Tuesday, July 11, 2017

James Pinkerton at Breitbart has his own take on the rise of cli-fi in the 21st century, writing in a recent post:



http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/07/11/pinkerton-climate-doomsday-coming-election-near/

James Pinkerton at Breitbart has his own take on the rise of cli-fi in the 21st century, writing in a recent post:

''In fact, there’s already a thriving market for climate-change doom-and-gloom.  Indeed, there’s a rapidly expanding genre known as climate fiction or cli-fi, which includes such books as Year of the FloodThe Drowned Cities, and The Water Knife; there’s even a book on how to write your own book: Saving the World One Word at a Time: Writing Cli-Fi.  And of course, there are plenty of movies with cli-fi plots or themes, including The Day After TomorrowInterstellar, and the popular Snowpiercer.  And coming soon from producer Dean Devlin in October: Gerard Butler in the Hollywood movie Geostorm.

''It might well be the case, of course, that there’s more eagerness, in Manhattan and Hollywood, to supply these works than there is eagerness among ordinary audiences to consume them.  Yet still, the cumulative weight of all this Green-themed content is having some impact as the polls suggest. .

''Yet even if cli-fi can be dismissed as a case of the elite attempting to force-feed its worldview onto the non-elite, we still might be curious to ask: Where did this high-end end-is-nigh impulse come from in the first place?  Why are so many in the upper crust so eager to embrace such pessimism?"


http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/07/11/pinkerton-climate-doomsday-coming-election-near/

Monday, July 10, 2017

https://cli-fi-books.blogspot.tw/2017/07/when-essayist-david-wallace-wells.html - shitstorm!

https://cli-fi-books.blogspot.tw/2017/07/when-essayist-david-wallace-wells.html  - shitstorm!

Our Approach to Climate Change Isn’t Working. Let’s Try Something Else, says MOTHER JONES magazine Kevin Drum



Well, it had to happen sooner or later. A reporter in New York with a good track record of writing cogent, powerful essays on a variety of topics finally bored into the subject of global warming and the future of humankind. He said things will end in this century. Others replied that his ideas were "climate porn."
Dozens of magazine articles appeared the very next day taking issue with the original article, although a few took the author's side in the brouhaha. No matter what side of the climate debate you are on, all this is must-reading in the summer of 2017.
One thing I found a bit disconcerting was that neither the author, 30-something David Wallace-Wells, a well-known New York journalist, nor any of his critics mentioned or even discussed the rising genre of cli-fi. In fact, cli-fi is a literary genre for novels and movies that explore the very same issues the entire debate was focused on but there was not a peep out of anyone. It is as if cli-fi does not exist in the universe that most scientists and academics live in. And most journalists, Mr Wallace-Wells included, ignore the new genre, even though it has reached a level of popularity unheard of just a few years ago.
Perhaps as a result of the New York Magazine brouhaha, more journalists and literary critics (and academics and scientists) will explore just what cli-fi is all about. It's not your grandfather's sci-fi; it's an entirely new genre with a completele different focus.
Kevin Drum at Mother Jones magazine, a liberal progressive left of center magazine, took a different approach in his article about the New York magazine piece, writing in his headline "Our Approach to Climate Change Isn’t Working. Let’s Try Something Else" here.
Your point of view on all this, pro and con. Comments are welcome from all sides of the aisle. Email me or leave a comment below.



NOTES:

Said one commenter online: ''This article by David Wallace-Wells in NY mag was neither despairing nor hopeful. It was facts. Facts are needed. To demand 'hope' when in fact humanity may very well be doomed is 'fake-news.' Deal with the facts.''


NY Magazine Publishes 7000 Words On How A Global Warming ...

The Daily Caller-14 小時前
“It is, I promise, worse than you think,” New York Magazine writer David Wallace-Wells began his more than 7,000-word article on how global ...
No, New York Mag: Climate change won't make the Earth ...
引用次數最多-Mashable-8 小時前
Are We as Doomed as That New York Magazine Article Says?
深入報導-The Atlantic-6 小時前



Sunday, July 2, 2017

Global Warming Narrative Novels and Movies Need Cool, Headline-Friendly Terminology: 'Cli-fi'


Global Warming Narrative Novels Need Cool, Headline-Friendly Terminology: 'Cli-fi'




As readers know, global warming is 100% real and human-created. That is why we needed a genre term for novels and movies about climate change and that is why the semi-goofy 5-letter nickname of "Cli-Fi" was coined, promoted, and picked up by the media. Why was the media so keen on the cli-fi term?


Well, for one thing, in terms of editing and newsrooms and space on page, and kindness of eyeballs, be they reading pixels online or real words on newsprint in magazines or newspapers, cli-fi is quick and to the point. It is said as "klai fai" (klye fye), like sci-fi, and it reads easily on the page and in to the ears on radio and TV reports.


So headline writers like the term. So do literary critics and newspaper editors. It has a ring to it. Dozens of newspapers and magazines, 100s even, have already been using the cli-fi term for reader-friendly eyeball purposes. Of course, cli-fi is a shortening of "climate fiction" or the longer "climate change fiction" but those terms, while good, are too long for a newspaper headline or magazine subhead. Plus, the rightwing denialists have been using the term of "climate fiction" to mock the books and movies by Al Gore, James Hansen and Michael Mann at UPenn. So ''climate fiction'' has a toxic ring to it, since the rightwing has already claimed it as their own. Therefore, "cli-fi" has a better ring to it, and it is not toxic at all. And it's in the air. It hits the ear nicely as well on NPR and on CNN.


So cli-fi is the term that we will be using for the next 100 years. It works. Nobody owns it, nobody is getting royalties from it, nobody controls it. Editors approach the term on their own and give it their own spin. It's that kind of term, reader-friendly, editor-friendly, author-friendly.


Hey, it's not easy thinking about global warming. Cli-fi, a short and sweet term, helps us think about it. Headline writers love it. Subheadline writers use it. Nothing beats cli-fi as a term for the kinds of novels and movies we need now and for the next 100 years.


Such labels work well for editors and headline writers and even literary critics, and the cli-fi classification can help us think through the mess we are in. That's why cli-fi was coined, that's why it hit a nerve in the culture at large, that's why we are here today discussing cli-fi. It works.


From a word-coinage perspective, and from an editor in the newsroom perspective, and from a headline writer's need for a short, pithy, easy to remember term, cli-fi fits the bill. It is perfect for these times. Long may it thrive as a focal point of the mess we are in and for the ways we explore solutions to the mess we are in.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

The Behind the Scenes Mini-Documentary, 22 minutes, from ZoomerTV in Canada on the Making of the First Ever Yiddish Performance of O Canada national anthem in time for the 150th birthday of Canada





The Behind the Scenes Mini-Documentary, 22 minutes, from ZoomerTV in Canada on the Making of the First Ever Yiddish Performance of O Canada national anthem in time for the 150th birthday of Canada on July 1st.


