In the state of New Hampshire in the northeastern region of the United States, the local motor vehicles department of the state government has created a super-cool license plate for cars and motorcycles with a popular state motto on it that reads “Live Free or Die.”
With The Cli-Fi Report, we have another motto, similar in a way, that reads “Cli-Fi or Die!”
What do we mean? Well, we really don’t mean that cli-fi can in any way save the world, or save the planet, or stop runaway global warming. Not at all. Cli-fi is just a literary genre term for novels and movies with climate change themes, a platform for writers and movie producers to use to tell their stories. And their stories can be from many different points of view, some dystopian, some utopian, some upbeat and forward-looking, some downbeat and apocalyptic. It’s all up to each individual author and film director to go in whatever direction they want.
So “Cli-Fi or Die!” doesn’t really mean that without cli-fi we will all die in some future fiery much too not David Wallace-Wellsian Climapocalypse. Far from it. The slogan is a humorous way of waking people up with a motto that will catch eyeballs and engender tweets. There’s even a hashtag it now as #CliFiOrDie
The problem today is that there are too many scientific reports and government charts and even boring old Al Gore documentaries where the now balding, combover former Vice-President drones on and on about various claims about climate change and his view on all this. Al means well, and his documentaries have been important, but he’s not going to stop global warming if he doesn’t start telling his vast army of Gore soldiers to start writing cli-fi novels and cli-fi movies. Stories told via novelists and film directors will have vastly more power than Al Gore’s boring lectures. He needs to wake up himself, and that’s why we say to him, our friend in Nashville, “Hey, Al, Cli-fi or die!”
Will he listen? Is he listening? No way. He’s got his own fish to fry and novels and movies about climate issues are of no value to him, sad to say. But maybe, just maybe, some of the ”Inconvenient Truth” soldiers in his global army will wake him up and tell him. Literature and movies matter. Documentaries, not so much.