'?

    According to Libby, there were quite a few other people who shared Pippa's rage. Her video went viral on the internet, getting half a million views in the first two weeks. That whetted Boykoff's appetite for more guest videos. Last year, there were nine entries for his comedy show, where judges select the top three. This year, there were 18 entries that will be shown next fall by Rebecca Safran, a biologist, who teaches a separate course about film and climate change.

    Osnes, an associate professor of theater studies, joined Boykoff in teaching this year's course on communicating climate issues. Environmental science majors are different from her usual students, she explained. "They've got deep content knowledge," she said, but getting them up on stage just to do public speaking is often daunting, let alone trying comedy.

    Osnes patrols the rehearsals, prodding people to keep their lines short, stay near the front of the stage and use portable microphones.

    She thinks the time is ripe for audiences to connect with climate change. "More people are having their own physical experiences with extreme weather. There is a kind of aha moment."
    Comedy, especially parody, she says, can "explode some of the inconsistencies and hypocrisies with which we're all living in a way that we can kind of laugh at." The format, she pointed out, goes back to ancient Greece, where Aristophanes wrote "Lysistrata," a comedy that suggested women deny their husbands sex until they stopped the destruction and killing in the Peloponnesian War.

    "We're just trying to give them ideas they can riff off of," she explained.

    So that is how Pablo Laris-Gonzalez, a student from Mexico City, wound up on the stage this year in a golden robe and a crown. He was "Sol," portraying the role of the sun.

    Students dressed as bugs, plants and animals came on stage with him, but they were covered with a blanket simulating dirt, rocks and debris that compressed them for millions of years until the pressure and Sol's heat produced "Fos." This is a raffish character in a scaly, black costume worn by Larry Gumina from New Jersey. He roamed around the stage bragging about the beauties of having coal and high-powered cars.

    Sol and Fos, who represented fossil fuels, had a kind of love-hate relationship. In one scene, Fos came out on the stage to sleep off a drink and Sol mentioned something about a strip, which made Fos happy. But then Fos woke up to find Sol running a toy bulldozer over his body.
    "Wait a minute, I thought you were going to do a strip," said Fos.

    "I said strip mining," explained Sol.