Danny Bloom
Danny Bloom
I seek the truth wherever it lies.

Used planet for sale: ‘caveat emptor’ – a global ‘cli-fi’ tale

I saw an interesting “For Sale” sign on the internet the other day and it caught my attention both for its humor and for its damned seriousness. A wake-up call perhaps?

The imaginary sign read:

“Used planet for sale: Great home for heat-loving organisms. Disclosure: Severe damage from infestation of techno-based, exothermic creatures.”

It made me think about how very doomed we are as a species, in the coming 1,000 years or so, if we do not get our act together. And that “we” includes scientists, government policy wonks, world leaders, local leaders, newspaper editors, cli-fi novelists and me and you, of course.

When David Wallace-Wells published his now infamous climate diviner oped in the pages of New York Magazine, all hell broke loose among climate scientists, climate denialists and the reading public. People were polite and civil, but in the end they were all talking past each other. We live in a world now where nobody listens. All they do is talk, talk, talk — and preach, preach, preach. Rightwingers and leftists and all those in the middle, too.

So that “For Sale” sign above, which first went up in 2015 when an American writer named Tim Garrett posted it on his Twitter feed under the name of @xraymike79, resonates even more in 2017. I don’t know about you, but I see us ambling along slowly, step by step, century by century, until the climate diviners turn out to have been right: we were doomed, doomed al along by the way we are hardwired to not look the truth in the face until it is too late, and by then, of course, it will have been too late.

What’s your take on that “For Sale” sign? Does the humor work for you? Can you see what Tim Garrett was trying to say?

Or are we all just talking past each other, whistling past each other in the utter darkness, until the end of time?

Me? I’m an optimist. That’s why I coined the cli-fi literary genre term as a platform for writers around the world to use for their storytelling. There’s even a hashtag on Twitter for it now: #amwritingclifi


About the Author
Dan Bloom curates The Cli-Fi Report at www.cli-fi.net. He graduated from Tufts University in Boston in 1971 with a major in Modern Literature. A newspaper editor and reporter since his days in Washington, D.C., Juneau, Alaska, Tokyo, Japan and Taipei, Taiwan, he has lived and worked 5 countries and speaks rudimentary French, Japanese and Chinese. He hopes to live for a few more years.