Back in December of 2012, Georgia Tech scientist Judith Curry published a blog post titled "Cli-Fi" in which she introduced the new genre, writing: "There is a fledgling new genre in fiction [dubbed cli-fi, for climate fiction novels using the same sounds as sci-fi]. Michael Crichton's ''State of Fear'' was a blockbuster best-selling novel with the debate over global warming serving as the backdrop for the book.
Wikipedia had this to say about ''State of Fear'', Curry noted:
''State of Fear is a 2004 techno-thriller novel by Michael Crichton concerning eco-
''While the literary crowd may have criticized the book’s presentation of facts and stance on global warming, this novel seems to have spawned numerous skeptical investigations amongst the afficionadoes of the technical thriller genre.''
Novels about climate change issues have become popular in recent years and this new literary genre called "cli-fi" has arisen to give these novels a home in bookstores and online. Some take the issues from a pro-global warming stance, and others take the opposite view, emphasizing that global warming is not what climate activists say it is nor are the solutions proposed useful or productive.
For novelist Sally Fernandez in Sarasota, Florida, her new novel titled "Climatized" is a political thriller that takes the second view, that global warming is not what climate activists say it is and that the various solutions proposed are not useful or productive. In a recent interview with this blogger, Fernandez was kind enough to sit down and answer some of our questions about her cli-fi novel.
DAN BLOOM: Sally, I wrote in my review on Amazon that your novel -- I love the title, by the way -- is “a fantastic read as a thriller” and it is. And you really have the proven writing chops as a storyteller and thriller novelist. I am just curious about the thesis of your novel. So, let's chat and if we disagree on some things, that's fine, we can agree to disagree, and yet retain open minds about the issues involved.
So Sally, while we may disagree as to the thesis behind your novel, you say you stand behind the science that has been fact-checked by many luminaries in the scientific community. Can you tell me some of these luminaries’ names, for example? Michael Mann, James Hansen, Andrew Revkin?
SALLY FERNANDEZ: Interesting you would name those three. Because from what I understand, Michael “hockey stick” Mann’s graphic, basically eliminated the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age. Even the IPCC quietly chose not to include this discredited invalidity in its most recent “reportage.” Conversely, NASA’s Apollo Space Mission veteran, Dr. Harold Doiron, whom you may have noted, wrote the Foreword for Climatized, was one of the “luminaries” on whom I relied. His mathematics was responsible for literally “saving” almost every rocket launched by the agency in eliminating destructive resonances in the fuel delivery system. Dr. Doiron’s equations have been parsed by The Right Climate Stuff research team, a group comprised of astronauts, scientists, and engineers, along with others in academia. Uniformly, they agree as to the logic and most important, its non-threatening results of climate change. I believe that from the standpoint of mathematical and technical expertise, Mann is not in Doiron’s league.
You also mentioned James Hansen. I’d like to note that along with his colleague, Maiko Sato, they predicted over a 16-foot exponential sea-level rise by the end of this century. Again, from my research, Hansen and Sato used climate models to make these assumptions.
However, another one of my luminaries and NASA Apollo veteran, Tom Wysmuller, used hard, measured, validated and verified data to put together a sea-level rise picture that is far more realistic. Currently, Tom is in Qingdao, China, chairing the Oceanography section of the World Conference on Oceans, where he will be addressing the conference on sea-level rise, and delivering another presentation on the role that ocean currents played in the development of the Great Ice Ages. For him, “Global Warming” is real, measured appropriately by retained oceanic heat. If you’re placing bets, I’ll go with Tom!
Honestly, I have no comparison to Andrew Revkin. I’m only familiar with him as a New York Times reporter, who he tends to sensationalize climate matters. There is a real choice between opting for sensationalism or for reality, but sadly, the media have blurred the distinction.
I could continue to list the accomplishments of my other luminaries, such as the likes of Laurence Gould, Physics Professor at the University of Hartford, Dennis Avery, Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute and co-author of New York Times bestselling book Unstoppable Global Warming, and Jay Lehr, Science Director at The Heartland Institute, who have all read and thoroughly fact-checked the science outlined in ''Climatized.''
But what is important to stress is the point that I engaged each of these individuals to review and fact-check my scientific data after my manuscript was completed. I was honored and pleased that they agreed and verified that my research was accurate. So, while we may disagree with the actual data and its conclusions, I think you would at least agree that I’ve done my homework.
DAN BLOOM: There is no one side to the argument over global warming, which is why the climate change debate, unfortunately or fortunately, continues to rage. Do you think your book might help convince some readers to better see your take on the issue?
