Cli-Fi

by Judith Curry

There is a fledgling new genre in fiction.

Michael Crichton

Michael Crichton’s State of Fear was a blockbuster best selling novel with the debate over global warming serving as the backdrop for the book.  Wikipedia has this to say about State of Fear:

State of Fear is a 2004 techno-thriller novel by Michael Crichton concerning eco-terrorists who attempt mass murder to support their views. The novel had an initial print run of 1.5 million copies and reached the #1 bestseller position at Amazon.com and #2 on theNew York Times Best Seller list for one week in January 2005. The book contains many graphs and footnotes, two appendices, and a twenty-page bibliography. Most climate scientists dispute Crichton’s science as being error-filled and distorted.  The novel itself has garnered mixed reviews, with some literary reviewers stating that the book’s presentation of facts and stance on the global warming debate detracted from the book’s plot.

While the literary crowd may have criticized the book’s presentation of facts and stance on global warming, this novel seems to have spawned numerous skeptical investigations amongst the afficionadoes of the technical thriller genre.

Rachendra Pachauri

In 2010, Rachendra Pachauri penned a racy romance novel entitled Return to Almora, referred to as a ‘spiritual potboiler’ by the Times of India.  Other than the Times of India, the reviewers were not kind:  Telegraph, Words Uttered in Haste.  I’m not sure who the intended audience for this book is; perhaps frustrated IPCC authors?  Coming on the heels of ClimateGate and GlacierGate, this novel did not help the reputation of Pachauri, or by association, the IPCC.

Rex Fleming

So, can a climate scientist pen a racy novel about climate change and not hurt their reputation?  The answer seems to be yes, at least if you are retired and your target audience is cool dudes.

Rex Fleming holds a Ph.D. in Atmospheric Science from the University of Michigan.  In the 70’s and 80’s he held administrative positions in NOAA, and in the 1990’s was employed at NCAR.  He has a few research papers, but most of his career has been in either gov’t project management/admin or the private sector.

Fleming has penned his first novel Exposure, which can be purchased on Kindle for $6.99.  From the blurb on Fleming’s website:

Exposure is a fast-paced emotional thriller where the hero must outwit criminal and terrorist elements trying to stop him from his final testimony to expose the global warming fraud.  Hot love story with lots of drama about a charismatic scientist who overcomes grief and considerable opposition to expose the global warming fraud – helping the United States back to economic recovery.

Further details from the amazon site:

A secular debate will be the final battlefield to maintain the fossil fuel warming theory. The battle will be hard fought as there is much at stake. There has been a 40-year buildup of hype on the issue with many constituents benefitting professionally and/or financially from the false theory. High drama builds as the debate draws near, and the lives of the hero and his wife are at stake.

The only reviews I can find are 5 reviews on amazon.com, 4 of which are 5 stars and the other is 4 stars.  Amazon cites these reviewer comments as most helpful:

  • “What really makes it work is that while you are being informed, you are also entertained by mystery and intrigue. ”
  • “Exposure is a fast action thriller of many memorable scenes with interesting and fleshed-out characters. ” 
  • “Once I got to the love-making in Paris, I could hardly put the book down.”

I’ve known Rex Fleming for decades, and I have read Exposure.  Here are a few additional descriptive comments.

The hero, Ryan Foster, received his Ph.D. under Steve Schneider and went to work at a fictitious NCAR for a few years before moving to DC and becoming an environmental consultant.  Foster is not your run of the mill climate scientist, but has distinct Mitch Rapp – like tendencies.

Unlike the sex in Return to Almora, the romance/sex in Exposure is of the “tasteful”, Christian variety (description from one of the amazon reviewers).  There is a strong Christian/God theme in this book.

The end of the book is a John Galt-like speech by the hero on the flaws of climate science and what to do about U.S. energy policy.  The science content is consistent with NIPCC, Singer/Avery, Svensmark.

So, if you have a cool dude on your XMAS list, Exposure could be just the ticket.  If you are not a cool dude, you probably won’t like this.  It will be interesting to see if Fleming’s novel gets any ‘mainstream’ attention.

Ian McEwan

Ian McEwan has written a book entitled Solar,   From the description at amazon.com:

Michael Beard is a Nobel prize–winning physicist whose best work is behind him. Trading on his reputation, he speaks for enormous fees, lends his name to the letterheads of renowned scientific institutions, and half-heartedly heads a government-backed initiative tackling global warming. 

A complex novel that brilliantly traces the arc of one man’s ambitions and self-deceptions, Solar is a startling, witty, and stylish new work from one of the world’s great writers.

From the editorial reviews on amazon.com:

Critics expressed decidedly mixed opinions about McEwan’s latest work. While most critics on either side of the pond praised the author’s intelligent plot (especially his command of science) and ample storytelling gifts, the majority agreed that Solar is not his best novel to date. But most contentious of all was the satirical, comic tone superimposed on the very serious subject of climate change. Though Solar is a worthy inquiry into truth, morality, and the future of humanity, some critics could not get past McEwan’s approach.

I’ve read this book, and found it to be a thought provoking yet entertaining inquiry into the motivations of scientists.

Barbara Kingsolver

A-list fiction writer Barbara Kingsolver  has penned a new novel Flight Behavior.  From the blurb and reviews at amazon.com:

In what may be the first novel to realistically imagine the near-term impact of “global weirding,” Barbara Kingsolver sets her latest story in rural Appalachia . In fictional Feathertown, Tennessee, Dellarobia Turnbow–on the run from her stifling life–charges up the mountain above her husband’s family farm and stumbles onto a “valley of fire” filled with millions of monarch butterflies. This vision is deemed miraculous by the town’s parishioners, then the international media. But when Ovid, a scientist who studies monarch behavior, sets up a lab on the Turnbow farm, he learns that the butterflies’ presence signals systemic disorder–and Dellarobia’s in-laws’ logging plans won’t help. Readers who bristle at politics made personal may be turned off by the strength of Kingsolver’s convictions, but she never reduces her characters to mouthpieces, giving equal weight to climate science and human need, to forces both biological and biblical. Her concept of family encompasses all living beings, however ephemeral, and Flight Behavior gracefully, urgently contributes to the dialogue of survival on this swiftly tilting planet.

Flight Behavior takes on one of the most contentious subjects of our time: climate change. With a deft and versatile empathy Kingsolver dissects the motives that drive denial and belief in a precarious world.

Kinsolver’s book motivated an essay at the Daily Climate From a best selling novelist, something rare:  A plot build around climate change.

Other novels

Adam Trexler is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Exeter, analyzing Cli-Fi books.  I stumbled up this blog post The Climate Change Novel:  A Faulty Simulator of Environmental Politics.  Trexler states that “Over the last three decades, more than 200 novels have been written that try to imagine our future in a climate-changed world.”   Of the novels discussed by Trexler, most seem to be of the Sci-Fi scorched earth genre, rather than Cli-Fi.  Here are a few that seem to qualify as Cli-Fi:

Arctic Drift, by Clive Cussler: A potential breakthrough discovery to reverse global warming . . . a series of unexplained sudden deaths in British Columbia . . . a rash of international incidents between the United States and one of its closest allies that threatens to erupt into an actual shooting war . . . NUMA director Dirk Pitt and his children, Dirk. Jr. and Summer, have reason to believe there’s a connection here somewhere, but they also know they have very little time to find it before events escalate out of control.

Ultimatum, by Matthew Glass:  November 2032. Joe Benton has just been elected the forty-eighth president of the United States. Only days after winning, Benton learns from his predecessor that previous estimates regarding the effect of global warming on rising sea levels have been grossly underestimated. For the United States, a leading carbon emitter for decades, the prospects are devastating: thirty million coastal-dwelling citizens will need to be relocated; Miami will be washed into the ocean and southern California will waste away to desert; the relocation process will cost trillions of dollars. With the world frighteningly close to catastrophe, Benton opts to abandon multilateral negotiations in the Kyoto 4 summit and resumes secret bilateral negotiations with the Chinese—the world’s worst polluter. As the two superpowers lock horns, the ensuing battle of wits becomes a race against time.Ultimatum is a visionary and deeply unsettling thriller that explores the most pressing issue of the twenty-first century—the future of our planet—and boldly predicts the way the world will be in twenty-five years.