With shout outs to NYT reporter Craig Smith, Canadian global networker and novelist Margaret Atwood, and a cast of hundreds who made all this happen. -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5cmEYF7nRKc




Go behind the scenes for the making of the first-ever Yiddish singing of O Canada in Celebration of Canada’s 150th Birthday.




On June 6, 2017, Moses Znaimer, Founder of ZoomerMedia and Executive Producer of VisionTV, hosted a group of multi- generational and multi-cultural choristers in the singing of Canada’s national anthem, O Canada, in an unprecedented Yiddish version by Hindy Nosek-Abelson, a lyrical translator of Yiddish poetry and songs, lecturer and Yiddish dialect coach for stage and film.
Among the 150 participants were celebrated actress and Voice of VisionTV Marilyn Lightstone, Canadian music and visual artists Liona Boyd, Paul Hoffert, Denise Williams, and Charles Pachter, and theZoomer’s Libby Znaimer.


Yiddish O Canada


The Yiddish language version of Canada’s National Anthem was sung at The ZoomerPlex, in Toronto’s Liberty Village and was shot for broadcast on VisionTV. The ZoomerPlex is the home of ZoomerMedia, the multi-media company Moses founded in 2008, devoted to content and services for Canada’s 15.8 million people aged 45plus, the population Moses has dubbed “Zoomers”.


“Yiddish was the first language of most Jewish immigrants to Canada from the late 1800s on. While Yiddish was almost extinguished in the Holocaust, there remains a powerful love for the language shared by many people, now mostly Zoomers. It is also enjoying an academic and musical renaissance with Yiddish courses offered in most major universities including Oxford, UCLA, Columbia, McGill and University of Toronto,” said Nosek-Abelson.


Sing along with Yiddish ‘O Canada’. Download a copy of the translated lyrics right here!
It all started with a simple question about whether it had ever been done before. Had O Canada ever been translated into and performed in Yiddish? The question came via celebrated Canadian novelist Margaret Atwood, who was following up on a request from Dan Bloom, a freelance writer living in Taiwan, who had, in turn, received an inquiry from Craig S. Smith, a New York Times reporter, asking if he knew how many languages O Canada had been translated into.


Atwood approached Charles Pachter about the possibility of putting together a Yiddish version and soon, Marilyn Lightstone heard about the idea and presented it to Moses Znaimer. Hindy Nosek-Adelson was approached to do the translation of our national anthem into Yiddish. Then, it needed to be turned into a visual and aural reality via the efforts of ZoomerMedia’s production team and VP of Communications, Leanne Wright.


Yiddish O Canada


The experience was so moving and affirming for all involved that we decided to share that experience with our viewing audience in The Making of Yiddish O Canada. Join us on Friday, June 30 at 10:30pm ET/7:30pm PT for a special encore presentation. Continue watching at 11pm ET/8pm PT for a special, celebratory Canada 150 edition of theZoomer.


READ MORE: ''How a Group of Toronto Artists Spearheaded a Yiddish Version of O Canada''.

Friday, June 30, 2017

UPDATED JULY 4th WEEKEND 2017: Noted Novelist Jeff Vandermeer says he does not 'reject' cli-fi term and is 'neutral' on it at the moment




Noted Novelist Jeff Vandermeer does not 'reject' cli-fi term and is 'neutral' on it at the moment



by staff writer



In a recent magazine article online, Professor Murat Cem Menguc explored the rise of the ''cli-fi'' genre worldwide, under a headline that read "What Can We Learn From Dystopian Fiction About Climate Change" that has a subheadline reading: "If you haven't heard of cli-fi yet, you are not alone; however you have probably either read or watched some already."




Professor Menguc started off his piece this way: "Recently, a friend asked on social media, 'What do you people read to wind down?' He was referring to the distress we all suffer from the endless negative news coming from the Trump administration. I first suggested sci-fi, but upon remembering that he is a lobbyist for international corporations' divestiture from the fossil fuel industry, I decided to do some research on sci-fi novels which focus on climate change. That's when I discovered the so-called 'cli-fi' (climate change fiction) genre."



"If you haven't heard of it yet, you are not alone; most of the people I mentioned it to were unaware of it too," the professor added. "However, you have probably either read or watched some cli-fi already. A Hollywood movie website IMDB has a cli-fi page with more than a dozen titles. The Goodreads list of cli-fi novels is over 130 titles long.



During the recent months, Lidia Yuknavitch's The Book of Joan, Zachary Mason's Void Star, Jane Harper's The Dry, Margaret Drabble's The Dark Flood Rises, Kim Stanley Robinson's New York 2140, Cory Doctorow's Walkaway, and Sally Abbott's Closing Down have all hit the shelves described as cli-fi. And, since February of this year, the Chicago Review of Books has published a monthly cli-fi column titled 'Burning Worlds' by New York literary critic Amy Brady that is exclusively dedicated to the genre.''



Professor's Menguc's long article went from there to explore a variety of novels and movies that fit into the rising new genre. But at one point in the original piece, before it was corrected by the editors and appears now online, he incorrectly stated, without fact-checking or vetting the statement which he apparently took from an unidentified online source, that noted American novelist Jeff VanderMeer "rejects the label cli-fi." [BUT THAT STATEMENT WAS OUT-OF-DATE. SEE BELOW FOR AN EXPLANATION.]



"By far the best cli-fi out there must be Jeff VanderMeer’s 'The Southern Reach' trilogy," Professor Menguc wrote in the original article adding, .....BEFORE IT WAS CORRECTED......"Although VanderMeer rejects the label cli-fi, this is indeed a story about our changing climate: how a territory called Southern Reach becomes a self conscious ecology, starts to remember, thinking, and communicate with human beings."



Actually, Mr VanderMeer does not reject the label cli-fi now , and asked Professor Menguc to fix and revise that mischaracterization of his current views of the genre: "I asked the professor to remove that opinion about cli-fi from the the part about my work. I told him I had a neutral opinion about it at the moment. I'll email him and see if he can remove it." [Blogger notes: WHICH GOOD PROFESSOR AND HIS EDITORS DID!



It has now been corrected.  It was an innocent and harmless mistake on the professor's part, and in fact  Professor Menguc just wrote to me by email and said told the editor of that piece to fix the mistake as soon as possible, writing "Hi Dan,
Will get in touch with the editor right away.''

-- Best,
Cem




Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The Very good Database for Eco Literary Database, with my sincere apologies to Mary Woodbury for my earlier misunderstandings. All good now.


Updated, Revised, Corrected.


