Young people are getting more involved in politics than ever, and one of the most vocal is getting a book published very soon
First reported by The Guardian, Climate activist Greta Thunberg will have her speeches compiled and published into a book coming out next month. Titled No One Is Too Small To Make A Difference, the book will consist of eleven speeches written by Thunberg and will be published on June 6th.
Thunberg is best known for organizing the School Strike for Climate, which is a movement started by students where instead of attending classes, they take part in demonstrations to demand action against climate change. Thunberg did her first demonstration in August of 2018, and her actions inspired millions around the world to join the fight for a cleaner environment.
This isn’t the only book centered around Thunberg. A memoir written by her parents and family members, titles Scenes From The Heart, will also be released later this year. It will focus on the family’s support of Greta and track her political activism from the beginning.
April 22nd is Earth Day, and while you’re all busy reducing, reusing, and recycling, we’ve made a list of cli-fi books for you to read and share. Cli-Fi has become a new genre of fiction, focusing on the most drastic effects of climate change that we face by taking no actions to stop it. They’re eerie, they’re surprisingly accurate, and they’re a lot of fun.
1. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
The many 80’s references and killer virtual reality video game detract from the fact that Ready Player One paints a disturbing picture of the future. The plot develops due to the fact that the environment has literally deteriorated. The book takes place in the year 2045, which is really not too far into the future. We’ve even recently been warned that we can start to see similar effects by the time we do get to the 2040’s. The earth is destitute, and people are living in stacks of trailers. Because there is little to no agriculture due to climate change, there is little to no income. Kids are using computers to attend school in a virtual reality setting, and virtual currencies are worth significantly more than national currencies. The book highlights just how much of a threat is posed if we allow the environment to crumble like we currently are. The economy will crumble right behind it, leaving us to rely on a billionaire to develop a game like Oasis where we can win his entire estate. This is what gamers have been preparing for their whole lives, but it would just be easier if we planted some trees.
2. The Lorax by Dr. Seuss
I bet you had no idea that long before saving the bees and trees became a global concern, Dr. Seuss was warning the world about the threat dangerous progress posed to the earth’s natural beauty through The Lorax. We’ve destroyed whole forests to build cities, and allowed gas guzzling cars to take over as a main source of transportation because it was most convenient. We never even tried to understand what these things would do until it was too late. While the book is aimed towards children, adults still have a lot to learn from Dr. Seuss.
3. The MaddAddam Series by Margaret Atwood
Margaret Atwood has been eerily accurate in her dystopian novels, and this is no exception. Atwood holds up a mirror to show us what we are facing by doing nothing about the pending dooms of climate change in these three books: Oryx and Crake, The Year of the Flood, and MaddAddam. After a man-made plague wipes out a good percentage of the world’s population, a bio-engineered species is created to replace humans. You were worried about robots taking your jobs, well this is even scarier. The books track several characters as they face rising sea levels and quite literally the end of the world as we know it. Should we be scared? Definitely, as it seems life does seem to be headed the way Atwood predicts in her other dystopias, and even after being warned we need to take action we remain unsurprisingly inactive.
4. The Road by Cormac McCarthy
The Road takes a look at a father and son duo, who find themselves trekking across a burned up United States in search of the shore. Snow has turned grey, and the only movement is that of the ashes. A dried up and burned up earth may not seem so close to reality, but California has already experienced drought and wildfires that may make you think twice about that. Armed with only a pistol, the duo make their way across the country, with only love for the other to save themselves. Hope has gone out the window, there is a lingering fear of others who they may come across. The only food they have is what they brought with them. There is no livestock, no crops, not even a bush of berries to sustain them. In a world that has been destroyed by climate changes, it is clear there is nothing left but fear and hopelessness.
5. New York 2140 by Kim Stanley Robinson
Taking place just over a century in the future, it is clear through New York 2140 that climate change is seriously in effect. The water has risen, submerging all of New York City. Every street has become a waterway, and every skyscraper an island. Though the story is told with a humorous tone, it is clear these are not funny circumstances. Subway gone, historic monuments gone, the New York Public Library gone. Robinson tells the story through the eyes of several characters all observing the new New York from a single building. Through Robinson’s craft, it is easy to see the undesirable changes New York undergoes and, therefore, we undergo.
6. The Rain Never Came by Lachlan Walter
After a drought strikes Australia, citizens in The Rain Never Came are escorted away towards more livable environments. Some decide to remain behind, hiding in places no one would dare look. Bill Cook and Tobe Cousins are just two such people. The book clearly plays on very real fears that we face in conjunction with climate change. Like I said earlier, California is currently facing this issue. This is no longer some dystopian idea, it is real life for too many people. There is definitely a post-apocalyptic feel to this book, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that this could soon be reality.
7. Gold Fame Citrus by Claire Vaye Watkins
Gold Fame Citrus takes the story of Luz and Ray, survivors of a drought-struck California. People have been ushered to government camps on the east coast, while others have been stopped from crossing the California border. Those left are surviving on rations of water and anything else they can scavenge for. Destitute land turning citizens into thieves and vigilantes is nothing new in Cli-Fi, but what makes this original is the fact that this isn’t some far-fetched idea. Again, droughts in California are happening. While we haven’t yet started rationing anything or shipping people off to encampments, what is to say we won’t if things do get worse?