A Friend of the Earth, by T.C. Boyle:  If, as we are frequently cautioned, ecological collapse is imminent, the future might someday resemble T.C. Boyle’s vision of Southern California, circa 2025: strafing wind, extortionate heat, vast species extinction, and a ramshackle, dispirited populace. But the ever-mischievous, ever-inventive Boyle is all too willing to disoblige; and so, in extended homage to early Vonnegut, his Sierra Club nightmare is rendered, well, comically. Toss in streaks of unabashed sentimentality, a scattershot satire, and several signature narrative ambushes, and A Friend of the Earth only further embellishes the already prodigious Boyle reputation.

An additional title that I found:

Polar City Red, by Jim Laughter: After billions of people die due to the failure of Earth’s ecosystem and the continents are rendered uninhabitable, survivors forced to migrate north must battle nature, raids by hungry scavengers, and man’s folly against himself in a geodesic polar city deep in the Arctic Circle. A medical doctor and college professor rescued from the frozen tundra by a grizzled old hunter is thrust headlong into a life and death struggle for the existence of humanity. Hidden government conspiracies, a secretive military force, and the Earth itself threaten to destroy mankind.Polar City Red is set in an imagined Alaska in the year 2075. But it could just as well be Tokyo or Oslo or Berlin. Global warming is borderless, and so are our fears.

Novellettes

Andy West has posted a novellete at WUWT entitled Truth, which is downloadable for free from the preceding link.  From West’s blog:

The Science Fiction novelette ‘Truth’ will no doubt be challenging and controversial to many. It draws aside veils to luridly portray social  memeplexes, and particulary the social phenomena fuelled by the concept known as ‘CAGW’ in the climate science and media spheres – ‘Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming’, or man-made Climate Change.

My intent with this work was to offer an enjoyable means to make folks stop and think, to prompt questions, to counter the inappropriate yet massive narrative weight of ‘certainty’ surrounding CAGW, and to make visisble the social engine driving this and other similar ‘certainties’. The story isn’t all philosophy though and there’s plenty of action too :). For those already clued into the climatosphere, mention of climate change issues appears only slowly, but fear not a lot comes later, and for confirmed sceptics please do not baulk at the first mention of the word ‘denier’, the context will become clear.

I’ve read Truth.  The reactions from the WUWT thread comments are bimodal, people seem to love it or hate it.  While Truth has a skeptical perspective, the mixed reactions are more to the literary devices used.

Also on the WUWT thread, someone posted a link to another novellete, Harry Read Me’s Christmas Mission by Ahrvid Engholm.  ClimateGate afficionadoes will like this one.

JC comments:  I suspect that we will see the Cli-Fi genre grow in the future, it is certainly a rich topic to mine for fiction.  Of particular interest to me is the way that climate scientists have been portrayed:  the portrayal has been very unflattering in State of Fear, Road to Almora, and Solar; whereas Exposure portrays the main hero scientist as a Mitch Rapp like character (which some will find flattering while others will not).  Another issue that interests me in particular is the reaction to the use of novels to ‘teach’ the public explicitly about climate science (used notably by State of Fear and Exposure); techno types like it but literary critics seem not to.  And finally, the reactions to the use of satire and humor in Cli-Fi gets tangled up in resenting its used given the seriousness of the issue.

Exposure stands out as being of interest since it is written by an atmospheric scientist.  I wonder if we will see more climate scientists taking to the pen in this way.  While on the subject of scientists writing fiction about their science, I refer you back to an early post of mine Scientists in Fiction, where I discussed the fiction of Carl Djerassi, Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry at Stanford University who is best known for his contribution to the  development of the first oral contraception pill.  Djerassi’s books are of the genre Science in Fiction (as opposed to science fiction).  Djerassi has this to say about his books:

An effective medium for illuminating such topics is the rarely used literary genre of ‘science-in-fiction’ (not to be confused with science fiction), in which all aspects of scientific behaviour and scientific facts are described accurately and plausibly. By dis- guising them in the cloak of fiction, science- in-fiction allows the illustration and dicussion of ethical dilemmas that are frequently not raised for reasons of discretion, embarrassment, or fear of retribution.

As a scientist, i would love to seem more books in the genres of scientists in fiction and Cli-Fi.

160 responses to “Cli-Fi

  1. I am afraid, the whole “global warming” thing, “greenhouse gases”, IPCC reports etc. are all Cli-Fi. More Cli-Fi to come.

    • David Springer

      Yeah no kidding. Truth is stranger than fiction.

      • AGW is Fi, deeply embedded into the web of official scientific dogma before Climategate emails exposed the problem in Nov 2009.

        Official responses to evidence of manipulated global temperature data convince me another cataclysmic event, perhaps like the birth of Christ, will be required to again convey the message: “Might does not make right.”

        How? I have no idea. The Sun’s pulsar core could reveal itself at any time by another of the unexpected events that dot the history of planet Earth and keep life in a continuous state of evolutionary readiness.

      • Assange spoke indirectly of another possible scenario for recovery of sanity in government science: Collapse of corrupt governments.

        “It is from the revelations of truth that all else follows,” Assange said. “…Our civilization is only as strong as its ideas are true. When our buildings are erected by corruption, when their cement is cut with dirt, when pristine steel is replaced by scrap our buildings are not safe to live in.

        “When our media is corrupt, when our academics are timid, when our history is filled with half-truths and lies, our civilization will never be just, it will never reach for the skies,” he told over 100 supporters gathered outside the small embassy near Harrods.

        http://www.londonlovesbusiness.com/business-news/politics/julian-assange-pledges-to-release-millions-more-wikileaks-documents/4270.article

      • As a big Vince Flynn fan, I’d love to see a Mitch Rapp like Climate Scientist. Might show Dr Mann what it really means to be in the trenches.

        Here’s one bet – you wouldn’t see him wearing a cape and his underwear on the outside. Which is apparantly what constitutes the image of a hero type to some climate scientists.

  2. Some climate scientists could write a fictional book named “Statistics Made Simple.”

  3. We need a more politically correct way to describe pushing climate porn onto the children.

  4. Gosh! Don’t miss “Fallen Angels” by Niven and Pournelle. For a while, it was available free at BaenBooks. But it’s from back when they believe in global _cooling_. Still a lot of fun.

    • David Springer

      Trivia

      Jerry Pournelle is the original arseshole of the intertubes back when it was still DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) net and Byte Magazine was still a twinkle in someone’s eye where he later had a famous column called “Chaos Manor”. Niven was a bit of a role model. Especially the intertubes arsehole part. ;-)

    • “Fallen Angels” is copyright 1991 by Niven Pournelle and Flynn.
      Below is the blurb on the back cover of my copy:
      One minute the two Space Hab astronauts were scoop-diving the atmosphere, the next they’d been shot down over the North Dakota Glacier and were the object of a massive manhunt by the United States government.
      That government, dedicated to saving the environment from the evils of technology, had been voted into power because everybody knew that the Green House Effect had to be controlled, whatever the cost. But who would have thought that the cost of ending pollution would include not only total government control of day-to-day life, but the onset of a new Ice Age?
      Stranded in the anti-technological heartland of America, paralyzed by Earth’s gravity, the “Angels” had no way back to the Space Habs, the last bastion of high technology and intellectual freedom on or over the earth. But help was on its way, help from the most unlikely sources. . . .

  5. David Springer

    I’d bet dollars to donuts Crichton sold more “State of Fear” than all the others put together. I’m surprised it hasn’t been made into a movie yet.