SEE HERE:
https://cli-fi-books.blogspot.tw/2017/06/my-apology-to-mary-woodbury-for.html




Thank you, Mary. I have revised the earlier post to reflect this new info you provided. And sorry for any misunderstandings I had over this. All good now. Again, my apologies. We are all working on all this together and communication among different parties is important. Thanks, Mary. -


- Dan



 

 





Sunday, June 18, 2017

''After Sci-Fi Comes Cli-Fi'' -- an article in Germany by Julia Grillmayr


''After Sci-Fi Comes Cli-Fi'' -- an article in Germany by Julia Grillmayr




derstandard.at/2000059374108/after-the-science-fiction comes-the-climate fiction


English Google machine translation is here:




Nach (after) der Sci-Fi kommt (comes) der Cli-Fi

18. Juni 2017, 10:00

Eine Konferenz in Graz reflektierte über die Rolle von Literatur in ökologischen Diskursen. Das Genre der Climate-Fiction macht die abstrakten Folgen des Klimawandels greifbar

Graz – Sie beschreiben Hitze- und Flutwellen, Eiszeiten, das Aussterben der Arten oder porträtieren Naturschönheit und zeigen ungezähmte Wälder, Meere und Tiere als besonders schützenswert. Für literarische Werke, die den menschengemachten Klimawandel und seine Folgen thematisieren, hat die Literatur- und Kulturwissenschaft seit einiger Zeit eigene Konzepte und Labels entwickelt: Man spricht von "Ökokritik" (auf Englisch "Ecocriticism") oder "Climate-Fiction", kurz "Cli-Fi".
Provokativ und mit Fragezeichen, aber nicht unernst gemeint bezeichnete Axel Goodbody Cli-Fi als das "Genre des Jahrhunderts". Der Germanistikprofessor der britischen Universität Bath sprach vergangene Woche bei der Konferenz "Literature and the Environment", die vom Anglistik-Institut der Universität Graz organisiert und unter anderem von der Akademie der Wissenschaften und dem Landwirtschaftsministerium unterstützt wurde.
Ökokritische Literatur oder Cli-Fi tritt mit einem politischen Anspruch an. Sie will mitgestalten, wie über Klimawandel und die damit verbundenen Risiken und Gegenmittel nachgedacht wird. "Klimawandel ist für die menschliche Wahrnehmung unzugänglich", sagte Goodbody. Literatur übersetze das globale, komplexe Phänomen in einzelne Raum- und Zeiteinheiten. "Sie macht den Klimawandel lokal und unmittelbar und zeigt gleichzeitig seinen dramatischen Maßstab." Cli-Fi könne positive und negative Rollenbilder aufzeigen und verschiedene Handlungsszenarien ausloten. Die meisten Werke, die als Climate-Fiction gehandelt werden, sind amerikanisch, es gibt aber auch viele deutschsprachige Beispiele, wie Goodbody zeigte. Er nannte etwa den Proto-Cli-Fi-Roman "Berge Meere und Giganten" von Alfred Döblin aus dem Jahr 1924 sowie Ilija Trojanows "EisTau" (2011).
Welche spezifische Funktion kann Literatur für ökologische Diskurse haben? Diese Frage prägt die Ökokritik und somit auch grundlegend die Grazer Konferenz. Ein zentraler Theoretiker in dieser Auseinandersetzung ist Hubert Zapf, Amerikanist an der Universität Augsburg. In seinem Vortrag hob Zapf hervor, dass Künstler ein ausgeprägtes, kritisches Sensorium für Machtverhältnisse hätten und somit eine wichtige Stimme in der Verhandlung von Umweltgerechtigkeit seien. Angesichts der ökologischen Krise seien neue Formen des Geschichtenerzählens notwendig.

Kultur und Natur

Das passiert einerseits auf inhaltlicher Ebene; Cli-Fi lenkt die Aufmerksamkeit auf ökologische Themen und Motive. Andererseits geht es um das Aufzeigen von Perspektiven durch das Finden einer neuen Sprache und somit auch um eine gewisse Selbstreflexion von Literatur und Literatur- und Kulturwissenschaft.
So wurde bei der Tagung oft auf Zapfs einflussreiches Konzept der "kulturellen Ökologie" zurückgegriffen, das Kultur und Natur nicht einander gegenüberstellt, sondern auf einer Ebene denkt. Die "Umwelt" ist in diesem Verständnis nicht mehr nur die materielle Umgebung, sondern auch die Ideen und Bilder, die an diese geknüpft sind und auf sie zurückwirken. "Literatur ist eine ökologische Kraft im kulturellen Feld", sagte Zapf.
Neben konkreten ökokritischen Textstudien – etwa Maximilian Feldner von der Universität Graz, der über den nigerianischen Autor Helon Habila und sein Sujet der Ölgewinnung im Nigerdelta sprach – waren daher auch die Herangehensweisen und Ziele der Wissenschaft selbst immer wieder Thema. Julia Martin von der südafrikanischen University of the Western Cape zeigte eindrucksvoll, was der Anspruch der "environmental humanities" für ihr akademisches Arbeiten bedeutet.
Mit der Idee, auch nichtakademisches Publikum zu erreichen und die disziplinären Grenzen zu überschreiten, propagierte sie "literarische Non-Fiction", ein essayistisches wissenschaftliches Schreiben. Sie ermutigte zu spekulativeren Herangehensweisen, bei Beibehaltung wissenschaftlicher Akkuratesse. Dabei sei der eigenen Subjektivität ein gewisser Platz einzuräumen: "Im akademischen Schreiben wird das 'Ich' vermieden", sagte Martin, man sollte hingegen versuchen, in wissenschaftlicher Weise ausgehend von persönlichen Erfahrungen und Gefühlen zu sprechen – ohne dass das "Ich" dabei ein narzisstisches würde.
"Interconnectedness", die Feststellung, dass alles mit allem verbunden ist, sei der Kern dessen, was aus der derzeitigen ökologischen Situation gelernt werden könne, sagte Martin. Zu dieser Verbundenheit gehören in einem wichtigen Maß auch Tiere.

