by staff writer with agency
With 15-year-old Swedish ''school strike for climate solutions'' proponent Greta Thunberg making waves across the world the past four months, and more to come from her in 2019 (a book, a documentary, more keynote speeches, perhaps a Nobel Peace Prize nomination), there's a new way to look at fighting climate change and runaway global warming. Instead of dystopian visions full of doom and gloom, there are now utopian visions full of hope and promise.
"Stories that focus only on the impacts of climate change tell us the worst that could happen, but not what to do about it," write two researchers in the science communication field. "It’s not helpful to imagine ourselves overwhelmed by disaster while we wait for a miracle technology to transform our future. Instead, our stories need to show us how we can come together to solve climate change. In other words, we can change the way our own real-life story unfolds by changing the stories we tell."
Imagine, for example, a popular TV show set in Miami in which a city planning official dealing with future sea level rise issues grapples with that very real threat for south Florida, and various supporting characters show how the city can collaborate with scientists and city planners to come up with solutions. No more TV dystopias; think utopia and how to get there.
In a short story by acclaimed writer Jess Walter that recently appeared in an Amazon Original Story Collection titled "Warmer," for example, the storyteller weaved the intracacies of climate change science through a humorous academic story arc, with hope, not dystopia, emerging arising from the characters' determination to not give up until they have done everything they can.
That's exactly what Greta Thunberg in Sweden has been talking about: hope conquers all.
I''ve just learned that in February, Firaxis Games will introduce a climate change game titled ''Civilization VI: Gathering Storm,'' with the mantra “Our survival necessitates new solutions to old problems.” Bingo!