    Michael Crichton is hated by the usual suspects because of this which is widely known in certain skeptic circles:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2719747/

    • Michael Crichton was simply wrong about consensus. So is the guy at your link.

      As wikipedia mentions on the matter:

      “Scientific consensus may be invoked in popular or political debate on subjects that are controversial within the public sphere but which may not be controversial within the scientific community, such as evolution or the claimed linkage of MMR vaccinations and autism.”

    • What are “reproducible results” but a form of consensus?
      Do you realize how naive these people sound?

      Say someone comes up with a high temperature superconducting material and within a few weeks, hundreds of other scientists can duplicate the results. The consensus view would hold that the material is a high-Tc superconductor.

      Say someone claims to have discovered cold fusion. Other scientists try to duplicate it and find they can’t. The consensus on this case is that the finding was not real.

      This really is not hard to understand, notwithstanding what cretins like Crichton have asserted.

      If you have an alternative climate science theory, have at it. But please don’t create fiction, like the 40+ crackpot theories that have been advertised on the Climate Etc site. The only consensus that exists among these theories operates in the minds of the individuals that created them. The real consensus is that sites like this and WUWT are viewed as being filled with fictional tales promoted by fantastical skeptics.

      • WHT and lolwot

        The topic of “scientific consensus” has been covered exhaustively on the earlier thread.

        What is generally referred to is the forced “consensus process” practiced by IPCC.

        I believe this is also what Michael Crichton was referring to.

        Max

      • Clean up your own house first is my interpretation. You do realize that Crichton was a fiction writer.
        K

      • What are “reproducible results” but a form of consensus?

        This is a blatantly ignorant statement. Bacon weeps….

      • OK, here is a situation to test your credibility. For years theorists have predicted that a thermally pumped laser was possible and considered it a research problem. See Siegman’s classic book on lasers. Over time and especially recently, researchers have been able to get the material and the black-body form designed correctly to enable this effect on a practical scale. Thus, the consensus is growing that a thermally pumped laser using CO2 is possible.

        The ignorance on your part is that the GHG effect takes only a fraction of the process that lasing would need to achieve its means. Do you not comprehend that physics theory encompasses much more than your narrow view of how it can affect the climate?

        Besides infrared lasing, the radiative properties of CO2 are also responsible for how a metal smelting furnace is designed, how signals are picked up from communication satellites, and how satellite-based temperatures themselves can be measured. This explains how someone like Roy Spencer can be an AGW believer, in spite of his radical beliefs otherwise.

        Physics at the mundane level of observations is about a multitude of interconnecting pieces and one cannot just dismiss the consensus view and think that physics will break down just because it is the climate that is involved.

        We are in a predicament where we have a finite and limited supply of fossil fuels remaining and consensus science will likely help us get past this point. R&D based on science is a wonderful system to rally behind and make some progress.

        Do you think I care what someone like Bacon, is that Francis?, has said?

      • WHT, “Thus, the consensus is growing that a thermally pumped laser using CO2 is possible.”

        Merry Christmas and what is the maximum efficiency of the solar pumped laser? Inquiring minds and all that.

      • Cappy Dick does not understand that statistical mechanics and spectral radiation properties are more fundamental concepts than thermodynamics. The laws of entropy and free energy are derived from the disorder induced by statistical distributions of particles.

        They may not have originally derived this way but any modern view is based on satistiscal ensembles first.

        Cappy Dick is missing nuts and bolts from his understanding and thus continues to appear disconnected from modern physics. He is simply an HVAC engineer with an agenda to screw with gullible reader’s minds.

      • Webster the mischievous Elf said, “Cappy Dick does not understand that statistical mechanics and spectral radiation properties are more fundamental concepts than thermodynamics. The laws of entropy and free energy are derived from the disorder induced by statistical distributions of particles.”

        So “I don’t know” is your real answer :). BTW, the HVAC stuff is pretty solid in a moist air environment. Radiant physics is pretty solid in a vacuum. It is that dang transition that is the beyatch.

        Happy Holidays, time to go catch fish.

      • You can’t spoof what you don’t know.
        Cappy Dick tries to chum us with the “transitional” issues. Of course, these exist everywhere. The transitional quasistatic approximation of electromagnetic theory makes calculations tractable. Calculating the full conduction and valence band structures of semiconductors is difficult, so one can use perturbations and approximations instead. Astronomers dealing with spectroscopic information passing through dense paths in deep space obviously have ideas on how to extract elemental composition.

        I really don’t know what your deal is. Given all that crap that you have put together on your blog, I don’t think you could put together some half-intelligible thesis if your life depended on it. That’s what separates poseurs like yourself engaging in casual mockery from dedicated scientists willing to build on a foundation.

        “… time to go catch fish.”

        Ain’t taking the bait — keep trolling out on the flats and see what kind of suckers you can hook. Angling here and there is just a hobby for you. Maybe one day you will create some big fish tale describing how many readers you lured into your net, but it won’t include me.

        Again, the real climate fiction is in the 40+ crackpots that inhabit this comment section.

      • Webster said, “I really don’t know what your deal is. Given all that crap that you have put together on your blog, I don’t think you could put together some half-intelligible thesis if your life depended on it. ”

        Well, my main crackpot theory is that the oceans don’t stray much more that +/-2 degrees from “average”. That reigns in “sensitivity” quite a bit. I think
        A and H have a paper in the works, but that “range of comfort” issue makes the lowering of the CO2 sensitivity a slow process.

        My second crackpot idea, not really a theory, is that the ocean and atmosphere have to be considered as separate “greenhouse” effects. I don’t think that is an original idea, though, just something that has never been properly addressed :)

        Now the really crazy stuff is SOC and trying to figure out how in the hell can Selvam’s Golden ratio be so prevalent in is so many systems? So far all I got is that the world in more phinary than binary :)

        Now since you have no clue what the maximum efficient of the “greenhouse effect” is and only hand waving for why data is not agreeing well with projections, I think that the next year or two will be very illuminating for ya.

      • Eli has no idea where this is going but there is a solar pumped CO2 laser in the upper atmosphere of Mars, discovered by Mike Mumma in ~1993. Eli took a shot at something like this in the lab in 1973 without success which proves nature is better than bunnies

  6. can i nominate the blog WUWT for children’s fiction

    • David Springer

      Well that certainly explains why you’re here.

      • It was indeed a travesty that WUWT received an award for best science blog.

        Up is down in that world. What does it mean to be the best science blog? Would it be a travesty if a blog like Terry Tao’s math research blog received the award at least one time?
        And there are many more like that one.

      • It was indeed a travesty that WUWT received an award for best science blog.

        And Al Gore’s “Nobel Peace Prize”? (Or that of the IPCC?)

      • What does a Peace Prize have to do with science?

      • WHT wrote:
        “What does a Peace Prize have to do with science?”
        ———————————————————————————————–
        From http://www.nobelprize.org:
        “The Nobel Peace Prize 2007 was awarded jointly to Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and Albert Arnold (Al) Gore Jr. “for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change””

      • WHT is right.

        The Nobel Peace Prizes awarded to Al Gore and IPCC had nothing to do with “science” or for “efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change” (as billed).

        It was all about politics instead.

        Max

      • And you can not counter the claim that WUWT is a laughing-stock when it comes to receiving an award for best science blog in 2011.

        Science is much more than what some TV weather man defines it as. The fact that it has the ballot-stuffing power of agenda-driven hacks behind its “popularity” explains everything.

      • There is an asymmetry of curiousness. The hallmark of skepticism is curiosity about the climate system, and that of alarmism is insistence on a rigid view, to the detriment of curiosity.

        How curious is that? Alarmists are like creatures without flagellae in an environment requiring mobility.
        ==================

      • Not to mention that, on the alarmist side, there appears to be precious little distinction between mainstream views and extremist views.

      • Well on the skeptic side, there appears to be little distinction between crackpots and wackos — file both under fiction.