Tiere sprechen lassen

Wird über ökokritisches Schreiben reflektiert, dann oftmals mit der Frage, wie die literarischen Werke nichtmenschlichen Protagonisten eine Stimme verleihen. Oft werden Tiere in Fiktionen anthropomorphisiert und kommunizieren in menschlicher Sprache – man denke an "Das Dschungelbuch". Der Kanadist Konrad Groß von der Universität Kiel zeigte anhand des Romans "L'Oursiade" der französischsprachigen kanadischen Autorin Antonine Maillet, dass es alternative, seiner Ansicht nach überzeugendere Weisen gibt, Tiere sprechen zu lassen.
Eine weitere kanadische Autorin, auf die in diesem Zusammenhang immer wieder referiert wird, ist Margaret Atwood. In einer Doppelpräsentation und im Vergleich mit der Schweizer Autorin Hedi Wyss zeigten Michelle Gadpaille und Vesna Kondric-Horvat von der Universität Maribor auf, wie Atwoods Fiktionen thematisch, aber auch stilistisch ökokritisch arbeiten. In Bezug auf eine Kurzgeschichte Atwoods stellte Gadpaille fest: "Sie schreibt ohne die Syntax des Missbrauchs am Planeten. Nicht Subjekt, Verb, Objekt; nicht jemand tut etwas einem anderen an." (Julia Grillmayr, 18.6.2017)

An interview with novelist R.E. Greene, author of the novella ''DESCRIPTIONS OF HEAVEN''

1. How did you go about finding an agent an editor and a publisher for your novella?

I found most agents wouldn't represent something quite so slim word-count-wise. So I sought out publishers who took unagented manuscripts. Three publishers took an interest in my book. I ruled one out myself based on a close inspection of their company. The second ruled themselves out when they heard they were competing against Harvard Square Editions (they admitted they had even less resources and had much less experience publishing books).
Harvard, like most publishers, decided that an editor was needed for a final coat of polish on the novella. I ended up with Martine Bellen. Descriptions of Heaven is a poetic book, and Martine is a poet. This, I believe, worked to my manuscript's advantage. When I found out she was a librettist too, I knew that this was an editor who would understand my sensibilities.




2. Why is it a novella and not a novel? What's difference?

A diet novel; novel 'lite' perhaps? Descriptions of Heaven is simply a short book, but (as some readers have pointed out) it's compact with ideas and themes which can be excavated at length from any number of angles. It's about the right length for the tone and pacing.
And although the right length, I didn't know exactly what I was composing when the idea for this work first came to me. I was playing with a theme for a novel-in-progress that wasn't taking root. "Perhaps," I thought, "this is just a writing exercise" when I began working with this theme through the lens of a different story. But as I wrote, I realized it was more. And once it was far past the length of any short story I'd ever read, realized that I had a small book in my hands. Beings I write all things by hand at first, I wasn't even sure what length I had reached. After typing it, I judged it to be around the size of Heart of Darkness or Crying of Lot 49 (I believe Descriptions of Heaven actually falls somewhere between these two).


3. How you YOU prefer to  classify your novella in terms of genre?

I classify it as literary fiction. This is itself a broad category, which subsumes a lot of the best of the world's literature. My book has elements that take it beyond contemporary realism: it's set in the future during a time of worldwide drought. The family lives in one of the few places that still gets rain regularly. The lake their house looks on is actually artificial, made to naturally pool more water.
With that said, the book doesn't don the trappings of typical sci-fi, forcing some sort of post-apocalyptic future or even focusing on the science of the sci-fi. But the elements are there, and they're there to help make a point about the climate, which is the backbone of the book, the theme that threads together this tragedy. So it is cli-fi, climate fiction firstly, subtle sci-fi second, and the overall mood, tone, and writing places Descriptions of Heaven squarely in the camp of literary fiction.


4. What kind of PR and promotions has your publisher done and what PR are you doing? Radio, TV, blogs, podcasts, newspapers?

My publisher does run on a shoestring budget, but they have help to advertise events and articles on related websites and within their realm of influence. They've run a free ebook campaign on Amazon and had a great list of places to which advance release copies were sent.

I've been fortunate to be featured in local newspapers several times. Many bloggers have done interviews with me, and many others have reviewed Descriptions of Heaven. While I've slowed down on actively getting book reviews, I ran a Goodreads giveaway until the end of May. What I'm focusing on now is finding more places to do book signings. I've had one book signing at a Barnes & Noble and one book signing/reading at a cafe. I'm happy to say that both were quite successful. I've also have a forthcoming podcast interview on the Write Now Podcast with Sarah Werner. My hope is that the interviews, reviews, and book signings just become a regular part of the monthly goings-on.



6. What's next for you?

I'm currently working on a short story collection. After that, I want to pick up where I left off with a novel-in-progress about a rock band that gains fame through infamy. It's about half done, but these stories need to be written first.


7. What's yr age, college major and where, and age now?

I'm 32 years old. I have a degree in English and Anthropology from the University of South Dakota.



I've been married about 5 months now. We hope to have children in our future. My wife and I also hope to find reason to move to other parts of the country, though there are perks to living here in Iowa, close to both of our families. I'd like to immerse myself in a literary community again. This may entail moving to a city with a more robust "literary scene" or pursing a MFA in Creative Writing. For now I'm content to write at a local Sioux City cafe and enjoy the company of my tri-state friends and family.

Friday, June 16, 2017

The New York Times news bureau in Australia asks readers: ''What makes Australian intellectuals and cultural critics hunt in packs and want to cut down tall poppies of creativity?''

 
The New York Times news bureau in Australia asks readers: ''What makes Australian intellectuals and cultural critics tick?" (It's not always a pretty picture) -- WHAT'S YOUR TAKE ON ALL THIS MESHAGUS?
 
Recently, the Sydney news bureau of the New York Times, overseen by veteran reporter and editor Damien Cave, posted a brief rant in its weekly newsletter to readers about the the state of Australian  culture and its relationship with Aussie literary circles, sci-fi literary critics and public intellectuals. Cave was wondering "What makes Australian culture workers tick?"
 

 
''I’m honestly not sure what my questions last week and the answers we got reveals about the degree to which Australians welcome or resist the boldest forms of cultural expression, which was one of the questions I raised last week. This seems to be something that Australians themselves, separate from me, continue to debate. ''
''On Twitter in particular, there was some resistance to the idea that there might be Australian constrictions on creativity, the idea that some element of “tall poppy syndrome” might undermine the expression and celebration of bold creativity that breaks with convention. But in our inbox, we also found several emails from creators of all kinds who said they either left Australia because of this issue, or had been forced to confront it in their own lives here. ''
''This NYT newsletter is not the forum to continue that ''discussion'' (though we will keep discussing it in our subscriber Facebook group) which is a closed FB group only for paid subscribers to the NYTimes, in order to keep out outliers and rabblerousers. ''
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cave, who is now the editor of the New York Times in Australia bureau, a new posting for him, wondered why ''some'' established-genre cult-genre  literary critics, tend to be publicly negative towards new literary and cinema genres in such publications as the SMH and the the Sydney Review of Books. Cave noted in a Times newseletter for readers of the Oz edition and his take is headlined


''The Fall and Rise of Australian Culture ''


and he wrote among other things: ''Sebastian Smee, a wonderful Asutralian art critic who returned to Sydney this year after winning a Pulitzer with the Boston Globe, wrote for us about the Art Gallery of New South Wales and its struggle to obtain the financing it needed to expand its exhibition and event space.''

