Thursday, July 12, 2007

A call for Ecofiction

Interesting blog entry titled: Ecofiction: Storytelling, social change, and ecoliteracy from the Bioneers website. This blogger is arguing that we get people thinking about eco issues through the art of storytelling. Sundance Channel has some great eco-cartoons that tell the story in a funny way. One guy for example, has turned activist because he met the girl of his dreams. But it’s not going to change anyone’s mind by watching it either.

The hard thing about this "Save the Earth" message is that it's too serious issue. Humor is a powerful weapon and should not be ignored. However if the message is one that we should take seriously how do we make it funny? A good example would be World War II. How would you make a comedy about World War II? I'm sure there was plenty of satire about the bad guys, but this time, we are the bad guys. Our life style is out-stripping the planet.
Anyone want to go chew on roots instead of have a glass of delicious red wine? I'm not going to volunteer. Our desire for creature comforts puts us in a pickle. Future generations can blame us for trashing the planet but I’m not going to go live in a cave to make them happy. Right wing whacko’s will poke fun at us and say we are just a bunch of eco-hypocrites while criticizing every thing we say or do. (Frank Luntz said he wasn’t going to talk to environmentalist because they are “mean people.”) "The World is coming to an end? People have been saying that since the beginning of time, so what makes it different this time," they will argue.

Mother Nature will rid herself of the problem. When she can no longer sustain the life on this planet, things will die. People, creatures, plants, etc, will simply go extinct. Scientist are already predicting that within this century one third of all species on this planet will go extinct. In fact, there is even a book called, "The Sixth Extinction." But of course, some of those things going extinct are bugs and critters that most people don't see or even know about so it doesn't seem significant.

Can someone creative and talented come along and write fiction stories that people can understand that don't bore or scare someone to death? One author I recommend is: Carl Hiaasen. He has two wonderful fiction stories that wrestle with environmental issues in a delightful way: "Hoot" and "Flush". We need more talented writers to develop stories about the environmental concerns that allow us to learn without throwing us into a state of despair. So all of you would be eco- authors, get writing!

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