      • At least we know who they are.
        Can you identify the crackpots and wacos on the alarmist side?
        Or do you identify with them?

      • Crackpots and wackos among the alarmists?

        Try James E. (“coal death trains”) Hansen, for starters…

      • Another candidate for crackpots and wackos among the alarmists

        Sir Robert (“7C warming by 2100″) Watson.

      • Can’t think of anyone that makes up physics theories that is currently getting published in the peer-reviewed research journals.

        Give me some suggestions of people that you think we can debunk by contradicting their math arguments.

      • Is being published in peer-reviewed journals a prerequisite for being an alarmist?

      • …Or perhaps a crackpot?

      • ok, then name some names with their theories attached.

      • I asked you

      • WHT

        I suggested two candidates: Hansen and Watson.

        For the crackpot theories:

        – Hansen: 350 ppmv CO2 is the “dangerous” level

        – Watson: we could see 7C warming by 2100 from AGW

        Care to defend either of these “crackpot theories”, WHT?

        Max

      • Those aren’t theories by themselves. They are outcomes based on the accepted fact that CO2 is a GHG.

        An example of a crackpot theory is that pressure alone will determine the temperature of a volume.

        There are dozens more like this. Strangely, none of these seem to advance the case that man has something to do with global warming. Instead they are all attempts at creating a fictional world that disobeys (often quite subtly) some law of physics. I assume these climate fictions are used to create heightened levels of foo and FUD, based on the gullibility of unsuspecting readers.

      • WHT

        You are waffling.

        Sure they are “crackpot theories”.

        And you apparently are unable or unwilling to defend them.

        Either you accept as reasonable the two premises, in which case you can defend them.

        Or you agree with me that they are “crackpot theories”, in which case you do not defend them.

        Take your pick.

        But don’t cop out with a stupid excuse.

        Max

      • Watson actually said 2-7 degrees, not only 7 degrees, but a skeptic can’t see the lower end of projections through a red mist of anger they harbor. 7 degrees is consistent with the upper end of both sensitivity and CO2 projections by 2100. It is nothing new by Watson, just putting the numbers together.

    • That’s funny.Can I suggest a few others?

      SkepticalScience – Biblical Fiction for the true believer (or is it Horror?)
      CA – Mystery???
      Rankexploits and ClimateETC. – Chick Fic :)

  7. How about a novel, or a film, involving aliens who’ve environmentally damaged their own planet and are planning to move over to Earth? But they need it to be much warmer than it is with higher CO2 levels to suit their physiology. They’ve figured out that if they just wait a hundred years or so it will be an ideal second home for them. They are, however, concerned that Earthling scientists have figured out the potential environmental hazards much quicker than their own scientists did, when they had similar problems, and fear that they may be instrumental in persuading Earth governments to tackle CO2 emissions and stabilise the climate.

    So they decide to kidnap these scientists and replace them with identical androids who are programmed to say dispute the official line and undermine the important scientific message. Whereas the real scientists had said things like ” I have yet to see any option that is worse than ignoring the risk of global warming”, their replacement android would say say “Its is all too uncertain” and “we should listen to my pet uncertainty monster”.

    The finale could be an “Independence Day” shoot out between the aliens and the good guys who, of course, initially weren’t believed when warning that the world was being duped. The climate scientists would be freed by from captivity from the alien space ship, the androids would all self destruct, and the hero would make an emotional speech to the US congress which would immediately , and unanimously, vote to take decisive action to stabilise the Earth’s atmosphere and thwart the invasion attempt by the evil aliens.

    • I think Micheal Crichton tried to warn us that aliens were behind it, but it blew his cover and he was killed.

      Even though as far as we know Crichton was an evolutionist. So take it with a grain of salt..
      http://s8int.com/crichton.html

    • Don’t quit your day job tempterrain, unless your day job requires you to be clever, then maybe you should quit.

    • randomengineer

      The Arrival

      Charlie Sheen

    • tempterrain

      Love it!

      To carry the story on:

      The US Congress vote passes, but humans discover that they cannot change our climate no matter how much taxpayer money they throw at it.

      As all the world’s nations go broke (and some opportunists make a fast buck) on the “war against AGW”, the “globally and annually averaged land and sea surface temperature” continues to increase by a disastrous 2 degrees C over the next century (perfect for the aliens, but lethal for human beings).

      The aliens rapidly replace current humans and become the “good guys”, having invented much better forms of social interaction than we old humans had – much like homo sapiens sapiens replaced the Neanderthals.

      The world has become a better place and everyone can rejoice.

      The aliens have absorbed some of the good aspects of the old human culture: such as poetry (Beth would be pleased) and Christmas.

      Speaking of which, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you – and to all the other denizens, as well as to our gracious hostess.

      Max

      • “The US Congress vote passes, but humans discover that they cannot change our climate no matter how much taxpayer money they throw at it.”

        Wait what? haven’t they heard ECS is 1.6C which means when humans double CO2 it will have a dominating warming effect?

        Little ice age to medieval warm period was less than 1C.

      • lolwot

        You apparently missed the point.

        ECS was, indeed, 1.6C for 2xCO2, as you write.

        So, despite the declared “war against AGW”, humans continued emitting CO2, eventually using up all the fossil fuel reserves on the planet (while the aliens sat back and waited).

        [Atmospheric CO2 increased to 1000 ppmv (around 2.5xCO2 above today's level) and GH warming continued to 2.2C above today's temp, before fossil fuels ran out. This level was, of course, lethal to humans (as we know from IPCC) but perfect for the aliens who then moved in.]

        I love a happy ending – don’t you?

        Max

      • Iolwot

        You said- Little ice age to medieval warm period was less than 1C.’ Say what?

        Not in the real world of real places it wasn’t. It was between 2 and 3 Degrees C . Even BEST come up with 2Degrees and theydon’t even reach the LIA

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/08/14/little-ice-age-thermometers-historic-variations-in-temperatures-part-3-best-confirms-extended-period-of-warming/
        tonyb

      • There is a theory that various local areas had warm periods at different times between 900AD and 1300AD, but never all of them together, so the MWP is a fiction as regards global temperature averages.

      • “There is a theory that various local areas had warm periods at different times between 900AD and 1300AD, but never all of them together, so the MWP is a fiction as regards global temperature averages.”

        It’s interesting theory, which obviously leads to this question:
        It seems if we had regions warmer then, we would have regions warmer now.
        What is the warmest region at the moment [which will cool in the future]?
        And of course which regions now are the coolest which will warm the most in the future?

      • gbaikie, the difference now is that it really is a globally averaged warm decade that is currently showing no sign of going anywhere but up further. You could argue that the East Pacific is anomalously cool, from natural variation, but places have been warm in the past like the U. S. Dust Bowl in the 30’s, and there have been also episodic warm periods in Australia.

      • Jimd

        It’s not a good theory, there is a core of mwp where most places warmed from around 950 to around 1200. Similar to today, as whilst two thirds of places are warming-some of them uhi induced but that’s another discussion-around one third are cooling to some degree or other, some for a statistically meaningful period, others not. I think the lia was also pretty general for several hundred years but some places escaped it
        Tonyb

      • Tonyb, also solar proxies indicate that period was a long spell without the periodic minima that have occurred since, including the LIA, so solar influences account for the MWP, but its activity then was no more than in the last century, just more prolonged. The skeptics seem reluctant to accept the solar explanation as far as I can tell, perhaps because it doesn’t explain the current period of warming.

      • “gbaikie, the difference now is that it really is a globally averaged warm decade that is currently showing no sign of going anywhere but up further. You could argue that the East Pacific is anomalously cool, from natural variation, but places have been warm in the past like the U. S. Dust Bowl in the 30′s, and there have been also episodic warm periods in Australia.”

