Jul 052013

Of course, no single weather event can be linked to the increased concentration of human-produced greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. And yet the increased frequency of extreme weather is a scientifically proven result of those gases. In the past month alone, floods in Canada killed four people and forced seventy-five thousand to evacuate Calgary; floods in central Europe killed eighteen; and floods in India killed a thousand. The drought in Spicewood Beach is, by comparison, mundane. Still, it is an example of an inconvenient, costly impact of climate change. And, unlike mass death and trauma, it’s a story that we can picture.

This liminal moment, when the signs are everywhere that the climate in which human civilization developed is gone, seems a natural subject for fiction, and a number of recent novels have grappled with it—Nathaniel Rich’s “Odds Against Tomorrow,” Barbara Kingsolver’s “Flight Behavior,” and Ian McEwan’s “Solar” among them. These books have been labelled “cli-fi,” but chances are that the name won’t stick. It makes the genre sound marginal, when, in fact, climate change is moving to the center of human experience.

— via The New Yorker 

— Benjamin Woodard

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