''Later in the week, Besha Rodell, another Australian who has become a standout in the United States — in her case, Los Angeles — explored the battle over how to modernize Melbourne’s beloved Queen Victoria Market. ''

''Both pieces ***mined the tension*** in Australia that ***often seems to come with proposals for the new, the bold, the different.*** This is something Ben Shewry, the world-renowned Attica chef who Sam Sifton profiled this week as part of a special series of features on Australian food and drink, talked about when we hosted an event with him in Melbourne last month: ***the degree to which Australia tends to criticize new ideas and new literary genres, the nails that stick out, [just like Japanese culture].


 




Damien added: ''So is Australia becoming more open to bold creative expression or is this country ***just as eager [as always] to cut down the tall poppies who stick their heads up and stand out? "***


 


****Write to us at nytaustralia@nytimes.com, *** and tell us what you think.

'What we're trying to explore here is how Australians experience culture high, low or in-between and what that might reveal about the country's attitude toward insurgent creativity. ''


Several Australians already chimed in about narrow minded Australian ''literary critics'' who hunt in packs and so-called ''public intellectuals''
saying that they are part of the problem and not part of the solution.

An adjunct professor of literature in Perth, said: ''There is some truth in this. But the big difference between the US and Australia is size - not just of the country, but of the SF community, the literary community, the intelligentsia. In such small worlds it's often difficult to dissent: Australian intellectuals tend to hunt in packs.''
 
Another Australian said: ''As an Australian I appreciate the perspectives that outsiders bring to our public debates even if they may miss some nuances or I may disagree with them. Australia is an island and our public debate often reflects that with limited, narrow perspectives and an attitude of anti-intellectualism. ''
 
And a third Australian wrote: "As an Australian who works in climate scenario planning, preparedness and resilience, I often use cli-fi and third party narratives to help build creativity and imagination in newbie leadership workshops. Being mindful of science based models, data and output is critical though as too much fantasy can lead to nonsense and lose audiences. Having first worked on climate in the early 90's through a risk and opportunity lens, I've seen a rapid growth in the tails of climate polarity especially in Australia. With othering, left goes left and right goes right which can create some room in the middle. However as each tail from doomers to deniers gets louder it can marginalise the other, traumatise the middle and stop critical thinking. As a Sydney citizen and avid reader, I've probably only read Sydney Review of Books once in 20 years! NY and London, Delhi and Asia are markers for my perspectives. I crowdsource my reviews to avoid homophilly and seek paragogy as an aid to forming my perspectives. I think "Big island small mind "is a fair criticism for the "squatocracy" and rather conservative anti-stereotypes that hog the arts here. Dan you've shown good leadership with ypur cli-fi public relations work,and the CF community is growing worldwide -- keep going and don't fear the misguided and snarky haters / knockers in Australia!''
 
And Ed Wright, a book reviewer for the Australian newspaper, started off his recent review of an Australian novel this way, ignoring the unfortunate attack dog tactics of literary critics Bradley and Sussex, writing in his first sentence: ''Cli-fi, which imagines our world in the aftermath of climate change, is booming. It’s a brand of dystopian narrative that often features desiccated landscapes, where resources are scarce and contested and ingenuity is required just to survive. Lotus Blue (Talos, 382pp, $22.99), the debut novel from Australian writer at Sparks, a much anthologised science fiction writer, is a compelling addition to these ranks.''
 
 
 

 

Aaron Thier's cli-fi novel MR ETERNITY is released in paperback edition and profiled in Amy Brady's cli-fi column at the Chicago Review






Aaron Thier is a 30-something writer born and bred in western
Massachusetts, and his latest hardback novel "Mr. Eternity" has just been issued in paperback.
A comic novel and a very serious novel at the same time, and it has been characterized by readers as literary fiction, sci-fi, apocalyptic dystopian, fantasy and cli-fi. And a comic novel, as well.
Thier did his undergraduate work at
Yale, majoring in literature (Class of 2006) and later completed a
Creative Writing MFA at the University of Florida in 2012.
His surname has an interesting back story, and when asked about it,
he told me a bit of family history.
"Their is my birth surname," he said. "My parents decided that Thier was more interesting than Murphy [his father Peter Murphy is an English at Williams College."
"So the three children all have my mom's
name. This hasn't produced as much confusion as you might think.
People seem charmed by the matriarchal orientation."
In addition, in connection with his mother's surname, a former
president of Brandeis University in the early 1990s was her father,
his grandfather, Dr Samuel Thier, a medical doctor.
"I wish I knew more about where the Thier name came from. I know that the original Samuel Thier, my great-great-grandfather, was an actor in the Yiddish theater in Warsaw, Poland, but I don't know much else about him."
When asked if he was a pessimist or an optimist in regard to possible
climate change outcomes in the future, he said: "I’m a pessimist in
the sense that I don’t think we’ll get it together to avoid a very bad outcome. In many important ways we’ve already missed the
boat by a long way."
However, he added: "But I’m an optimist in the sense that I believe in
human resourcefulness. I don’t think this represents a threat to human
existence, only a threat to human civilization as it’s currently
configured. People will eke out a living somehow in a brutalized world.
There will probably be fewer of us, maybe way fewer."
A recent interview with Thier in the Chicago Review of Books updates the paperback edition of his novel and his views about global warming.

Friday, June 9, 2017

In this Age of Trump and the Paris climate accord, dozens of literary critics and cultural observers are no doubt planning their own non-fiction explorations of the cli-fi genre.

 Photo by Novelist Yann Quero in France: "The Madonna of Global Warming"


===========================================


blog post by staff writer


Adam Trexler led the way, of course, publishing "Anthropocene Fictions" with UVA Press in 2015. [http://www.upress.virginia.edu/title/4777]

Subtitled "The Novel in a Time of Climate Change," the book was widely reviewed and read in academic circles worldwide. Trexler looked at 150 novels with strong climate change themes and came away impressed with the cli-fi genre, even mentioning the new coinage in the introduction.

Dr Heather Sullivan, a professort at Trinity University in Texas and the author of ''The Cambridge Introduction to Literature and the Environment," was impressed with Trexler's work, writing: ''As an extremely timely contribution to the urgent discussions of climate change and culture in the Anthropocene, 'Anthropocene Fictions' deserves high praise for carefully documenting the longer history of climate change novels as well as projecting forward into the uncertain futures of postapocalyptic writings. Trexler’s provocative theory of 'eco-nomics,' or the inextricably intertwined aspects of ecological and economic choices made in our industrial cultures as we navigate rising waters and rising costs in the 21st Century, is one with wide relevance for anyone interested in the cultural impact of global environmental change."

In this Age of Trump and the Paris climate accord, dozens of literary critics and cultural observers are no doubt planning their own non-fiction explorations of the cli-fi genre.