        The dust bowl was occurring time of global warming.
        And the reported periods of cooling or warming in Europe were far longer lasting periods.
        And I can’t begin to imagine the modern news reports of things like glacier advancing on towns, the Dust Bowl and/or people growing stuff in warmer Greenland [not mention stuff like the Krakatoa eruption] without them dropping dead from hysteria. And the idea they wouldn’t mention global warming- very, very, extremely unlikely.

      • Jim D and tony b

        The suggestion that the MWP was only regional or occurred in different regions at different times seems a bit farfetched to me, in view of the many studies from all over the world using different paleo-climate methodologies (or relying on actual physical data or historical records), which all show a period slightly warmer than today around the same time period.

        Today there are regions that are not experiencing higher than normal temperatures, yet the “global average” has shown warming and is at a modern high.

        This was most likely also the case back in the MWP.

        Unfortunately, no one was recording a “globally and annually averaged land and sea surface temperature” at the time of the MWP.

        But the logical “null hypothesis” should be that (like the modern warm period) the MWP was global with some local exceptions.

        Max

      • In my opinion, the dust bowl occurred during a solar increase from a local minimum in 1910 until a maximum after 1940. The decade also saw sea-ice reduction and extreme winters in western Europe. This time it is a repeat, but clearly not solar forcing.

      • lolwot,

        Little ice age to medieval warm period was less than 1C

        Well that was very beneficial. How can we get some more of the, please?

      • See any temperature of the last 2000 years. MWP -> LIA is < 1C temperature difference. And that temperature difference took many hundreds of years to come about.

        1.6C in 2 centuries from a doubling of CO2 dwarfs that.

      • Iolwot

        Your knowledge of historic temperatures perhaps needs a little refreshing. You earlier asserted that the LIA to MWP was less than 1Degree C and now assert;

        “See any temperature of the last 2000 years. MWP -> LIA is < 1C temperature difference. And that temperature difference took many hundreds of years to come about. 1.6C in 2 centuries from a doubling of CO2 dwarfs that."

        Sorry, that simply isnt correct. The most remarkable temperature increase was in the thirty or so years from around 1699 of some 1.6Degrees C and one of around 1 degree C from around 1820. These are well authenticated by instrumental records and many documents. I referenced some of them here.
        http://judithcurry.com/2011/12/01/the-long-slow-thaw/

        I think you have been looking at too many hockey sticks.

        tonyb

      • Take a note. Tony knows what he is talking about
        http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/CET1690-1960.htm
        Hi Tony, just managed to defeat Svalgaard on the very contentious subject, the end of
        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/12/21/haigh-anxiety-a-psycho-comedy-of-errors/

      • Vuk

        I am not sure that Leif realises that he has been defeated.

        Tonyb

    • I think your tongue was in cheek, but they did make that movie, actually several: X-Files, also Contact (was it called?) where aliens are in cahoots with big oil to render the planet warmer and more livable to them. And yes – the scientist does save the day temporarily I remember.

  8. Maybe a good plot for a Star Trek (probably would work best with Next Generation) would be for the Enterprise to find a civilization that appears to be intentionally destroying its environment. Piccard finds out that the reason they are doing it is because they are trying to geo-engineer a solution to an eco-problem. Riker could bang some alien hottie while Jordi and Data determine that the ecological problem is not a big deal and the solution is much much worse than the problem. The leaders of the civilization call the Enterprise crew deniers, because they fear losing power. At some point one of them would try to kill Piccard, but Worf would intervene, stabbing him in the heart with his bat’leth. Then Piccard would realize that helping these morons would violate the prime directive, so they would leave them to work it out for themselves.

  9. The IPCC made some serious mistakes in their advice on global warming:
    Firstly, their labelling it the Greenhouse effect or greenhouse gases. Scientists immediately objected that they were entirely different processes. Only the assumed results were the same. To label a scientific investigation on the correctness of their theory seemed sneaky to many.
    Second, they adopted a pose of refusing to discuss their conclusions, taking the wiew that they should be accepted without question. So their authors never had to stand before the public and justify their conclusions.
    Thirdly, their conclusions depend critically on the properties of the CO2 molecule – properties best described by quantum mechanics, yet not mentioned in their conclusions.
    Fourthly, they did not identify all their assumptions.
    Five, they relied on computer models with no assurance that the models had been properly validated.
    Six, they supported over 20 computer models when all they needed was one properly validated one.

    • Joe's World {Progressive Evolution}

      Alexander,

      Sort of like trying to question “popular theories” by dead authors but is in high regard by our current group of scientists.

    • Seventh, they never admitted the moon landings were faked.

      Eighth, they assassinated JFK when he threatened to spill the beans (they had to go back in time to do this)

      Nineth, they know full well Elvis is still alive but have never mentioned this in public.

      Tenth, they assume 9/11 was a terrorist act rather than being carried out by the government. Just because their models say so.

      F*****g climate scientists!

  10. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Best-selling author Neal Stephenson has got there firstest-with-the-mostest:

    The Diamond Age “The geotects of Imperial Tectonics [Corporation] would not have known an ecosystem if they’d been living in the middle of one. But they did know that ecosystems were especially tiresome when they got fubared, so they protected the environment with the same implacable, plodding, green-visored mentality that they applied to designing overpasses and culverts.”

    Note that The Diamond Age (2000) won both the Hugo and Locus awards.

    Summary  The Diamond Age is pretty far toward the “technology can solve all our problems” school of fiction, without being cloying or politically dogmatic in this regard. And, The Diamond Age displays a sense of humor.

    Good on `yah, Neal! \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • It’s good, but at the time I preferred Snow Crash. Now I’m older and more boring perhaps the anarchic knockabout energy of that earlier book will have lost some of its appeal. Though maybe not. Iain Banks’ The Wasp Factory is as good as ever…

      Speaking of Scottish SF with a cli-fi twist, do try Ken MacLeod’s The Night Sessions. He has a sense of humour too. And a brain.

      Happy Christmas by the way, and thanks for the enjoyable and informative commentary. I hope to see you next year.

      • Marlowe Johnson

        I find it odd that no one has mentioned Kim Stanley Robinson’s work on this thread…

      • Sure. The Mars Trilogy. The great environmental vs development debate… on Mars. Wonderful stuff, although in hindsight, Pacific Edge remains a personal favourite. The Gold Coast too.

        And Happy New Year, Marlowe.

      • Marlowe Johnson

        While the Mars trilogy is no doubt his best and most popular work, I was thinking more along the lines of his “Science in the Capitol” trilogy…

        Happy New Year to U2 BBD. I had the good fortune to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Poipu, Kauai. Am distinctly regretting the decision to return to a foot of snow in Toronto ;).

  11. Judith

    Thanks for “heads up” on “cli-fi” as a new literary genre (just-in-time for last-minute Christmas shopping!).

    Crichton’s State of Fear was certainly one of the first of this kind (and a good read). One could argue that Al Gore’s AIT film also fits the “cli-fi” category (even though it was billed as a “documentary” and there was no “love story”).

    As a medical doctor, Crichton also wrote a good one about genetic research, Next, his last before he died (“gen-fi”?).

    Polar Red City sounds like a “cli-fi” offshoot of the “cataclysmic disaster” techno-thriller (a genre that has been overworked, especially in Hollywood), but the other novels you cited sound more interesting.

    I’ll check out what’s available on Kindle for some holiday reading.

    Max

    • Joe's World {Progressive Evolution}

      Max,

      Some of Michael Crichton’s unfinished papers have been and are being published with another author finishing the ending.
      The ability to draw your attention into a book with the style of writing to keep your attention without being able to forecast the ending is then a good read.
      That is IF the writer is any good with details through research and trying not to stupidify your intelligence.

    • David Springer

      Try Greg Bear’s “Darwin’s Radio” for gen-fi. You can’t go wrong picking up anything penned by Bear, Benford, or Brin who are known as “The Three B’s of Hard Science Fiction”.

