“The Oscars, Dystopian Movies, And How Hollywood Really Treats Climate Change”

Interesting article I came across that discusses the messages the public are exposed to via the media and popular culture. There is a small mention of Snowpiercer.



Captain Obvious Alert

Game-of-Thrones-Season-3-DanyToday Reuters released what is supposed to be the first part of a string of articles by Kyle Plantz, who interviewed me a few weeks ago about our class. Suffice to say that if I knew the article was going to be about Game of Thrones I would have been super-pumped, as it is literally the only TV show I like other than Antiques Roadshow.

But here we are at the end of the piece:

But Ted Howell, who teaches a climate fiction class at Temple University in Philadelphia, said film-goers may be getting the wrong idea about what climate change looks like.

“Some people think (climate change) is going to be this massive tidal wave or giant snowstorm, but it’s actually slower than that,” he said.

Thank you, Captain Obvious.

I jest, but Kyle’s piece is really excellent and I can’t wait to read the next one.

Talking about Geoengineering

Last week in class we talked for an hour about geoengineering even though not a single one of us is a scientist or capable of fully comprehending the intricacies of the plans we evaluated. Then, the next day, I came across this article from Grist, which had been published the day before: Why we should talk about geoengineering even if we never do it. A team of researchers found that — in addition to its helpfulness in understanding climate systems — geoengineering studies can help to make conversations about climate change less polarizing. And the article’s final paragraph mirrors many of our course’s key themes:

But just like other sci-fi fodder — black holes, time travel, artificial intelligence — geoengineering is the kind of concept that, by stoking imaginations and raising questions of ethics, politics, and the limits of human innovation, can influence society without ever having to become a reality. It’s dangerous, and scientists get that, but neglecting or hindering the broader climate change discussion is dangerous too.

Cli-fi in the Classroom

Via Dan Bloom, an article about cli-fi classes across the country, including our own. My favorite part? It’s also available in Spanish:

En la Universidad de Temple, Ted Howell da un curso llamado “Clima ficción: Ciencia ficción, cambio climático y apocalipsis” a unos 30 estudiantes. También tienen blogs semanales sobre el curso mediante el cual mantienen intercambios fuera de clase con su profesor y sus compañeros.