The literature of climate change? Where is it?
You might say it is too early, but Robert Macfarlane today asks in the Guardian - comparing it to the literature of nuclear holocaust - where is the literature of climate change?
And perhaps this is more than a question about creativity:
Bill McKibben, author of the premonitory classic The End of Nature (1989), has written of how individuals would not act against climate change - altering their habits of consumption, lobbying policy-makers - until they felt "fear in their guts". Literature has a role to play in inducing this gut feeling, for one of its special abilities is that of allowing us to entertain hypothetical situations - alternative lives, or futures, or landscapes - as though they were real. It has a unique capacity to help us connect present action with future consequence.
I shall never forget reading Neville Shute's On The Beach as a 12 or 13-year-old, illictly under the bedcovers by torchlight. When I finished, around 3am, Australian suburbia outside was dead quiet, and I was that I was the last person left alive in the world.
The same sort of scare about climate change, spread as widely as possible, could only be a good idea.