I am writing this short piece of news addressed to the cli-fi community worldwide, as things wind down for me in my sunset years, and as I transition from active to retired status in my work at ”The Cli-Fi Report,” both in my role as ‘online advisor’ and as a member of global cli-fi community.
This marks a passage for me — it’s a global movement that I helped found, and which I coined, and where I have worked harder, longer, and with more devotion than for any other group in my life. I am proud of the work that we’ve done together around the world — work I will continue to support however I can. Go, all you cli-fi writers of the world, go!
In some ways this isn’t a big change. About five years ago, I began redefining my role as less about monitoring cli-fi links on the internet on a daily basis and more about support: of the cli-fi movement, and of the broader movement of climate change fiction novels and movies. I’ve spent all of my time since 2011 when I started this project trying to amplify and celebrate the work of others: if you read my Twitter feed, I think the most common phrase is probably “Go Go Go, Keep Writing!”
My skills as a cl-fi strategist are less crucial now. At the beginning, I was in many ways making it up as we went along, and I was okay at that. I will continue to write blog posts and speak out on Twitter — it’s what I know how to do — but I will not do this from any official perch; that authority, and the credibility it can confer, will now move over to others.
None of this means that I won’t be available for counsel and for help, or that I’m leaving behind the fight for cli-fi in literature and cinema in any way, just that my relationship to it is shifting.
I will turn 72 (with a stent in my heart keeping the old pump ticking) in 2021 so this seems like a natural moment of passage.
I’ve had a couple of goals. One was simply to make people understand that cli-fi is and will continue to be an important literary genre in the 21st and 22nd centuries. I take no credit at all for its explosion on the literary scene, but I do take great delight in it. It’s precisely what the culture needed.
The success of all this work has depended mostly on you, the novelists and short story writers and book reviewers and literary critics worldwide, in many languages now, not just English.
That means that we are moving to the next phase of the cli-fi movement and that is to go global.
The main thing I’d like to say is: thanks. Thanks to those reporters and editors who answered my emails. Thanks to those book reviewers and literary critics who climbed aboard the cli-fi bandwagon. And I’m truly grateful for the friends that I have made these past few years since 2011 — you guys are many in number, and spread across the Earth, that I can only say “you know who who are.” Yes, you know who you are, the companions in this uphill literary struggle who have done so much, against such great odds. I look forward to supporting you in my sunset years, and those who will emerge, in every way possible in the years ahead.