  12. “Most climate scientists dispute Crichton’s science as being error-filled and distorted.” Well, yes, just like much of climate science, and for that matter like much science in many other fields. Incidentally, Crichton was of the stated opinion that ‘…part of observed surface warming [would ] ultimately be attributable to human activity’. Which perhaps makes him (like me) something of a lukewarmer. Or perhaps just an average well-informed sceptic.
    There’s plenty of factual data about climate in State of Fear, if you can stand a story line which gets progressively more bizarre the further you read. .

    • like george lucas crichton just goes too far sometimes. i think it was a story called Prey by him I read which started off on scientifically sound footing but had me rolling on the floor in disbelief towards the end as it just got more and more ludicrous.

      • “had me rolling on the floor in disbelief towards the end as it just got more and more ludicrous”

        Kinda like AGW stories.

        Andrew

      • This is the blurb from Barnes&Noble and Target for Crichton’s early work:

        ” Based on the novel by best-selling science fiction alarmist Michael Crichton, The Andromeda Strain combines nuclear …”

        I wonder how the word alarmist got in there ?

        Crichton will never shake this tag.

      • You do realise he’s dead, don’t you?

      • Well,

        It is fiction and therefore a large degree of literary license is allowed.

        Compare a work of fiction with any of the following “scientifically backed claims”

        SARS plague
        Invasion of the Killer Bees
        The destruction wraught by the Ozone Hole
        Alar
        Agent Orange
        Acid Rain

        Turns out they are pretty much stories of fiction as well.

  13. I wish we could get this kind of “both sides” balance in children’s books. I have yet to see one that is not pure CAGW.

    • What about children’s classics like Chicken Little and The Emporer’s New Clothes. They are both stories that deliver very powerful messages that can be applied directly to CAGW.

      • Yes but have they been applied? I have not seen it. See for example http://globalwarmingkids.net/books/index.html which is wall to wall CAGW. The cool dudes need to write some kid’s books.

      • How about “How Chicken Little became Emporer. A tale of fear and power.” (Not for small children.)

      • Once upon a time there was a little green chicken named Chicken Little who wore tennis shoes and was afraid of everything especially that there were too many chickens and so the roof of the chicken house which CL thought was the sky was going to fall in. The other chickens laughed at CL until one day a computer modeler visited the chicken house. The modeler could make the model do anything including whiggle its trunk. So the modeler made the model’s roof fall in just as CL wanted in return for some eggs, a lot of eggs actually in ever increasing quantities.

        CL uses the model to become Emporer of the chickens. Bad things happen.

        Then one day a cool dude shows up and says it is all just a model and the roof/sky is not really falling. CL has no facts on so the reign of terror ends. They all lived happily thereafter.

  14. Cli-Fi drama coming to a theatre near you…

    Imagine a German George Bush running against Hitler back in September 1930 and in their hatred for the man who defeated them the National Socialist Workers’ Party wages an eight year disinformation campaign against the voters. That pretty much is exactly what happened in America beginning with Al Gore’s defeat by George Bush.
    see―e.g., Why Was Al Gore Given a Nobel?

  15. I’d like to recommend a short story called Change in Analog — it might be findable on the web somewhere — which is about a world where permaculture wins out over grain and the world freezes. The author was unable to iinclude it in his three SF short story collections on Amazon — Lucifer Falling, Ground Zero and Living in Truth — but I was so pleased to have got into Analog that I don’t care. There’s a spy versus climate doomsday machine short in one of them called Searaker.

    If you ask nicely I’ll turn Snowblitz into an ebook as well. It’s written and ready to be converted. A retired spy, a glamorous researcher and an undercover CIA agent battle to turn off the ultimate Doomsday device, a string of nukes which will burst the Wyville Thompson ridge, spilling deep cold water so fast that the Gulf Stream accelerates, the Arctic ice melts, the thermohaline circulation stops, and ice blitz freezes the world. Can they kill the AI sub which has been activated by a radiation leak before civilisation is doomed? Now read on…

    JF
    * Oops, what a giveaway.

  16. Nine years ago, in 2003, Dr. Michael Crichton went to Caltech to warn members of that once-great scientific institution of an inconvenient truth:

    “The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus.”

    “There is no such thing as consensus science. If it’s consensus, it isn’t science. If its science, it isn’t consensus: Period.

    – Dr. Michael Crichton, Caltech Michelin Lecture (17 January 2003).
    http://www.tsaugust.org/images/Lecture_by_Crichton_at_Caltech.pdf

    After watching official responses to:

    1. Climategate emails and documents for three years, since these were released in Nov 2009, and

    2. Al Gore’s “documentary” film – “An Inconvenient Truth” – for over six years since this was released on 24 May 2006,

    Many others in the scientific community have personally experienced the “State of Fear” that Dr. Michael Crichton described eight years ago in his 2004 novel.

    The nuclear force in cores of U atoms that destroyed Hiroshima on 6 Aug 1945 apparently induced a similar “state of fear” in world leaders.

    They established the UN on 24 Oct 1945 in a vain attempt to hide the fact that Earth’s heat source is a pulsar, – totally beyond their control:

    The remains of the star that made our elements, birthed the Solar System, sustained the origin and evolution of life, and endowed us with intangible qualities – like creativity, faith, hope and love – and the unalienable right to self-governance to live happy, joyous and free.

    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/10640850/Yes_the_Sun_is_a_pulsar.pdf

    Best wishes for the Holidays and a Happy New Year!
    - Oliver K. Manuel
    PhD Nuclear Chemistry
    Postdoc Space Physics
    Former NASA Principal
    Investigator for Apollo

  17. Thank you, JC. You stirred up two sales with this fun post (Fleming and Kingsolver…I already had Solar and State of Fear).

  18. I’m working on this type of cover for my new novel:

    For the first time she eyed her scientific adversary in person. He had been brutal in his peer review of her latest paper. Good gawd, he and Al Gore, pals for life! She should hate him. He was a thorn incessantly needling his way under her skin. Despite all her reservations, she found herself gazing at all the wrong places. Her eyes drawn ever down his rugged antarctic explorer frame, was he glad to see her, or was that a South Pole ice core in his pocket? Only one way to find out. Damn the uncertainty monster, in her loins the climate was changing. …

  19. Russia is under severe temperature condition right now. It could be the coldest for more than 70 years*).
    Here is a story published 73 years ago. Climate or Fiction? We do not know! Science has paid little interest on what happened to the weather in Europe during the first war months of WWII. The coldest in more than 100 years! From the war in Finland (Finns vs Russian) the New York Times published a story written on Christmas Eve:
    QUOTE
    December 24th 1939: Report by James Aldridge: “The cold numbs the brain in this Arctic hell, snow sweeps over the darkened wastes, the winds howl and the temperature is 30 degrees below zero (minus 34.4° C). Here the Russians and Finns are battling in blinding snowstorms for possession of ice-covered forests. …I reached the spot just after the battle ended. It was the most horrible sight I had ever seen. As if the men had been suddenly turned to wax, there were two or three thousand Russians and a few Finns, all frozen in fighting attitudes. Some were locked together, their bayonets within each other’s bodies; some were frozen in half-standing positions; some were crouching with their arms crooked, holding the hand grenades they were throwing; some were lying with their rifles shouldered, their legs apart….Their fear was registered on the frozen faces. Their bodies were like statues of men throwing all their muscles and strength into some work, but their faces recorded something between bewilderment and horror.”
    UNQUOTE
    (NYT, December 25 , 1939). http://www.seaclimate.com/c/c2/c2.html
    About the winter war 1939/40 in Finland: http://www.seaclimate.com/c/c6/c6.html
    *) http://notrickszone.com/2012/12/21/cold-blast-claims-over-600-lives-across-eastern-europe/

  20. Note to authors: do not use the name Dirk for a male character, unless you’re writing about the porn business.

    Merry Christmas, Dr Curry!

