1. Ben Parsons
  2. Education
  3. Monday, 03 February 2020
Hello all!

I recently wrote a blog post on Green Executive called Fighting Humanity's 'Great Derangement': How Art Can Help Us Solve Climate Change.

In it, I advocate for the use of art like literary climate fiction, or CliFi, to help us imagine and solve the climate change problem.

Id like to hear what you all think. Have you ever read a CliFi book before? Do you have a favourite CliFi book you'd like to share?

Thanks, and I'm looking forward to the interaction!

Ben
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Congratulations Ben Parsons, you're the first person (other than me) to post in these forums! :D

I absolutely love your blog post! It was nicely written and well argued. I think many people underestimate the power of novels, plays, movies, etc to shape public opinion and imagination.

When I was at university, I studied some speculative fiction including 1984, Brave New World, Dune, and Logan's Run. I greatly enjoyed the genre. However, it's very disturbing how many parallels there are between the first two works of "fiction" and our current reality.

I confess that I have not read any CliFi, but I think I need to do something about that. Where would you recommend that I start?
Adam Thyer, Founder at GreenExecutive
  1. more than a month ago
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Hi Ben

Like Adam, I have not read any CliFi, but I'd love to!

Which books would your recommend?
  1. more than a month ago
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Hey Adam!

That's already a pretty good start! Dune is pretty much considered one of the foundational CliFi texts, or at the very least, one of the first major Science Fiction works to really deal with environmentalism as its main theme. Much of the later CliFi works I read were clearly inspired by Herbert's work.

If you enjoyed Dune, you might really enjoy the Mars Trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson. It has many of the climate preservation versus terraforming themes that Dune has, and also has some fairly analagous criticisms of the hyper-capitalist resource extraction models of economics that got us into a lot of this trouble to begin with. Other authors worth checking out are Paolo Bacigalupi and Margaret Atwood.

There's also a really good adaptation of Dune being released this year by Dennis Villenueve - the same guy who made Blade Runner 2049. Early reports sounds fantastic - Lord of the Rings in space!

Anyway - hope you can find copies of those books.

Cheers
Ben
  1. more than a month ago
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Hi Ben

Like Adam, I have not read any CliFi, but I'd love to!

Which books would your recommend?


Hi James

Thanks for engaging! As a starting point, I'd certainly recommend Dune. It's a big space adventure with environmentalism as its central theme - but the thematic content in no ways interfere with the rich plot and character building. Lots of clever economic commentary as well - I won't spoil too much of it for you!

Cheers,
Ben
  1. more than a month ago
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I really enjoyed your blog post Ben Parsons !

And what a strange coincidence that I log into this website for the very first time and discover a conversation about Dune. I started reading it only a few days ago! A friend recommended it. Am really enjoying it so far.

Ben, I have to agree with you that literature is a good way to help people imagine things from a new perspective. You can't read a novel properly without allowing the author to paint new images on the canvas of your mind.
  1. more than a month ago
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Hi everyone,

Great article, Ben! I see so much potential in the power of stories to make us understand our situation and help us imagine and care for the future, that I took a sabbatical year to finish a novel I was working on and I’ve recently published.

I’m a marine scientist and a creative writer, and Lorac is not just a fantasy adventure in the tropics, but also a tool that wraps one of the most important scientific messages of our time in a story that connects with the reader’s emotions.

Topics such as climate change, pollution, overfishing, and disinformation are woven into an engaging plot, and many readers have stated that they are doing actions towards the environment they would never have thought of before reading Lorac.

The aim of the book is to raise as much awareness as possible. Thus, all proceeds will go towards spreading awareness of the book and the ebook version can be downloaded at the price the reader sets so that everyone, no matter their pocket size, can live a story that inspires climate action and connection with nature.

It is available in English and Spanish, and it is targeted for readers over 12 years old, including adults who like fantasy or are passionate about nature.

To know about this fusion of science and art that serves the well-being of our planet, please visit https://imwithlorac.com/ or contact me.

Also, if I can be of any help to your project teachclifi.com, I'd happy to collaborate.

Thanks,

Neus
  1. more than a month ago
  2. Education
  3. # 6
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Hi everyone,

Great article, Ben! I see so much potential in the power of stories to make us understand our situation and help us imagine and care for the future, that I took a sabbatical year to finish a novel I was working on and I’ve recently published.

I’m a marine scientist and a creative writer, and Lorac is not just a fantasy adventure in the tropics, but also a tool that wraps one of the most important scientific messages of our time in a story that connects with the reader’s emotions.

Topics such as climate change, pollution, overfishing, and disinformation are woven into an engaging plot, and many readers have stated that they are doing actions towards the environment they would never have thought of before reading Lorac.

The aim of the book is to raise as much awareness as possible. Thus, all proceeds will go towards spreading awareness of the book and the ebook version can be downloaded at the price the reader sets so that everyone, no matter their pocket size, can live a story that inspires climate action and connection with nature.