These books have not been written yetbut I do envision and anticipate their publication over the next 10-15 years, some from Britain, some from Canada and the USA and some from Australia as well.Who will be writing them? Mostly academics and literary critics, but also journalists, media critics and cultural observers. Maybe you?

Here's my tentative list:

''The Rise of Cli-Fi in the Age of Trump: A Cultural Exploration of a Literary Trend''


"Cli-Fi, Sci-Fi, We All Cry, The End is Nigh: What Cli-Fi Novels Say Aboout the Anthropocene"


"Climate Fictions, Climate Frictions: A Global Warning From Novels and Movies"


"From Trump to Paris: Cli-Fi Novels Explore The Future of Humankind"


"Anthropocene Arguments: How Cli-Fi Changed the Way Novelists Approach Global Warming Issues"


"The Power of Cli-Fi: Has The 'On The Beach' of Climate Change Yet to Be Written?"

"To Live or Die in the Age of Cli-Fi: An Exploration of a 21st Century Genre"

''A Peaceable Kingdom: In Search of Cli-Fi Visions"

"Turning Cli-Fi Studies into Climactic Moments: The Rise of Cli-Fi in the 21st Century"

"Cli-Fi Nights, Cli-Fi Flights: Kingsolver, Rich and Robinson in These Times"

"How Novels Can Save the Planet: The Rise of Cli-Fi in an Age of Hope and Despair"

''Utopian Visions, Climate Divisions:  The Rise of Cli-Fi in a Pivotal Time"

"Faith and Love in an Age of Cli-Fi"

''The Genre Wars: Sci-fi, Cli-fi and America"

''The Battle of the Climate Genres: How Cli-Fi is Replacing Sci-Fi in the 21st Century"

"Cli-Fi: The Road to Ruin, the Road to Redemption"

"Cli-Fi: Nature or Nurture in the Anthrozoic Era"

""The Rise of Cli-Fi in an Era of Resistance and Reordering"

"Cli-Fi: Feast or Famine in the Anthrocene"

"Cli-Fi: Getting from There to Here"

"Climapocalypse or Bust: The Rise of Cli-Fi in an Age of Climate Illiteracy"

"Who Reads Cli-Fi and Why: An Inquiry Into a 21st Century Genre"



[Feel free to ADD your own imagined titles here too, in the comments below.]

Monday, June 5, 2017

Sci-Fi and Scary Website posts a good cli-fi blog today for World Environment Day with book recommendations

Sci-Fi and Scary Website posts a good cli-fi blog today for World Environment Day with book recommendations


Tarred & Feathered @TandFMag   posts a blog link for                 
World Environment Day

https://tandfrestlesssouls.com/2017/06/05/news-world-environment-day/

with a pic

 pic.twitter.com/4lvJ2H6PSb

Cli-fi as a rising literary genre in the MSM is like 水滴石穿 Chinese proverb: "dripping water penetrates stone" which means slowly, over time, it will catch on. Glacially.

Cli-fi as a rising literary genre in the MSM is like 水滴石穿 Chinese proverb: "dripping water penetrates stone"

see full text with pics at

Friday, June 2, 2017

Donald Trump cannot stop the rise of cli-fi novels and movies

 
Civic leaders, mayors, governors, business leaders, investors and the majority of the world community understand that we are in the middle of a clean energy revolution that no single person or group can stop. President Trump's decision was in conflict with what most people want from the American president, but no matter what he has done, the inevitable global transition to a clean energy economy will continue.

More and more cli-fi novels and movies are dipping their toes into these issues, and with film producers in Hollywood like Marshall Herskovitz and Darren Aronofsky up to Trump Denialism, we will be seeing more and more cli-fi novels adapted into screenplays and shown on the silver screen worldwide in a variety of languages.

We are in the Anthrocene, and cli-fi is here to make a difference, ring some alarm bells, set off some warning flares and generally serve as a wake-up call to humanity. Enough of this culture of empty distractions and escapism; the time has come to face facts and buckle up.

We are in for one heck of a ride, and it aint gonna be a pretty picture for the next 30 generations of man. And woman.


Arise!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Dos Who? - an OpEd about John Dos Passos by Professor Aaron Shaheen




Dos Who?


an OpEd by Professor Aaron Shaheen


When one thinks of the American modernist pantheon—and who doesn’t at least three times daily?—I suspect the usual names rise to the fore: Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ezra Pound, and T. S. Eliot.


For reasons not always so clear, the name that is often either left off this list, or is at least put on its second tier, is that of John Dos Passos (1896-1970). Dos Passos’s marginality is all the more surprising if one considers the level of sophistication and innovation behind his contributions to modernism.


For instance, the “camera eye” sections of the novels comprising the U.S. A. trilogy were every bit as instrumental in rendering the experience of modernity as Hemingway’s “iceberg” technique or Stein’s literary cubism. Hemingway’s and Stein’s larger-than-life personalities helped them live beyond the novels they wrote. In that crowd, how could the mild-mannered “Dos,” as he was often called, compete?  


In 2011 the life and writings of this frequently neglected writer experienced a modest resurgence when my colleague Victoria Bryan and I founded the John Dos Passos Society. We initially set limited goals for the organization—the publication of an annual newsletter, a showing at the American Literature Association Conference each May, and the occasional correspondence with other, relevant author societies.


But in its first full year of existence, the Society garnered enough interest and memberships that it began planning, at first idly and then intensely, an academic conference to be held in Chattanooga, Tennessee, (where I’m on faculty at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga) in conjunction with the one-hundredth anniversary of the start of World War I, which Dos Passos saw up close as an ambulance driver on the Western Front.


The conference did indeed take place, and it attracted scholars and writers from not only the different regions of the United States, but also from Brazil, various European nations, and Japan. By the time the proceedings had concluded, talk was already underway about a second conference, this time in Madrid, a city Dos Passos knew intimately since his adolescent days.


Held in early June 2016, the Madrid conference commanded a generous amount of attention from the Spanish press, particularly after it played a crucial role in reuniting the descendants of the author with those of the author’s friend and translator José Robles, who was executed during the Spanish Civil War. No sooner had the first day of the conference begun than a participating Portuguese scholar volunteered to host the third biennial conference in Lisbon in 2018.


What propelled the success of the Society and, more generally, the growing international enthusiasm for Dos Passos? One must first concede that in much of Europe—Spain and Portugal in particular—the author never really went out of fashion. For instance, in Spain Manhattan Transfer (1925) has been in print ever since it was first translated into Spanish in 1929. But perhaps the most crucial element in this success comes in the form of the author’s grandson, John Dos Passos Coggin, himself an author, who at the time of the Society’s formation in 2011 had dedicated much of his own energies toward keeping his grandfather’s legacy alive.