  21. Judith, thanks again for including my novelette in this post.

    All, I not only chose to make ‘Truth’ free, but also freely distributable under Creative Commons (the license variant that prohibits alteration or commercial gain, but otherwise allows for copying / distribution). If you want you may send the pdf itself wherever you will, include it on websites etc.

    ‘Truth’ takes about 1 hour to read. I’m happy to answer any questions raised by the story, but I’m on travel right now so responses will likely be delayed.

    Andy West
    http://www.wearenarrative.wordpress.com

    • You’re talking about Al Gore here, right?

      It was scarier still when the more dynamic aspects of the social engines were portrayed, often as great worms like the religious manifestation in the market. Eventually, I realised that these beasts really did have a kind of true existence of their own, fuelled on the borrowed brain-power of many, and indeed I could see that most individuals donated their support to several such higher forms, subconsciously or otherwise. ~Cap

      • Heh, not exactly what I had in mind for that passage, but now that you mention it, I can see where you’re coming from. Maybe he’s the worm’s hiss, like the psychologisers are its slaver…

      • I see capitalism as being outside the zeitgeist of the worm analogy. There are choices of socialism is the gutless worm. No one can work in a free enterprise economy without being caring of others, being optimistic about life and giving totally of oneself: the capitalist must actually provide something of value to someone else or the capitalist does not eat (e.g. see the video, Jiro Dreams of Sushi).

        And others are proud of their modicum of righteousness, and for the sake of it do violence to all things: so that the world is drowned in their unrighteousness.

        Ah! how ineptly cometh the word “virtue” out of their mouth! And when they say: “I am just,” it always soundeth like: “I am just–revenged!”

        With their virtues they want to scratch out the eyes of their enemies; and they elevate themselves only that they may lower others.


        ~Nietzsche (Zarathustra)

      • Missed the hiss, but now we got the worm hisself.
        =============

      • Wagathon: The worms represent bounded and coherent memeplexes. In the same sense that ‘religion’ is too general a mode to be classed like this, I think both ‘capitalism’ and ‘socialism’ are (probably) generic modes too. However, specific traditions / movements within all of these examples may form a coherent memeplex (e.g. Christianity or National Socialism or whatever), that has ‘a life of its own’. Both socialism and capitalism make claim to caring social systems that ‘work’, but most working systems use elements of both anyhow, and most likely it is ‘the correct balance’ between the 2 that matters, Your quote is great though. False virtue and ‘the high moral ground’ have fueled many negative memeplexes that do great damage, CAGW not the least.

      • Good points. Still–I must disagree. Ayn Rand is an atheist but sheis hated the most by other atheists because she would choose George Bush over Castro, Chavez and Mao. Liberty is not a meme–you either have it as a God-given right that no many can take away or you are a slave/master.

      • Wagathon: yes, we must agree to disagree. The kind of freedoms that western societies enjoy today should (I believe) be defended for all we’re worth. But I don’t think that ‘freedom’ is any kind of guaranteed or granted right. Most societies throughout history and probably pre-history have not enjoyed such levels of individual freedom. The very fact that negative narratives, memes, can erode or remove those freedoms, suggests that freedom is indeed itself a meme. Once the narrative of freedom is gone, so very soon after has the freedom itself, which is why positive narratives are required to reinforce it, constantly.

      • True and that certainly is why the founders conceived of liberty as a right given to a men by God not men. Liberal fascism is the reason the global warming debate goes on. It’s the only reason.

        AGW has long since ceased being about scientific discovery. It’s all about politics. That’s why we now see global warming playing itself out as a Democrat v. Republican issue.

        Global warming alarmism showcases the self-defeating and anti-American intolerance that is symbolic of the tyranny of the Left. Americans have many rights: some are specifically enumerated and some are acknowledged to have been granted to all of humanity by God, a Judeo/Christian God—i.e., human rights that are personal to free individuals that cannot be diminished by contractual fiat.

        Additionally, Americans have many other rights — penumbral rights emanating from the Constitution – rights that are not specifically enumerated but are nonetheless fundamental to the American experience. These rights are what the Leftist-libs would destroy from within and from without.

        The Leftist-libs would use their democratic freedom to deprive others of theirs: using the democratic process to prevent others from employing their own mental, physical and psychic vitality as their own personal and individual interest shall dictate. The Leftist-libs’ undermining of personal and individual freedom is Liberal Fascism.

  22. Instead of Cli-Fi as a fledgling new genre it probably is more accurate to say rediscovered after more than 4300 years, if the Bibical account in the book of Genesis about Noah’s Ark coming to rest on Mt. Ararat is not an actual historical event.

  23. I wish hostess Judith Curry and all those who frequent Climate Etc. the best for you and your families during this holiday season.

  24. There is an excellent example of Cli-Fi on WUWT.

    Not surprisingly, it was taken as being gospel truth by the CAGW faithful, but totally sliced and diced by climate realists.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/12/24/scientists-report-faster-warming-in-antarctica/

    • Antarctic warming is the Holy Grail of Greenhouse Science for some. Search realclimate and you will find tale something like Raiders if the Lost (Ant)Arc(tic warming). Once the Antarctic troposphere warmed at a rate of 0.7 C per decade. There was joy in climate land, until hopes were dashed by SSW.

      There is a crap load of energy going missing from time to time.

    • were you also not surprised that WUWT took Watt’s own draft paper as gospel?

  25. The bogeyman is the melting of the WAIS; similarly the fear that the Greenland Ice Sheet, which sits in a bowl, will melt and slide catastrophically into the sea. If the populace can be whipped into a frenzy over these two catastrophic scenarios, and face it, it is about all they have left, then it is game over.
    ======================

  26. “In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
    earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
    snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow on snow,
    in the bleak midwinter, long ago.

    Our God, heaven cannot hold Him, nor earth sustain;
    heaven and earth shall flee away when He comes to reign.
    In the bleak midwinter a stable place sufficed
    the Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.”

    Merry Christmas Everyone

    Andrew

  27. A search of this thread turned up no mention of Allegra Goodman’s Intuition, one of the best “science-in-fiction” literary novels and just plain good novels you’ll find (it’s set in a bioscience lab in 1980s Cambridge, Mass.). Gregory Benford’s Timescape is a classic of both science-in-fiction and science fiction (his Cosm is fun but less classic). Paul Preuss’s Broken Symmetry is dated but decent science-in-fiction with a science fiction twist (but I can’t recommend his Core, which got made into a movie).

  28. g2-91a96892c9b157ef8c7ff35a46563741

    Let us not forget Christopher Anvil, the doyen of Cli Fi, whose 1958 Astounding Science Fiction short story , Torch in which the sun is blotted out by stratospheric soot from a Siberian oil field set alight by Soviet nuclear bomb testing.

    This threatens to plunge the planet into a new ice age, but the world is saved when NATO and the Warsaw pact join forces to win the new Cold War.

    Those who detect a chilling resemblence to the “nucllear winter ” hypothesis should note that young Carl Sagan was an avid <i.Astounding fan.

  29. The Day After Tomorrow is the best Cli Fi thriller — a man-caused disaster about global warming that quixotically results in a blazingly fast glaciation–i.e., AGW turns your world to ice just inches behind your running feet and just on the other side of a library door, leaving a few survivors to huddle together inside burning books for warmth… oh wait, that actually happened in the UK two winters ago.

    • Joe's World {Progressive Evolution}

      The Science mapping of ice expansion was terrible to the untrained eye.
      Cloud cover NEVER crosses the equator and yet the movie had it expanding of precipitation from one pole to the other.