It is available in English and Spanish, and it is targeted for readers over 12 years old, including adults who like fantasy or are passionate about nature.

To know about this fusion of science and art that serves the well-being of our planet, please visit https://imwithlorac.com/ or contact me.

Also, if I can be of any help to your project teachclifi.com, I'd happy to collaborate.

Thanks,

Neus




Hi Neus!

I am unbelievably happy to hear from you!

I have just purchased Lorac from Amazon for my Kindle, and I cannot wait to read it, and read it to my children. I am also going to create some lesson plans for it on my CliFi blog, http://www.teachclifif.com, and link to palces to get your book.

I'd love to connect with you more. some links to my public websites and profiles are below. Are you on Twitter?

https://twitter.com/parso81

https://www.linkedin.com/in/benparsons1981/

http://www.benparsons.org/

https://www.teachclifi.com/


Great to hear from you - and please, please, please keep in touch!

Ben
  1. more than a month ago
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Even though it spans many genres and contexts all intertwined with themes of reincarnation and fighting inequality in various forms, “Cloud Atlas” by David Mitchell is at least 1/3 a dystopian fiction that deals with consequences of climate inaction.

It is a dense work heavy with allusion both literary and musical and enjoyable in many ways. I highly recommend it.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. Education
  3. # 8
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Hi Neus!

I am unbelievably happy to hear from you!

I have just purchased Lorac from Amazon for my Kindle, and I cannot wait to read it, and read it to my children. I am also going to create some lesson plans for it on my CliFi blog, http://www.teachclifif.com, and link to palces to get your book.

I'd love to connect with you more. some links to my public websites and profiles are below. Are you on Twitter?

https://twitter.com/parso81

https://www.linkedin.com/in/benparsons1981/

http://www.benparsons.org/

https://www.teachclifi.com/


Great to hear from you - and please, please, please keep in touch!

Ben



Hi Ben,
Thank you so much for your reply!
I'm very happy we have connected and I'm so looking forward to hearing from you.
All the best!
  1. more than a month ago
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Ben Parsons and Neus Figueras, can you recommend any CliFi books, or other kinds of environmental fiction, that is suitable for younger high school students, eg. 12-14 years?
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I also had an idea that I have not been able to integrate yet whereby during the week leading up to Earth Day we have Kahoot! quiz competitions in homeroom related to environmental science and the winning class for that day gets a special privilege or prize.
  1. more than a month ago
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Ben Parsons and Neus Figueras, can you recommend any CliFi books, or other kinds of environmental fiction, that is suitable for younger high school students, eg. 12-14 years?


Hi Jessica,

Lorac tackles climate change and other environmental issues in an eco positive story that also brings people closer to nature and community. Besides, it is set in Asia, so your students may more easily relate to it.
If you want, I can email you a copy of the book.

Another book I recommend, and I know the irony of the similar name (if you are curious, I can tell you why I chose Lorac), is The Lorax. It starts with a gloomy vision of our future to show how corporate greed is a danger to nature, and at the end, it sends a very nice message. In addition, Dr. Seuss is a master of children's books.

All the best,
Neus
  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 12
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Hi Neus Figueras

I have only just noticed your reply, I apologize for the delay.

Sure, I'd love a copy of your book! Maybe you could just send by private message?

I had not heard of The Lorax. I will be sure to check it out.

And who doesn't love Dr Seuss? :D
  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 13
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Hi Jessica Martin
Don't worry. Contact me here and tell me if you prefer EPUB, MOBI, or PDF: https://imwithlorac.com/contact/
All the best,
Neus
  1. more than a month ago
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Many thanks Neus Figueras, I just sent you a message via your web form :)
  1. more than a month ago
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Hi Ben and Neus, I've been following your conversation, and I am so happy to have found you! Ben, great blog and it inspired me to go ahead and put up my first post myself. I think this forum is very important, so thank you and a shout out to Adam for that. I also am a big fan of Dune, and I have also great enjoyed the 3 prequels written by Herbert's son.
I can't claim to write CliFi myself, but almost: I write and draw educational comics and graphic novels, and my current focus is climate change. Writing the sequel to my first book, The Adventures of Polo the Bear, right now in fact! Part 1 of the first book in ebook format is permanently free, in case anyone here would like to check it out and get their kids involved.

Looking forward to continue the discussion about bringing all things environment, sustainability and climate into the arts!
References
  1. https://alanhesse.com/comic-books/polo/
  1. more than a month ago
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Awesome, Alan! Thanks so much for sharing!!! Fantastic website, and I can't wait to read some of your stories.. My children too.

Great to meet you!

Ben
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Delighted to meet you Ben! Also really cool to be following each other on Twitter.
Alan
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Nice to meet you, Alan J Hesse. It's great to see more authors getting the message out in a creative and entertaining way!
All the best,
Neus
  1. more than a month ago
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