Bearing a striking resemblance to his namesake, Coggin has done so not only though the website johndospoassos.com and his frequent participation with the Society, but also though various efforts to keep Dos Passos’s writings (particularly from midcentury forward) accessible to the public either in print or electronic form. Much of the grandson’s motivation and support has no doubt come from his mother Lucy, who from the ancestral home in rural Virginia is the chief executor of the Dos Passos literary estate.


While planning for the 2018 Portugal conference is underway, the Society is sponsoring a routable discussion titled “Dos Passos Today” at the American Literature Association annual conference held May 25-28 in Boston. The author once recalled how Ernest Hemingway used to “bawl [him] out for including so much topical stuff” in his novels. But as the Boston panel plans to show, the writer’s emphasis on history and politics, even from an earlier time, offers insight into how we live our lives today. Discussion topics will range from the writer’s presence in contemporary Brazilian politics to his appropriation in the rhetoric of the 2016 presidential election.


The Boston routable scheduled for late May will show Dos Passos’s unnerving prescience. One can’t help but sense a manic energy in his writings. His observations in his fiction and non-fiction alike track the rise and decline of mass movements on both the Left and Right.


Since the year 2000, America has seen swift and dramatic political shifts, from the neoconservatism and overt religiosity of George W. Bush, to the swing leftward with the election of the first African American president in 2008, to the rise of nativist nationalism under Donald Trump in 2016. Given these massive swings in only a half-generation, one wonders if the country really knows what it wants any more than the characters who populate so much to Dos Passos’s fiction know.


I think for instance of Martin Howe and John Andrews, the respective protagonists of One Man’s Initiation (1920) and Three Soldiers (1921), who at first embrace participation in the First World War but then recoil in horror after getting exactly the experience they sought. How different is the present collective American consciousness, with all of its contradictions and ambiguities, from Manhattan Transfer’s Jimmy Herf and Ellen Thatcher, who swerve wildly, even violently, from one pyrrhic answer to life’s problems to another?


These shifts may also reflect that of the writer himself, who by the mid-1930s had abandoned his leftist leanings for a more conservative vision, seeing the latter as the better alternative for preserving individual rights in a century increasingly overrun with the collusion of big government and big business.


Then perhaps, after all, the manic state of national and world politics, more than academic conferences or even a devoted grandson, can best explain the rise in interest in Dos Passos, as is evidenced by the way he has shown up recently in other media.


The author has appeared in film, either as a character (in the 2012 HBO film Hemingway and Gelhorn) or as the subject of Sonia Tercero Ramiro’s 2014 documentary Robles, Duelo al Sol, which recounts the author’s friendship with the scholar José Robles, whose execution by Soviet partisans during the Spanish Civil War initiated Dos Passos’s disillusionment with leftist politics.


This friendship is also recounted in the 2006 Spanish-language nonfiction book by Ignacio Martinez de pison titled Enterrar a Los Muertos, which in 2009 came out in an English-language translation. Finally, a book on the tortured friendship between Ernest Hemingway and Dos Passos has just recently been published by James McGrath Morris titled The Ambulance Drivers. (McGrath initially wanted to make the book exclusively about Dos Passos but was convinced by his editor that the book would sell better if it included Hemingway.) In each of these works the theme of swift and uncontrollable movement—be it in the realm of global politics, personal friendships, or in some inevitable combination of the two—prevails.


But prevails to what end? Usually destruction. Daughter, the automobile enthusiast from 1919 (1932), goes to her inglorious death at the hands of a hung-over pilot in a plane crash, taking her unborn child with her. In a drunken frenzy, Stanwood Emery, the wealthy playboy from Manhattan Transfer, sets himself on fire while singing advertising jingles. In these and other instances, self-annihilation seems nearly as compulsive as booze, sex, or fame.


And in this regard, Dos Passos is at his most prophetic. The choices we make—in our personal friendships, our politics, our finances, or even our consumption habits—often seem to carry the simultaneous promise of liberation and imprisonment, of a beginning and an end.


=========


Aaron Shaheen
UC Foundation Professor of English
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Campus Box 2703
615 McCallie Ave.
Chattanooga, TN 37403





Friday, May 12, 2017

Jewish reporters at major news sites worldwide focus ​on climate change issues, global warming impact events






Jewish reporters at major news sites worldwide
 focus ​on climate change, global warming issues


By staff writer, with agencies


Climate change and global warming impacts us all, and Jewish reporters have often been on the front lines of climate reporting, from George Monbiot in the Guardian newspaper to Andrew Revkin at the New York Times and now with Politico. At Think Progress, Joe Romm delivers sharply worded and well-researched diatribes against climate denialists and he doesn't mince words. And at the New York Times' recently reorganized Climate Desk under Alaska-born-and-raised Hannah Fairfield, veteran Times reporter John Schwartz covers national climate issues along with a team of top-notch journalists.


In France,
Raphaelle Leyris ​reports on climate issues and cli-fi novels at Le Monde newspaper in Paris.


Since global warming is a particularly vexing and complicated issue, it attracts reporters of all faiths unafraid to battle entrenched climate change deniers who populate the current Republican Party under the administration of President Donald Trump.


Even New York Times publisher Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr. is getting into the act.


According to Hadas Gold, a Revkin colleague at Politico, Sulzberger is completely behind his new hires at the Climate Desk and is adamant that his newspaper will continue to focus on climate change, including more photo essays about rising sea levels impacting cities worldwide, and environmental rules, regulations and other policies rolled back during Trump's first few months in office.


In addition, Gold noted, a recent issue of the Times glossy Sunday Magazine was dedicated to the future of the Earth's climate.


"This [climate] journalism [we do] is unrivaled in its sophistication and imagination," Sulzberger wrote in a recent message to readers. "The support of our subscribers is what allows us to pursue such ambitious stories all over the globe."



The Times offers readers a free online newsletter from its Climate Desk to keep track of future stories and insights.






​In related newspaper news, the unique ​Alaskan background of Times climate editor Fairfield is interesting and makes for a good story. She was raised in Fort Yukon by Episcopalian missionary parents who ministered to the ​spiritual and community needs of ​indigenous Gwich​'​in Athabascan population of the tiny rural village close by the banks of the mighty Yukon River. Fairfield spent her first 18 years there​,​ and in the university town of Fairbanks​,​ before going to college in the Lower 48 and later  joining the Times as a digital storyteller in 2000.​





Fort Yukon, population 600, where Fairfield spent the first four years of her life is populated by Native Alaskans whose ancestors have lived in Alaska for over 10,000 years.  Fairfield moved with her parents to Fairbanks to attend the local public schools, finishing high school in 1992.
In Fort Yukon, her parents and their four children lived in the Episcopalian mission church house and offered what services the church could, including baptisms, weddings and burials. They were one of the few white families in the village, and according to the family, the children cherished their time there.