  30. I’m surprised you didn’t mention The Heretic by Richard Bean: a play, not a novel, but the script is very readable. From the amazon blurb:

    A black comedy to tackle the divisive issue of climate change, The Heretic questions the position of science in the global argument and invites us to honestly consider what we think we know. The study of climate science is the cool degree at the university where Dr Diane Cassell is a lead academic in Earth Sciences. At odds with the orthodoxy over man-made climate change, she finds herself increasingly vilified and is forced to ask if the issue is political as well as personal. Could the belief in anthropogenic global warming be the most attractive religion of the 21st century? A new play from award-winning and prolific British playwright Richard Bean. Shortlisted for the 2011 Evening Standard Theatre Best New Play Award.

  31. Though I am a skeptic of the IPCC manufactured certainly (likelihood) of things in a complex chaotic system, I never-the-less found “State Of Fear” quite silly. The main character was way too confident. His hubris was just as bad as the “evil” climate science fundraisers. There’s being right, and then there’s being a dick, and the protagonist was… well… a dick! The science proving AGW is a hoax was thin, and don’t get me started with the lightning weapons.

    The only thing I enjoyed was the fate of the Ted Dansonesque character. It was a delicious end to an annoying character!

  32. “Unlike last year we are going to have winter this year in the United States.” Joe Bastardi

    Example of Cli-Fi? Did AGW cause a milder winter last year? How about snowmageddon> the year before? For government scientists AGW alarmism all they have left is blaming a change in the weather on America. The only way to make it stop is to stop paying for–to shrink government and downsize an incompetent and out of control public-funded education complex. There is something worse than no education and that is what we have now.

  33. The tic, toc of the universal clock that keeps the beat for
    Lord Shiva’s endless cosmic dance appears to be just this:

    Tic: H-atoms -(reset)-> Neutrons
    Toc: Neutrons -(time)-> H-atoms

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nataraja

    One toc vaporized a Japanese city on 6 Aug 1945
    The UN was formed on 24 Oct 1945 to say toc is tic
    That is the historical foundation for UN’s AGW fable

    “Yes, the Sun is a pulsar,” Nature (submitted 12 Dec 2012) http://dl.dropbox.com/u/10640850/Yes_the_Sun_is_a_pulsar.pdf

  34. lurker, passing through laughing

    climate apocalypse/catastrophe has been a standard plot tool of SF since at least the 1950-early 60’s era era:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Midnight_Sun

    It is a classic.

  35. Pingback: Novelette ‘Truth’ featured in the ‘Cli-Fi’ Post at leading Lukewarmer blog | We Are Narrative

  36. Marlowe Johnson

    another one (that would have been better as a short story) is Rock Brynner’s “The Doomsday Report”. published almost 25 years ago…

  37. Two new books to add to CLI FI genre list: Polar City Red a novel by Jim Laughter in Tulsa, pubbed in 2012, and Polar City Dreaming, a nonficiton history of polar cities by Stephan Malone. By the way Wikipedia says Margaret Atwood coined the term CLI FI in a tweet

  38. NPR on April 2o did a radio story about the new CLI FI genre of fiction, quoting Dr Curry as well. Link here, and the Christian Science Monitor picked up the NPR story and did their own copycat piece as well: – http://www.npr.org/2013/04/20/176713022/so-hot-right-now-has-climate-change-created-a-new-literary-genre

  39. Pingback: Flight Behavior: Adventures in Cli-Fi | A Change in the Weather

  40. ”CLI FI” as coined by Danny Bloom and as amplifed here in December re new sci fi genre makes http://www.WORDSPY.com

    dictionary list today and at
    http://pcillu101.blogspot.tw/2013/05/cli-fi-defined-on-word-spy.html

  41. In a Warming World, ‘Cli-Fi’ Is Here to Stay

    TheWrap (blog)

    More than a year ago, I wrote a blog post here headlined “The Next Big
    Genre: ‘Cli-Fi’ — Climate Fiction, in Which ‘Mad Max’ Meets ‘The Road'” —
    and now comes NPR and the Christian Science Monitor with two very good
    trend-spotting stories about, yes, …

    http://www.thewrap.com/blog-post/warming-world-cli-fi-here-stay-89031

  42. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cli_fi

    “Cli fi” is short for climate fiction, a subgenre of science fiction that relates to the climate, in particular to climate change and global warming at the end of the Holocene era. Examples of cli fi include “Finitude” by Hamish MacDonald, The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi, Solar by Ian McEwan, Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver, State of Fear by Michael Crichton, Polar City Red by Jim Laughter and “Odds Against Tomorrow” by Nathaniel Rich. “Cli-fi” does not necessarily infer a belief in the science of climate change, and some cli fi novels are in the climate denialist or climate skeptic camp. However, in general, cli fi novels are trying to raise awareness about the major issues that climate change and global warming present to humankind.

    History and origins

    The term “cli-fi” was popularized by climate activist Danny Bloom beginning in 2007 and by Wired reporter Scott Thill in 2010. Margaret Atwood sent out in a tweet about cli fi in 2011. The Drowned World (1962) by J.G. Ballard is often cited as one of the first cli fi novels. Cli fi novels and movies are often set in either the present or the near or distant future, but they also be set in the past. Cli fi is not a new literary genre, but a subgenre of science fiction.

  43. NPR’s Alan Cheuse called ”Odds Against Tomorrow” a “brilliantly conceived and extremely well-executed cli fi novel…a knockout of a book.” AND IT IS. BUT we wo\nder why in all 300 pages of Odds Against Tomorrow, you won’t see the phrase “climate change” once. Not even the dialog of characters or the narration/

    RICH said to NPR reporter that that was intentional on his part as cli fi novelist:c

    SO MY QUESTION TO FRIENDS HERE

    1. What is your take on this strange remark by Mr Rich, that “I think the language around climate change is horribly bankrupt and, for the most part, are examples of bad writing, really. And cliche — ‘climate change,’ as a phrase, is cliche. ‘Global warming’ is a cliche.”?

    2. What would your reaction be as a counter quote?

    3. And if you had the chance to meet Rich face to face , what would your response be to that quote above to him face to face or by email or tweet?

    DAN BLOOM ASKS

  44. Winter 2014 Graduate Seminars

    ENG 607 Seminar: The Cultures of Climate Change LeMenager, Stephanie

    This course takes global anthropogenic climate change as a case study through which to explore the interdisciplinary axes of the environmental humanities. The course examines the cultures of climate change from the perspective of academic humanists and artist-activists. Our primary theoretical emphases derive from science studies and new materialist critique, such as the work of Bruno Latour, Michel Serres, Donna Haraway, N. Katherine Hayles, Isabelle Stengers, Anna Tsing, and Jane Bennett. To complement our critical reading, we’ll explore the recently named genre of “cli-fi” or climate fiction (Nathaniel Rich,****** Daniel Kramb) and consider what Kramb describes as the infinitely more climate-active poetry scene (The ADRIFT project). We will foray into the methods of documentary literatures and film, drawing theoretical insight from primary texts including Darryl Cunningham’s graphic narrative essay on GCC from Science Tales, the film Sun Come Up (dir. Jennifer Redfearn, 2010), Ursula Biemann’s videography project Deep Weather, and the web archive The Canary Project. Guiding course concerns include bridge-building between the “two cultures” of the sciences and the humanities, the value and effect of traditional and new media genres, and establishing a working definition of the environmental humanities as an academic field and public intellectual practice

  45. news re ADAM TREXLER IN OREGON FROM UK IS RIGHT NOW finishing a book for UVA Press, ”Anthropocene Fictions”, that will be the first comprehensive study of climate change novels.

    BLOG POST FOR climate etc?

  46. Pingback: Cli-fi takes off | Climate Etc.

  47. Novel of Michael Crichton for global warming is really too good and i am afraid also

  48. Pingback: Interview with the Father of Cli Fi: How this New Genre Was Born is Revealed | claudenougat

  49. Pingback: FICTION FOR A CHANGE » Blog Archive » Interview: Dan Bloom and Mary Woodbury on The New Cli-Fi Genre

  50. Hi, really good article. You might be interested to hear about a Cli-fi Facebook Group I’ve set up. It would b great to see you there https://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/320538704765997/