Where Realism Tips Into Optimism: Review of “The Ministry for the Future” (2020)

by Felix Schaumann

Just as the current climate talks begin , allow us to imagine another future. An optimist one.

Credit: Pixabay 8385

This spring, I gave my mother a book as a present, promising an optimistic take on climate change and on how our next 30 years might play out. Half a year later, she still has not read past page 32 – “it’s too depressing”, she says. I cannot blame her. The Ministry for the Future, a science fiction novel by Kim Stanley Robinson, starts with a heat wave killing around 20 million people in India and subsequent international conflict about unilateral solar geoengineering. On the other hand, the novel ends in 2050 with people flying around the globe in electric air ships, marveling at all the rewilded and restored ecosystems. In between, it forms a subtle narrative arc in which the initial pessimism (or realism) slowly and almost unnoticeably tips into optimism and hope. Continue reading “Where Realism Tips Into Optimism: Review of “The Ministry for the Future” (2020)”

Climate Change in Pop Culture Part 3: alternative and independent music

by Christopher Pavenstädt

Following up on our series about climate change in pop culture (read part 1 about young adult novels and part 2 about pop songs), here are some more examples of songs dealing with the topic of climate change. This time, we focused on independent and alternative music.

Climatization in pop culture

Through climatization, a process of re-framing several societal issues in light of the climate crisis, we can also expect the music industry to be affected by its rise in salience. The environment has already been a topic in pop music for a long time, mostly as a lyrical theme – many may know songs like Michael Jackson’s “Earth Song”, Marvin Gaye’s “Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)” or Midnight Oils “Beds Are Burning”. Continue reading “Climate Change in Pop Culture Part 3: alternative and independent music”

What would you miss the most?

Interactive visual arts project on climate change consequences

by Fenja De Silva-Schmidt

During my research stay in Stellenbosch, South Africa, I came across an interesting arts project on climate change, which was installed during the cultural festival “Woordfees”.

A note on the wall invites onlookers to participate: to illustrate or write about what or who they would miss the most if our climate completely collapsed. Another note asked to describe fond memories of nature.

interactive art project on climate change

All around, people posted little notes and drawings, all of which gave interesting insights into their perceptions of climate change, especially their fears.

Continue reading “What would you miss the most?”