Friday, July 25, 2014

An Open Friendly Letter to Carolyn Kellogg, Mark Athitakis, Pamela Paul, Dan Kois, Hector Tobar, Dwight Garner About The Rise of the Cli Fi Genre Which You Continue to Ignore on Your Pages -- and even ridicule and mock in your inside Tweets to each other : LOOK, guys, can we talk?

                                                    FOYLES BOOKSTORE, LONDON

Dear friends on the literary pages of some of America's prime media real estate,     @hectortobar @pamelapaul @dwightgarner

 Can we talk?
UPDATE! "Dear Dan, We have read your OPEN LETTER HERE and tweeted about it too, but we have stopped our sniggering and snickering since we see now you are sincere in your wish to communicate with us in regard to the emerging genre of cli fi, and our door IS NOW OPEN to you and welcome, Dan Bloom! You made your point blog loud and Twitter clear. We apologize for our mocking the genre and our general disregard for your energetic emails. Sorry. We hope you will accept our collective apology here.'' - The Gang

I have tried for the past few months to reach you by email and Twitter about the rise of a new genre of literature and cinema that's been dubbed "cli fi."

You know about cli fi because you have read about it in the pages of NPR, the Guardian, the FT, the New York Times, the New Yorker and New York magazine, and yet you have steadfastly refused to answer my emails or tweets about the possibility at your paper or website of covering the rise of cli fi, not as a marketing buzzword and not as a self-promotional stunt (as you have accused me of doing in your groups tweets: [@paperhaus "yeah I know know show you are talking about, I've blocked him! Somebody needs to alert the ASU PR dept!''] -- and Carolyn, you are the books editor at the Los Angeles Times and this is how you react to the rise of a new literary and cinema genre? By blocking a fellow journalist and refusing to answer even one of his emails?

At least Hector Tobar was a nice enough to reply by email and say he might do something on cli fi when he thinks there is a story there but not until then. Thanks Hector for your good replies.

 You all know each other and you all tweet back and forth to each other, it's there for all to see. @paperhaus, @dankois, @pamelapaul, @dwightgarner, @hectortobar, @roncharles, @athitakis, etc.

And that's cool. I am glad that you are at least aware of the cli fi genre but what i don't understand is why you refuse to engage me in conversation and at least find out what i am trying to do with this PR work I am doing on behalf of the cli fi genre.

Why not at least talk to me, ask me what this is all about, email me, answer my tweets rather than block me. It's not very professional or responsible as leading literary critics and media observers at major publications to thumb your collective nose as the rise of a new literary genre -- which you SHOULD be covering rather than snickering away to each other on Twitter. "oh, he's just a self-promoter, ignore him" says one of you -- "i blocked him hehe" says another one of you.'' "someone should alert the ASU PR dept about this guy." "I'm getting PTSD already from this cli fi crap" says another one of you.

You are acting like children. And unprofessionally as book and literary editors and reviewers at your respective publications. 

 If this was someone trying to contact you by email or tweets about some new genre called steampunk or chick lit or even SCI FI long ago when sci fi first appeared on the literary scence, would you also have ignored the emails and tweets of maybe Isaac Asimov or Harlen Corben or Kim Stanley Robinson?

You accuse me of being a self-promoter in your group tweets and yet what am I self-promoting. I know you hate PR people and I know you get 500 PR emails every day, so it makes sense that you think I am part of that industry. I AM NOT. WAKE UP, MATES! I am doing this for the future of this planet.


 Don't you get it? It's not about ME. I am not promoting myself. How jaded and cynical can you all be? Well, now i know. I see your tweets and your refusal to answer my emails. That's okay, I understand. Fear is everywhere these days. In your haste to run away from the rise of cli fi, which has already been reported in the pages of the Washington Post and the New York Times, papers where some of you work, and also in the pages of many papers around the world, you refuse to even engage me in a conversation by email or answer my tweets for info.

Unlike your other colleages, such as Richard Perez-Pena at the Times and Rodge Glass at the Guardian and Rebecca Tuhus-Dubrow at Dissent and Amanda Ericson and Adam Kushner at the Washington Post, or Alison Flood at the Guaridan or Pilita Clark at the FT in London, you guys sneak around on Twitter and snicker "oh that guy again! ignore him. I've blocked him and alerted my editors as well" -- what gives?

You are adults, you are mature adults who love literature and yet you treat a fellow reporter who also loves literature and is not doing this to promote himself AT ALL -- I am not a cli fi novelist, I am not writing a Hollywood cli fi script, I am not writing a nonfiction book about the rise of cli fi [somebody will but not me, I am not a writer at all, just a former newspaper editor and freelance reporter now and with cli fi working as a climate activist and a literary theorist, NOT for myself, i get nothing from this, I am working on my own time, I am not pulling down the kind of salaries you guys are pulling down -- that's for sure! -- and I am not doing this cli fi work for money or fame. You don't get it.

You don't get it because you never bothered to take time to answer my emails. Or my tweets. I have from the very beginning always treated you (and tweeted you) with complete utmost respect for your jobs as editors and book reviewers. And yet in return, you resort to ignoring my emails, not replying to me tweets and snacking in your group tweets about my cli fi work. What gives?

 Oh, and did i mention that Jim Milliot the chief books editor at PW, Publishers Weekly, refused also to answer my email queries to him last year just telling him about the NPR story as a possible link for the PW Daily newsletter, and after ignoring my first 5 emails, sent again and again to see if he was even reading them since he chose not to reply, he finally did reply, bless him, took some time out of his busy day in his cluttered cubicle in Manhattan and his two word email rely , finally, was [no salutation, no signature] just a rude "not interested!" Can you imagine the top editor for the most influential book industry trade magazine in the world and he is "NOT INTERESTED" in the NPR link for his daily newsletter? But thanks God, the UK Bookseller did reply to me emails and they did print the link of the NOR story in the British media. Seems American book people are way behind the curve. Why is that? I have no idea? And Jim still doesn't answer my emails. New Yorkers are overworked I think. Ask Rodge Glass, ask Alison Flood, ask Pilita Clark.

 So look, with the WAPO having done an oped the other week under my byline and with the New York Times soon to do an oped by me in the Times, why can't we try to be friends and communicate at least? I've been trying to communicate with all of you here, and no one has given me the time of day.

Well, no, Hector did reply in a very nice way and say not now but maybe later. 

Pamela Paul did reply to my first email to her and she said, paraphrasing, and admit it Pamela, you did write this: "Hi Dan, The NYT book section will never never ever print the word cli fi in our pages as long as I am editor, not in a book review, not in a headline and not in a Bookends essay by someone, and never by you. Sorry, Dan".

NOTE TO THE FUTURE: the top books editor at the NYT really said that? Hard to believe but that's the truth, and of course, I was paraphrasing; Pamela can tell you future historians what she really wrote to me. I have her email in my file. Ouch. And like Pamela, a fellow Brown alum like the great Andy Revkin. And she can also explain to you why she never once answered my tweets, not even once to say "not interested.'

And I like Pamela, she is a great editor, one of the best the NYT books section has ever had!

 Thankfully, I don't take any of this personally as the rise of CLI FI as a new literary genre is not about me. I am nobody here. This is about a new genre. It's not about any person. I am not doing this promote an academic career or to try to get a job promotion and therefore a higher salary or PR my new novel or anything like that. Richard Perez-Pena took the time to talk to me, Pamela. You didn't.

 So did John Broder in Washington and then Paris and John Schwartz in New York. I have friends at the Times, But obviously not in the books section. Garner blocks me on twitter, too. What kind of journalist does that? He goes on and on about Tao Lin but cannot even engage me in a chat about CLI FI? Ouch.

And.....the BOOKS SECTION editor runs away and pretends that cli fi does not exist, and no way is she going to give that new genre any ink. Not in HER pages.

 So, look, friends, here is what i want to say to you as colleagues in the news and commentary field. Why don't you read my friendly OPEN LETTER here and then reply to me with a response to my open letter here either in the comments section below OR write a LETTER back to me by email and post it to and I will publisher your letter, without any editing, on this very page, below this very OPEN LETTER.=

 isn't that a good start? can't we try to be friends and put egos aside and start communicating. I don't have an ego here, I dropped my ego long ago. This is about climate change and global warming and using a new genre to help wake up the world, especially the climate deniliastst and climate skeptics. Which side of all this are you on? Snickering away on twitter does not help move the conversation forward.

 Which reminds me, mates, you might want take some time to read David Holme's very good piece on CLI FI that appeared in THE CONVERSATION, an academic journal in Australia that was read and seen by academics the world over. Read it at theconverssation.comau or google his name to find it. it's a good read and you will see there that I am not doing this for self=promotion and that in fact Ed Finn at ASU supports what i am doing with CLI FI , as goes Margaret Atwood. She doesn't snigger and snicker on twitter like you guys do when it comes to cli fi. Ms Atwood is trying to build better world and she knows that CLI FI has a place in it too. Ask her, if you don't want to deal with this self-promoter.

 So write your letter back to me and I will print it here. I am on your side for God's sake. I love literature. i am a lifelong reader. I am trying to repair the world, ''tikkun olam'', Look it up.

self-pro·mo·tion (slfpr-mshn)
Promotion, including advertising and publicity, of oneself effected by oneself:

1. the act or practice of promoting one's own interests, profile, etc

Slate senior editor Dan Kois and film critic 

Why You Should Be a Shameless Self-Promoter

No need to be embarrassed. As long as you follow these three basic principles, tooting your own horn can bring on major success.

Don't brag! Stop talking about yourself!
That's what we were all told growing up. Okay, maybe I was told this more than most. Still isn't it odd that here in the 21st century, millions and millions of us do little but brag and talk about ourselves constantly throughout the day on Twitter, Facebook and Youtube?  And the ugly truth is that most of it is mindless, inane chatter that interests few.
And then, there are the marketers... Barraging us constantly with endless messaging about how great they are and how much we need their product or service with no considerationfor our time or attention.
But is this always wrong? As an author and speaker, I have no choice but to constantly talk about myself, and what's on my mind. Come to think of it, I'm doing it right now! Truthfully, I am no different then every entrepreneur that wants to benefit stakeholders, managers that seek advancement or even eager employees looking for recognition. It's nice to think that people will simply notice the good and important things you are doing, however with all the noise online today, what are the odds that a single tweetpost or video will make any sort of impact? They are pretty slim indeed.
So we need to shamelessly self-promote, loud, strong and often. And yet somehow we have to keep from crossing that line of being annoying and offensive. Here are three tips on how to shamelessly self-promote and still keep your friends, colleagues and prospects from screaming and, dare I say it... unfriending you!

1. Be interesting

You already know what interests you, but you should consider what will interest your followers. Learn about them through research and their own self-promotion so you can find a way to connect their interests with what you have to promote.

2. Be authentic

Share the real you. Say what you truly believe and not what you think others want to hear.  Being likeable helps too. Getting others to promote you openly will actually work even better than talking about yourself. If you can't engage other people to talk about your accomplishment, then maybe it's not worth talking about.

3. Provide value

Value comes in all shapes and sizes from an entertaining story, a lesson, or a simple joke that makes people smile and breaks up their day. Creativity in your delivery may even get people to share your promotion. (See tip No. 2)
Now these skills don't come naturally. You need to practice. So here is your chance. Post your own shameless self-promotion in the comments below and we'll see how many likes it gets by my next column in two weeks. I will send a copy of my new book Video Marketing For Dummies to each poster of the five comments with the highest number of likes and mention the winners in the next column. For those who feel this is a shameless self-promotion on my part just to engage social media activity, I'll invoke Tip #1 and say absolutely, but that doesn't mean it won't be a fun and interesting exercise. (Tip No. 3) So don't be shy. Shamelessly self-promote away!
Oh and to show you I practice what I preach, Here is my quick and funny video for my new Amazon No. 2 Best Seller, which follows all three principles as you'll see. If you like it, please don't hesitate to share it around. (Oops, did it again.)

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

“The Nevils” Praise Top Noted ‘Cli Fi’ Novels of 2014 (Guest Post)

  1. hat tip to Arianna for the heads up from Australia! Pleasure to work with you and Rick there!

Dan Bloom

“I’m thrilled to tell you that my new cli fi novel ‘In Ark: A Promise of Survival’ has been selected for the 2014 list of ‘The Nevils’, (Noted Cli-Fi Novels Of The Year),” writes Lisa Devaney in London. “This award honours new cli-fi (climate change fiction) authors and books each year.”
“The list was created by climate activist and literary theorist Danny Bloom, who coined the phrase ‘cli-fi’ and is devoted to making the literary genre a worldwide success,” Devaney added. “I am listed among some amazing writers and books, and so it is a great honour for me to be included.”
”The Nevils” are named after Nevil Shute, for his famous novel “On The Beach” — first published in 1957 and warning the world about the dangers of nuclear war and nuclear winter. Bloom says he came up with the idea for ”The Nevils”, naming them after Mr Shute, and hoping to inspire a writer to create one day create that will do for climate change what the British-Australian writer did for nuclear war — make people give a damn, make people do something about it and make people wake up to the call of a dangerous threat.
Still, climate deniers rage on against the realities and truth that climate change will happen, and still people are not taking enough action to stop global warming and the destruction of the environment of Earth. The disrespect, denial and constant destruction of nature with activities like ‘fracking’ will be the end of our planet. Maybe these Nevils, these cli-fi books, these ideas, these writers and the hard work and effort of the organizers to create and promote the genre of cli-fi, will help the situation. Let’s hope so.
Among cli fi authors honored this year are Gregory Ziegler in America, Claude Nougat in Italy, Hamish MacDonald in Scotland, Mindy McGinnis in America, Emmi Itaranti in Finland, Lloyd Jones in Wales, Kate Kelly in the UK, Kat Ross in New York, Joshua David Bellin in America, and Antti Tuoamenin in Finland.
To see the entire list of noted cli fi novels of 2014 — “The Nevils” — click on this blog:

Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments
- See more at:

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Upcoming “cli-fi” thriller ''Into the Storm'' debuts on Wednesday, July 23.

In the meantime, fans can start lining up at the Gas Lamp Theatre for a 10 PM pre-Con fan screening of New Line and Village Roadshow Pictures’ upcoming “cli-fi” thriller Into the Storm on Wednesday, July 23.

Universities Make 'Cli-fi' Dreams Come True - a HuffPo piece by cli fi author J.L. Morin

Adjunct Faculty at Boston University, JL Morin is the award-winning author of ''NATURE'S CONFESSION'', a cli-fi novel coming out in January 2015..................

Joe Romm the science and climate visionary at ThinkProgress opines about SNOWPIERCER as a nihilistic cli fi movie and for the first time Joe uses cli fi in print under his own byline, which means he finally read the 101 emails I sent him. SMILE:

JOE WRITES: ''I try to keep up on the latest addition to the post-apocalyptic SciFi genre, as readers know. And, in fact, there is a nascent effort to label a sub-genre dubbed 'Cli Fi' and led by climate activist Danny Bloom........................... Annoyingly, some Climate Fiction movies have this thing about freezing the earth — first, “The Day After Tomorrow,” and now “Snowpiercer.” I guess the directors and writers and producers think that stuff frozen quickly is visually more appealing (and more directly relatable) than stuff that is slowly heating up. Darn you, brainless frogs!''............................. LINK: ============================= COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL use link =============================== COMMMENT: Joe yes humor helps here, re ..."Annoyingly, some 'cli fi' movies have this thing about freezing the Earth — first, “The Day After Tomorrow,” and now “Snowpiercer.” I guess the directors and writers and producers think that stuff frozen quickly is visually more appealing (and more directly relatable) than stuff that is slowly heating up. Darn you, brainless frogs!" SMILE. DAN BLOOM replies: yes for cinematic reasons global cooling and winter snowstorms make Hollywood studios salivate with brainless frog anticioation of another hit movie. Next up, Joe, if the film gets the greenlight, is Matthew Mather's CYBERSTORM novel, which is not only a cyber thriller but goes the cli fi route as well, with a massive winter snowstorm in the future time period blanketing Manhattan for meters and meters of white stuff. So CYBERSTORM is likely to join DAY and PIERCER as brainless frog movies. You coined a good term: this brainless frog stuff. Use it in future articles. It's catchy and goes right to the heart of the matter. Brainless frogs indeed! =========================

Cli fi at the movies, a new study by two Maine professors - Bridie McGreavy and Laura Lindenfeld of the Department of Communication and Journalism at the University of Maine

Someone online has translated a Korean-language interview with Korean movie director Bong Joon-ho, and he confirmed that there are a few gay characters in the movie, including Wilford, Gilliam and Grey. QUOTE UNQUOTE: Q: In order for the tail section people to keep have children, sex is necessary; yet there isn't much description of sex throughout the film. Moreover, it's questionable if the population would be sustained when there are way more men than women in the tail section. Bong Joon-Ho : Most young women in the tail section were drafted to the front section and you can see them in the club scene. Actually, there is a brothel section in the train according to the original graphic novel, but we couldn't make it due to limited production budget. They kept just enough number of women in the tail section to provide children. There is another extreme (*The interviewing website is called EXTREME MOVIE:p) backstory that I'm revealing for the first time: there are homosexual relationships among the men. Gilliam, played by John Hurt, and Grey, played by Luke Pasqualino, seem like a couple with a large age gap. Gilliam is someone whom Grey admires deeply, of course, but one could imagine they sleep together, too (laughs). And Gilliam sends Grey (who is his lover) to Curtis. The same person pointed out that Grey has Gilliam's name tattooed over his heart. The Year's Best Film About Income Inequality Was Nearly Ruined by the 1 Percent Written by Brian MerchantSenior EditorJuly 15, 2014 // 07:59 AM EST Snowpiercer. Promo image. I watched the summer's best and most original action movie—hands down, no contest—in an art house theater with about two dozen people. The screen, one of just two the establishment operated, was smallish, and the sound was even on the quiet side, or at least, it was quieter and smaller than we've been conditioned to expect anytime we sit down to watch Captain America smash through waves of foes with nothing but his fists and his gumption. And all because a notoriously harsh one percenter tried to crush the year's most exciting film about income inequality. Snowpiercer, the fourth film from director Bong Joon-Ho, stars Chris Evans (sans the shield and jingoism), along with Tilda Swinton, John Hurt, and Ed Harris. It cost $40 million to make. Its entire two-hour runtime is given over to action and/or suspense; it's all gripping, immaculately staged fight scenes and splatterhouse violence, interspersed with brief snippets of social satire that's actually funny and buffeted by singular, engrossing set design. It has received overwhelmingly positive reviews. Yet after two weeks in theaters, this is the total US gross of Snowpiercer: $2 million. That is, to put it mildly, absurd. If any American sci-fi star vehicle were to make just $2 million in two weeks, it would supplant Ishtar as the biggest flop in history. It would beckon comparisons to Plan 9 From Outer Space. It would be a catastrophe. But Snowpiercer's take isn't a disaster, given its circumstances—it's nearly miraculous. The film opened in eight tiny theaters nationwide. Eight. Transformers 47, or whatever installment that franchise is currently at, is playing in nearly 4,000. And the reasons for Snowpiercer's marginalization has already become the stuff of independent cinema legend. It goes something like this: Harvey Weinstein, impresario of indie cinema and owner of the dubious nickname 'Harvey Scissorhands', snapped up the American distribution rights for Snowpiercer on the strength of a few sample scenes and Bong's impeccable resume (his last two films, The Host and Mother are regarded as masterpieces). When he saw the final cut, Weinstein "balked," and instructed Bong to remove 25 minutes worth of character development and to add voiceovers to the beginning and end. Bong refused to compromise his film, and Weinstein refused to release it unless he did. So the film stayed in limbo, even as it proved a runaway success in Bong's native Korea, where it was released in 2013. Weinstein eventually decided to all but bury the film instead; relegating it to a small subsidiary of his studio and a very limited distribution—interestingly, that's because said subsidiary traffics in View on Demand, which major theaters spit out like poison—so it will never see wide release. Hence, a star-studded English language blockbuster ended up being treated more like a black-and-white revival of the Czech new wave. It's especially striking not just because it's a tale of a hot-headed, iron-fisted producer—that's the standard expectation for Hollywood moguls, I guess—but also because Weinstein is behaving a lot like the hammy, 1-percenter villain in the very film he's smothering; the megalomaniacal Wilford, the train's engineer. Snowpiercer is, admittedly, an odd beast. It's based on a post-apocalyptic French graphic novel, Le Transperceneige, and depicts the travails of the last survivors of the human race, who circle an ice-entombed earth in a giant locomotive-cum-perpetual motion machine. Its weird audacity is also why I was so eager to see it; in an era of resurgent dystopian sci-fi, few films seem willing to imagine the original, truly satirical allegories capable of elevating the genre to greatness. The premise is undeniably that: In Snowpiercer, we have trapped ourselves on a planet that we have destroyed, and, greed-stricken to the very end, we replicate the same inequality-laden class system we've been repeated throughout history. The film unites what are probably the two greatest Issues of our time: global warming and income inequality. At the beginning of the film, we're introduced to the train, which is forever circling the frozen planet—we tried to geoengineer our way out of temperatures we drove to rise with burning fossil fuels by dousing the atmosphere with some chemical. Instead of working as planned, it clouded out the sun and brought on a premature ice age. Once thought of as a deluded mad scientist, Wilford is an ambitious engineer who, anticipating the calamity, built a train that generates its own energy as it goes, and harvests water from the snow that falls on the tracks. As ecological disaster loomed, a lucky few bought space on the luxurious sleeper cars near the front, and a less-lucky few stowed away in the back where they live in the dirty, dark like cockroaches. As the film opens, Chris Evans, now a bearded Captain Humanity, is organizing a revolt—the oppressed back-of-the-trainers, who are forced to sacrifice their children to the fronters for unexplained reasons, will rise up and… do something? No one is really all that certain of what, but they know their current lot is unsustainable. They are abused and tortured by the privileged authoritarians, and something must change, especially as the harsh environment outside leaves them with no other options. So as long as the conceit is foregrounded, the film works as a powerful, brutal allegory for the ills of our present moment, which of course is itself marked by growing class and income disparities and ecological woes serving as the pressure cooker. Evans slogs through the security complex, losing friends and peers all the way, and eventually fights his way into the front echelons of the train; where the one percenters dwell. Here's where we get to the spoilers, so if you haven't seen it yet, you may want to get off here… The penultimate revelation of Snowpiercer, which is less satisfying than much of the rest, is that the entire train is controlled by this single man; the 0.01 percent, if you will. He orchestrates everything—the machine that helps them survive, the social order, and, yes, even the rebellion that leveled off the train's population so that it remains sustainable. He acts alone; he is power-mad, and he believes he knows what's best for all those working with or opposing him. If the film were an allegory about an indie film fighting to see the light of day, Wilford would be Weinstein (who is, I might as well note, estimated to be worth $200 million). According to a film festival promoter who's close to Bong, "[the Weinstein Company] people have told Bong that their aim is to make sure the film ‘will be understood by audiences in Iowa ... and Oklahoma.’" Having watched each of the 126 minutes of the film fairly closely, I can attest to the fact that not a single one of them is too complicated for anyone with an ambition to watch an R-rated movie. If it were a book, it would be about a sixth-grade reading level. The comment seems downright insulting to anyone residing in those fine Midwestern states. It inspired blogs, like io9 to pen commentary like this one: 'Harvey Weinstein thinks you're too stupid for 'Snowpiercer.' Whatever Weinstein's genuine intentions really were—I actually agree that some of the fat could have been trimmed from the film, but not for any reasons resembling "it's too complicated"—will remain unknown. A reporter for the Boston Globe tried repeatedly to get a comment from the studio on the matter, and was declined. So, with just speculation to go on, it simply seems that one very powerful man in the film industry punished a director and his film for refusing to do as he wished. Obviously, it's an imperfect analogy; a rich, successful director, Bong is far from oppressed, even if his art is being blocked out. Still, it's a somewhat useful reference point; after all, the film's strong showing, like Evans' hero, is breaking down walls by itself. It expanded to over a hundred theaters after a warm reception, critical praise, and nothing less than a 4,000 signature-strong fans' campaign. Now, Snowpiercer is primed to move onto 350 or so screens, and it's beginning its cycle through the on-demand rotation, too. It will never see truly wide release, though, and will never get anywhere close to becoming the cultural force it could have with 1,400 theaters, and the marketing might of the studio behind it. That's too bad. This, the first film to compellingly—if bluntly and, eventually, confusingly—tell a revolutionary story about global warming and inequality, is primed to strike a deep chord with an increasingly receptive public. I left the theater that day puzzling over why this film was relegated to the art houses. It was exciting, easy to follow, well-paced, colorful, bleak in the hip way things are bleak now. It was an exciting, affirming piece of art. Why couldn't everyone share it? Turns out it was just one or two guys who happened to be exceptionally rich and powerful, ruining the distribution for the rest of us. Climate change at the movies=============== Date:June 3, 2014 Source:Inderscience Publishers================= Summary: New research suggests that purportedly entertaining films that feature global warming and climate change can affect public understanding. But films are often bound up in problematic and limiting identity politics, which commonly reiterate racial, gender and sexual stereotypes positioning as they do white men as being the decision makers and the voice of authority.Share This -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Research published in the International Journal of Sustainable Development suggests that purportedly entertaining films that feature global warming and climate change can affect public understanding. But films are often bound up in problematic and limiting identity politics, which commonly reiterate racial, gender and sexual stereotypes positioning as they do white men as being the decision makers and the voice of authority. Bridie McGreavy and Laura Lindenfeld of the Department of Communication and Journalism at the University of Maine, have analyzed three films that feature global warming prominently: The Day After Tomorrow (2004), Sizzle: A Global Warming Comedy (2008) and An Inconvenient Truth (2006). The Day After Tomorrow, a drama directed by Roland Emmerich and featuring as its lead, male character a paleoclimatologist who predicts that global warming might actually plunge the planet into a new Ice Age, is simply a search and rescue in which the lead character must make a daring trek across America to get to his son, trapped in the cross-hairs of the sudden global storm. Sizzle: A Global Warming Comedy directed by Randy Olson is allegedly a comedy, a mockumentary exploring the chaos surrounding global warming. It blends documentary and reality style in encounters with the silliness of environmental extremism and the seriousness of Hurricane Katrina. An Inconvenient Truth directed by Davis Guggenheim documents Al Gore's campaign to get the issue of global warming recognized internationally. All three films had their critics. All three have their factual errors and distortions. All three have their hidden agendas. None of the films is peer-reviewed science...obviously. Nevertheless, such storytelling does have an impact on popular culture and public perception regarding a given issue. McGreavy and Lindenfeld suggest that dominant representations of race and gender in these films fail to align with the key sustainable development goals of equity, freedom and shared responsibility. Instead, their position as "entertainment" influence s our sense of the world, guides our relationships and may well affect, in a detrimental manner, our collective abilities to create a sustainable future. "Scientific consensus on climate change is clear," the team says. "Attention to this issue in mainstream media is likely to grow stronger as the reality of a changing climate comes home." They add that, "Ideological criticism of movie representations is important because it helps us discover how texts align with or differentiate themselves from dominant discourse." They suggest that we need to engage critically with films to understand who is positioned as having the ability to act and how. "It is not just about rational, fact-based reasoning but about making and using films to challenge dominant stereotypes, change social institutions, and empower citizens more broadly," McGreavy says. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Story Source: The above story is based on materials provided by Inderscience Publishers. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Journal Reference: 1.Bridie McGreavy Laura Lindenfeld. Entertaining our way to engagement? Climate change films and sustainable development values. International Journal of Sustainable Development, 2014 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------