Think things like Fairbanks at 60 degrees below for three weeks in the winter of 1989. Think life in a subsistence village of rural Alaskans whose ancestors go back centuries. Think boat trips on the Yukon in the summer, fishing for salmon, and yes, eating salmon. Lox!











So what does Alaska mean to this very well-placed climate journalist, Hannah Fairfield? And how has her experience growing up in a Christian missionary family in rural Alaska shaped her views  on nature, God and global warming?





Although a happy and dedicated New Yorker now, and loving it, old-timers in Alaska contend that once you live there you can never really let the place go in your heart and mind and soul -- or in your view of the way the world works. Ask any Alaskan, past or present. It's that kind of place. The Last Frontier.



I know this feeling because I lived in Alaska for 12 years in the late 1970s and 1980s -- mostly in Juneau but with two long winters in Nome -- and although I left the state in 1991, I still keep Alaska close in mind and my experiences there in fact led me to find a home later on in a growing cli-fi community of artists, writers, dreamers and climate activists.



Another thing I am looking forward to, hopefully, will be Fairfield's future policy of capitalizing the word "Earth" in Times' articles about climate change and global warming, since there is no reason on Earth to keep lowercasing it, as the newspaper does now.


It's not "earth Day" in April every year. It's "Earth Day," with a capital E. It's time for the New York Times to adjust their editorial style and start showing more respect for the Earth, our home planet.




Dean Baquet, the top editor at the Times, recently put it this way, in announcing Fairfield's new climate gig in a staff memo: 
''With Hannah's appointment, we aim to build on what has already been dominant coverage of climate change and to establish The Times as a guide to readers on this most important issue. The subject has taken on more urgency as the Earth's temperature continues to break records and a new political leadership in Washington appears poised to make sweeping changes to policies meant to limit carbon emissions."


===============


AND MORE from TIKKUN magazine


Tikkun magazine invites a climate activist of the literary to explain himself

Blogposted:

A few weeks ago, I approached Rabbi Michael Lerner in California, the founder of Tikkun magazine, about writing a blog post for his publication, and he kindly invited me to send my piece in. A few days later, it was published, with the headline "A 'Cli-Fi Missionary' with Jewish Roots Who is Fighting Global Warming."

I started off the oped in a conversational way, writing: "I'm a climate change literary activist and gadfly, and I'd like to talk to you today about something I call cli-fi."


And then I told my story, parts of which are excerpted here, noting: "I'm close to 70, and I graduated from Tufts University in 1971 with a major in literature, and promoting the literary fortunes of cli-fi is now my life work. And I'm Jewish, and my Jewish education and family life in western Massachusetts in the 1950s and 1960s plays a central role, even today, in my climate activism.


''So what's cli-fi? It's a subgenre of sci-fi, according to some observers, and a separate stand-alone genre of its own, according to others. I feel that cli-fi novels and movies can cut through the bitter divide among rightwing denialists and leftwing liberals worldwide over the global warming debate. I'm not into politics; I'm into literature and movies.



''We are a world now divided bitterly over climate change issues. In my view of things, novels and movies can serve to wake people up in ways that politics and ideology cannot. That's where cli-fi comes in. In my late 60s, with a heart attack-related stent keeping my ticker ticking, and my days numbered now, I'm combining my Jewish heritage with its emphasis on social justice with my personal concerns about the future impacts of man-made global warming.


''As a Jewish person, I learned from an early age the need to look out for others and have empathy for the world at large. Climate change is the most important issue the humankind has ever faced. As a Jew, I cannot look away.


''Ten years ago, I coined a new literary term I dubbed 'cli-fi' for 'climate fiction' novels and movies. My coinage with its modelling of the sci-fi term, was picked up by reporters for the New York Times, the Guardian, the BBC and San Diego Jewish World where I write occasionally pen a freelance column about Jewish life and culture.


''In 2015, I set up a website called The Cli-Fi Report to broadcast my views about cli-fi and to gather feedback from literary critics and novelists around the world.


''I fund my work myself on a very small shoestring budget in my sunset years, but I had a father who left me an inheritance more important than money: a Yiddish term called 'menschlekeit.' And to be a PR guy for cli-fi in my late 60s is in direct gratitude for the good life I've had on this planet, and it's also my way of saying thanks to my dad and mom, Bernie Bloom from Avenue J in Brooklyn, and Sylvia Epstein Bloom from Blue Hill Avenue in Boston.


''What I want to say today, here in Tikkun, is thank you Bernie and Sylvia. You both taught me that it was important not only to be a mensch in one's daily life but also to try to help 'repair the world' -- tikkun olam in Hebrew.


''And for me, with my contribution of a new literary term to the world, that is what my work on the climate fight is all about: tikkun olam. I am not writing a book about cli-fi, I am not appearing on TV talk shows, and I am not making a documentary about my work. I am not interested in fame or money.


''And despite not having stepped foot in a synagogue for over 40 years,  I'm as Jewish as they come, and I recognize the importance of my Jewish heritage, first described in the second creation story in the Torah, to steward the Earth's resources. That's why I was inspired to coin and publicize the cli-fi term: to try to save future generations of humankind as global warming impact events make themselves felt worldwide more and more over the next 30 generations of man. I'm a visionary of sorts, but I don't hear supernatural voices. I only hear my parents saying to me: 'Danny, don't give up!'


''And so help me God, I'm never giving up.''

After the oped was published online, two responses from readers came in that resonated with me, one from a Jewish man in North America, and another from a Jewish man in Australia.

Richard Schwartz wrote: "Kudos to Dan Bloom. Since most people prefer fiction and movies to factual material, his approach could be a major help in increasing awareness about climate change, so important to help shift our imperilled planet onto a sustainable path.''

And Evan Shapiro, a novelist and public relations consultant in Australia, reached out to me in a longer reaction, writing:

''Thank you for sharing. It's a fascinating and well-outlined perspective. While I'm from Jewish decent, I wasn't brought up Jewish. My grandparents were observant, but both my parents declared themselves as atheists and gave my siblings and I a very liberal upbringing and education here in Australia. My feelings about being Jewish are by no means simple. There have been times in my life I've felt it keenly. There are particular aspects of my life that also make me feel very Australian, though by no means is that very traditional, either.  It's an interesting place to find yourself. As I get older, however, I feel more and more human and observant of social conditioning of all kinds that may or may not have affected my outlook. Appreciative of my background and upbringing but open to looking well beyond them, if that makes sense. It's that sense of humanity beyond the label, or perhaps beneath the label that drives me to communicate ideas of human compassion. From a human perspective, how can we not save our one and only precious planet? Thank you for sharing your honest and open article. I really enjoyed it.''

=================

LINK TO OPED