Writing for Climate Action Gains Momentum

Saturday, December 31, 2022 2:34 PM

I was recently honored to be a contributor to an eco-fiction anthology (No More Fairy Tales: Stories to Save Our Planet) aimed at inspiring the delegates to the COP27 Climate Conference. Since then, I see sign after sign that the tide of public opinion may finally be turning in a "slow-building tsunami" that promises to overwhelm traditional "status-quo" apathy on this topic. I find this heartening, a much-needed source of optimism as we turn the corner from 2022 into 2023.

I had a chance to listen in on an enlightening conversation between UCS (Union of Concerned Scientists) host Lisa Nurnberger and three supremely talented writers whose works are infused with a passion to confront the looming threat of climate change. These writers — playwright Chantal Bilodeaux, novelist Jessica Hernandez, and SF legend Kim Stanley Robinson — eloquently shared their own writing journeys and the ways in which their fiction intersects with the climate crisis. None of these folks claimed to have the "magic answers" to address the challenge we face collectively; none wanted to hit their audience over the head with their own belief system or ideology. They simply shared the ways in which this central theme has colored their recent literary efforts, and how they believe this can drive the global conversation in positive directions. If you write or read climate fiction, I strongly recommend you give this YouTube video a viewing:

Writing for Impact: How Narrative Inspires Change

In the wake of this conversation, I also stumbled across an organization called the Climate Fiction Writers League that boasts a membership of several hundred writers dedicated to using fiction as a way to motivate their readership to strive for positive climate action. In their own words: "Fiction is one of the best ways to inspire passion, empathy, and action in readers. Our works raise awareness of climate change and encourage action at the individual, corporate, and government levels."

My own Aquarius Rising Trilogy aims to dramatize climate change and provide some hope that we as a species can find a way to become responsible stewards of our birth planet instead of exploiters of its bounty. As we poise on the brink of a new year, I'm feeling more optimistic than ever that 2023 will bring changes in our economic policies, energy portfolio, and lifestyle choices that are harbingers of a much brighter, more susainable future. We still have a long way to go...and major obstacles still block the road ahead. But I do sense that we're at least seeing the same warning signs; that, for the benefit of everyone, something has to change.

So here's wishing you a wonderful New Year, whether you're a writer, a reader, or a consumer of fiction in other forms. Climate change is a global problem. Let's spin ourselves a better story that leads to a hopeful future!