SALLY FERNANDEZ: There are many points of view on both sides of the argument, but I personally lean on the side that I believe is grounded in hard science and verified, validated data. But Dan, when it comes to writing this novel, it’s not so much about my take on the issue, but my desire to explain away the confusion, so the readers can make a reasonable assessment for themselves. The terms global warming or climate change have become the catch-phrases for anthropogenic global warming (AGW). No right-thinking person would deny that global warming exists or that climate change is not prevalent. But I suspect most citizens do not understand the fine line. This issue is solely about whether there is empirical scientific data to prove that human-induced CO2 emissions are causing catastrophic global warming, along with the proposed threats, such as sea-level rise. In fact, from my research I find there is more evidence that CO2 is making the Earth greener.
Having said that, I do not purport to be a climate scientist. I’m a layperson who conducted research out of my own interest for this novel. My style of writing is to weave fact with fiction to create a plausible scenario. But what I uncovered through the course of my research, is that the scientific facts do not support the theory behind AGW. Frankly, it enhanced my storyline.
DAN BLOOM: It was your hope in writing ''Climatized'' you told me in an earlier email to create an open debate, not one that would be shut down by one side or the other. What kinds of questions would be useful in such an open debate? Is climate change a hoax, a fraud? Is climate change not a hoax, not a fraud? Where does truth lie and how do we as Americans find it?
SALLY FERNANDEZ: Going back as far as the early 1990’s, I find it extremely disturbing that the theory of AGW has permeated the globe, all based on an absence of observed data. The climate models are incapable of telling the whole story. However, a cottage industry has flourished out of carbon trade, renewable energy, and green energy. And it has generated trillions of dollars for those who jumped on the bandwagon. Frankly, I’m befuddled as to how leaders of governments and powerful organizations would mindlessly, follow unproved contentions. To date, there is no scientific evidence that proves CO2 is harming our Earth.
The American people, as well as all citizens around the globe should ask for the data, data, and more data! And demand that the data is measured, verified, tested, and validated. Although, extraordinary caution should be exercised before daring to extrapolate from the findings. Integrity of the science must be paramount and not politicized to adhere to public policy. Absent that, what is one to conclude other than it is a hoax?
DAN BLOOM: Americans seem divided mostly via red state blue state divisions over the reality or fraudulence of various AGW theories and arguments. Why do you think this is?
SALLY FERNANDEZ: There is enormous profit in having governments direct public policy towards obtaining tax revenue derived from the resulting sensationalism related to “Climate Change.” Although, I believe both liberals and conservatives are socially and environmentally conscientious, liberals tend to be more reactionary in the belief that governments are responsible for solving their problems. Conservatives tend to look for more realistic solutions in the private sector. Don’t misunderstand, with unlimited money, I’d want to right all the wrongs on earth. But again, without proof, we should be wary on how to proceed and how to allocate taxpayer’s dollars.
DAN BLOOM: In Europe, where you also have lived, this is not case. Europeans are much more accepting of the science behind global warming theories. Why do you think they are?
SALLY FERNANDEZ: Europeans, for the large part are socialists who fall in line with American liberal thinking, or vice-a-versa. In both cases, taxing others to benefit their social programs is viewed as a good thing. And if they are not the ones being taxed, they celebrate the result!
DAN BLOOM: I appreciate your willingness to do this interview with ''The Cli-Fi Report'' that I edit, knowing that I fully support the science behind the reality of AGW. Thank you for taking the time to express your point of view here, despite our differences of opinion. What in your background or personality makes you such an open-minded person, yet at the same time strongly debunking AGW?
SALLY FERNANDEZ: I’ve always been pragmatic and the climate change debate never made sense to me for the reasons I’ve cited. For the record, I don’t debunk climate change; I disagree as to the effects of AGW. But even if there were hard data to prove otherwise, I believe it is foolish to think that nations will put aside their own self-interests for the sake of mother Earth. India fired up their coal plants after signing the Paris Agreement; one of many examples. Bear in mind, we’re not out to destroy our planet and I’m confident we will continue to use our human ingenuity and technology to improve our lives and our Earth. But we must not be cavalier with our science and it must not be directed by a political narrative.
Dan, again, I think we can agree to disagree, and I appreciate your giving me the time to express my personal views and partake in a healthy debate. Perhaps, I may have even widened your views…a bit.
DAN BLOOM: Thank you, Sally, for taking the time to do this short interview. And yes, you have widened my views, a bit. It's been good to chat with you online this way. I’d like to also mention that when I asked Sally, if I could call her novel a cli-fi thriller, she replied: ''Cli-fi thriller: every classification only widens the audience and if it helps you to promote the phrase, go for it."
MORE news about Sally Fernandez and her new novel "Climatized" here: