A hair thin gap is found between scorching fact and fiction, as we flip through the pages of 2020 science fiction novel, “The Ministry Of Future ‘‘. This turns more meaningful now as almost every part of North India burns as temperature touches record levels. It is worth mentioning that even Bill Gates has pinned this book in his must read listing as the Microsoft boss says, “The events depicted in it could very well take place in the real world”.
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The story revolves around an American health worker who is on a humanitarian mission in the Indian state of UP and the environment becomes unbearable to him as heat and humidity combine. Then, alongside the power failure, nearby lakes turn dry which simply adds to his suffering.
The book is by Kim Stanley Robinson who has bagged numerous awards and his work unlocks a new genre of English literature, which is Climate Fiction (Cli-Fi). It just sums up the experiences of living in a world hit hard by global warming.
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Letting every single thought gush out, which shaped her experiences otherwise, he told ToI, “Given that India is one of the places endangered by these rising wet-bulb temperatures, I decided to set my novel there”.
This was just an incident that she was in Dharamshala at the time of heatwave and we report her in our environment news updates in India here.
Other than the western writers and apocalyptic Hollywood movies, those in India with supreme writing muscles, are also putting up best narrations concerning climate change ordeal in real life.
In 2016, Amitav Ghosh lamented the scanty leaning among Indian writers towards climate change issues which threaten our existence extensively. Environment news updates in India to drive through climate change and to save environment.
But now, he has had a diagonal approach towards the problem and has published a book of essays, “The Great Derangement”.
He chased this book with his novel “Gun Island” and a travelogue “The Nutmeg’s Curse” and his latest being “The Living Mountain”. Useful environment news updates in India are untangled here.
A growing number of Indian writers draw inspiration from the surroundings and as the urban landscape undergoes swift change, such is pursued in their writing. Environment news updates in India distilled through credible sources.
A foreboding account can be Rajat Chaudhary’s work “The Butterfly Effect ” which is dotted with numerous instances projecting the city of Kolkata as half-drowned and is thus beyond recognition. The book contains future predictions about the city in the years ahead. Branching out of such a fluid situation, many other problems are foreseen such as food shortage, class struggle and major mysterious health complications among commoners.
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Mr Chaudhry points out, “As an activist, I have been closely involved with ozone depletion and climate change work”.
He adds, “I’ve felt a need to complement this through fiction because stories distill the complexities of climate science and help people imagine possible futures at a deeper level”. Environment news updates in India are useful to bend the curve.
He upholds studies that indicate that such stories can kickstart a new set of values which would eventually aim at saving the planet. Environment news updates in India to remain in the knowledge loop.
Interestingly, climate fiction is not only meant for grown-ups, rather short stories for children are written in this field to educate them about the grim climate situation. Environment news updates in India to stay focussed on climate change.
In the field, in Bengluru, a writer Bijal Vacchranjani has penned a book for children with the title, Savy And The Memory Keeper”, where his imagination reaches new heights to create a town Shajarpur which has pleasing weather and amenable air, while rest of India burns, suffocates and suffers. But soon, as trees are cut down to give place to buildings, Shajarpur gets to suffer too. Such transformation is what the author encounters in everyday life in Bengluru.
She opines, “Fiction gives us space to understand what’s happening to our world”.
In her previous book too, (A Cloud Called Bhura) a cloud gets attracted to a big cloud which is of brown colour and which has slided to Mumbai, as a result of climate issues, like acid rain and harmful gases.
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Then, in the similar speculative course, we have Lavanya Lakshaminarayan’s work “Analog/ Virtual And Other Simulations Of Your Future”. The work paints Bengluru as a place whose climate is ravaged by a business enterprise. Deeper inside the book, the city is described as the place of high rises, equipped with climate sunshields, smart substance, clean water but the outer world is barren and is sans any plants which is further consumed by poverty, dust storms (as in Dubai and Saudi Arabia) and heatwaves (like we have in India).
Actually, such are the events she has noticed in the past two decades in Bengluru and she simply compiled a book through her creative instincts. Environment news updates in India are here to unlock.
She remembers, “As a child of 90s, I remember March being peak summer, after which we’d have pleasant weather for the rest of the year”.
She is scared, “Now, ACs are a necessity, streets get flooded when it rains and there’s the occasional lake on fire –it was depressingly easy to imagine that things could get worse, and fast.”
As per her book, the tech solutions to the climate crisis are accessible to a limited rich class only and she regards such disparity as an “extreme version” of reality that we live in.
There are many other books which centre around the climate crisis and present a bigger narrative therefore. We have “The Immortal King Rao” which is the first novel written by Vauhini Vara who is a US citizen with roots rooted in India.
Here she depicts the world as a warmer expanse, which is called “Hothouse Earth”, wherein the hero designs a software to defend people’s memories as human extinction steps up. Environment news updates in India are right here.
In the same anthology, we have Varun Thomas Mathews novel, which reflects a futuristic account titled as “The Black Dwarves Of The Good Little Boy” which re-creates Mumbai (referred as Bombadrone) as a mere housing tower which floats, following the havoc caused by huge seawaves.
Albeit, climate change centric writings leave a gloomy picture but not all the stories share such a similar end trend.
Vacharajani says, “Hope is essential to anything I write and often conveyed through the agency of the characters because it can open up so many avenues for young readers”. Keep yourself updated with useful environment news updates in India.
Chaudhary also advocates a positive ecological vision. Solarpunk has become a literary genre now teeming with ecological calculation and he has recently carried out the editing of a volume titled as Multispecies Cities: Solarpunk Urban Futures.
Meanwhile, in “The Ministry of The Future” India plays a pivotal role offering meaningful solutions after calamitous heat waves.
Robin maintains, he” kept the novel coming back to India to show how it could lead the world in responding to this danger”.
Then, the world also unites and constitutes the International Ministry which uncovers economic and geo-engineering options to address the crisis. Environment news updates in India are right here.
So what to expect from Climate Fiction and does it help in realizing the gravity of the ciris? Robinson looks for more stories which focus upon our suffering as a result of a warmer world and we ought to consider the solutions too.
He observes, “These are new stories and they can be very valuable in helping people to envision how the world can become one where people are in a good balance with the biosphere”. Intense heatwaves make it essential to keep ourself abreast with environment news updates in India.
Kim Stanley Robinson is a renowned climate fiction author who laid bare his thoughts before Times Of India recently:
What does he think about climate fiction turning into reality?
Yes, I think so. Of course, a lot of climate fiction completely exaggerates the speed and horror of climate catastrophes for dramatic effect. In the real world. It will be within the bounds of physics but even that is not much of a boundary, the effects will be really bad.
I try to remember that climate change is now the big story in world history, which was not true ten years ago, and also, that scientists everywhere are doing great work to develop ways of coping with the problem. Truly, it is vital to be aware of useful environment news updates in India.
Much of the really crucial work is not in the headlines, or yet in our daily lives, but it’s still the story of civilization in our time. This is sometimes not much to stand on – like a ledge on a cliff –but it does seem real enough to be a true comfort.
How did he feel when he was invited to attend COP 26 in 2021?
I saw a lot of good work being done there, some signs of hope in the way private capital is looking for green investments, and in the Paris Agreement itself, which explicitly calls for “Climate equity”, more than once. Every nation agreed to this, and the equitable solution to it. But I also saw the rich nations failing to keep their promises in the most obvious way. This could become a horrible problem. Everywhere on earth, people need to vote for politicians who are willing to fight to save our planet.
Let’s be hopeful that something constructive and protective would emerge out of such joint efforts across fields crisscrossing the world.