Happy Earth Day! Earth Day is a reminder about the planet we live on, about its resources and the ecological impact we do with every move we make. To remind you about how you can help the planet, not just on Earth Day but every day of the year, here are five compelling books with an environmental message to celebrate this day, covering from a variety of genres such as nonfiction to fiction.
5. No turning Back: The Extinction Scenario by Richard Ellis
Image Via Goodreads
No Turning Backby Richard Ellis is a nonfiction scientific book which examines the topic of extinction. Author Ellis examines the finality of a species existence by using five periods of mass extinction to outline how a species meets its final end, including the meteorite that brought an end to the dinosaurs and humanity killing off animals such as the saber-toothed tiger, wooly mammoth, and cave bears when they crossed the Bering Land Bridge 15,000 years ago. Ellis offers a naturalistic view that is well worth the read and reminds us that no species, least of all our own, lasts forever.
4. Midworld by Alan Dean Foster
Image Via amazon
Midworld by Alan Dean Foster tells the story of a planet called Midworld, covered entirely by a vast rainforest that’s almost a mile high and rich with alien fauna. Home to a primitive society that’s in tune with the natural world, Midworld is changed when an exploitative human company arrives and begins attempt to mine the planet for its resources while ignoring the delicate ecosystem. A pulpy page turner, this one is an obvious metaphor for destructive of delicate environments by corporations but done extremely well and the planet itself is so richly described you’ll feel like you can live there.
3. Ecotopia by Ernest Callenbach
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Ecotopia heavily influenced the green movement when it was first published in the 1970s and is just as compelling today. Ecotopia tells the story of Northern California, Oregon, and Washington separating from the United States to create their own nation. Admitting its first visitor from the outside world, a reporter who finds a utopia inside the new nation’s borders, one economically and socially viable, showing a world that could be created if humanity would let it.
2. The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert
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There have been five major mass extinctions in Earth’s history. Now, in this nonfiction novel, Elizabeth Kolbert argues we are in the midst of a sixth and one that we are responsible for. Drawing on the world’s best scientific minds and researchers, Elizabeth Kolbert presents her case very bluntly, showing species that are already perished within humanity’s lifespan and others that are on the verge of dying out. This novel very starkly illustrates that a new mass extinction is underway and we can’t stop it, as its already too late for dozens of species. This one is a must-read and shows that if we do not taking action immediately, our legacy could be the sixth extinction.
1. Silent Spring by Rachel Carson
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Silent Spring by Rachel Carson is the classic environmental novel. Published in 1962, it was first serialized in The New Yorker before being compiled as a full length novel. Gaining huge swaths of publicity and popularity, the book highlighted the extreme damage that unregulated usage of pesticides would cause if left unchecked. Carson faced ruthless backlash by chemical companies and unfortunately passed away in 1964 but her work changed the word, as sweeping changes were made to pesticides. This is a must read for anyone environmentally active and is the perfect book for Earth Day.
There is a lot of beauty in the world, and NASA has found a way to make it easier to see.
With pictures taken from various NASA satellites, the government agency has released 168 pages of photographs covering various remote landscapes and compiled them into a new book titled Earth.
The main version of this book is interactive and can be found here. There are four sections: atmosphere, water, land, and ice/snow. Clicking on each section will open up a slideshow of photos along with stories about how these locations came to be.
English novelist, essayist, and short story writer Zadie Smith has written an essay called “Under the Banner of New York” about the tragic event that grieved the city last week.
Image Via CNN
Smith shares her thoughts on how New Yorkers, in our “elastic social arrangement,” respond to such events, and how we faintheartedly carry on with our week unsure of what to do or how to help. In the moment, however, we do all come together and assist in any way we can.
Like many a New Yorker right now I talk a good game but my mind is scattered, disordered. To me, the city itself feels scattered, out of sorts; certainly carrying on like London, like Paris, but also, like those places, newly fearful, continuing with its routines while simultaneously wondering whether it still wants to, considering decamping to the countryside while being repulsed by that same thought—oh, and a ragbag of other random thoughts and anecdotes.
Despite the subject matter, Smith maintains a hopeful tone, essentially musing on New Yorkers as first responders. Alluding to two anecdotal stories of accidents that happened at the same curb on the same street corner in the same week, Smith recounts an old lady tripping and a stroller breaking apart. Common to both memories was a “community of strangers” gathering to help in any way they could, then swiftly vanishing afterwards. New Yorkers always need to be urgently elsewhere. Smith then gives thought to the victims 29-year-old Sayfullo Saipov’s act of terror.
None of us deserve to be killed in the street. We are a multiplicity of humans in an elastic social arrangement that can be stretched in many directions. It’s not broken yet. I have no idea if it will break soon – but its not broken yet. And here comes the rain, clearing the streets, for an hour maybe, even for a whole afternoon. We’ll be back out tomorrow.