Artists for the earth
Climate change presents a problem in that as a phenomenon it seems vast, complex, and its immensity too difficult to contemplate. And while science can explain it factually, to the average person it still seems distant and abstract – not infiltrating normal daily life.
In 2007 writer Dan Bloom coined the term “Cli-fi” to describe fiction dealing with climate change.
Through their narratives, writers are personalizing the conflict that global warming poses. In their stories, climate change causes particular dilemmas, and through the characters’ struggles to deal with their altered world, the immensity of climate change takes on a human scale and the abstraction gives way to an emotional landscape readers can relate to and empathize with.
Through the arts, and particularly fiction that can portray the psychological, social, political, and cultural impacts of climate change, a consciousness can be raised, and then a consensus brought about to resist the status quo and force civic processes to reach agreements on how to proceed.
Cli-fi is an essential tool that constructs meaning in the age of climate change. It brings scientific facts to life and without that, our behavior and politics cannot change.
The Romantic poets, often writing about beautiful rural landscapes as a source of joy, made nature poetry a popular poetic genre.
Distinct from nature poetry, environmental poetry explores the complicated connections between people and nature, often written by poets who are concerned about our impact on the natural world.
Poets today are serving as witnesses to climate change while bringing attention to important environmental issues and advocating for preservation and conservation.