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Science Fiction and Climate ChangeA Sociological Approach$
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Andrew Milner and J.R. Burgmann

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781789621723

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781789621723.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 27 September 2021

Changing the Climate: Some Provisional Conclusions

Changing the Climate: Some Provisional Conclusions

(p.190) Chapter 9 Changing the Climate: Some Provisional Conclusions
Science Fiction and Climate Change

Andrew Milner

J.R. Burgmann


The chapter opens with an account of the ‘value relevance’ of the authors’ own loosely ‘Green’ beliefs and of how these led them to search for a cli-fi version of Nevil Shute’s On the Beach. They conclude that no such text exists as yet, but note the operation of what they term an ‘Off-Shute effect’, in which the cumulative weight of many different cli-fi texts could have a cumulative effect on real-world behaviour. One of their more striking unanticipated findings, they explain, was that none of their climate fictions, not even those by avowed socialists like Kim Stanley Robinson, depict the organised working class as the social force most likely to prevent anthropogenic global warming. They hypothesise that this is an effect of the persistence into the twenty-first century of ideological residues of postmodernism and stress that the term ‘Green’ as a political signifier derives from the Australian ‘Green bans’, that is from organised labour. The book and the chapter end with an insistence that climate fictions are warnings, rather than predictions or prophecies, and that warnings are there to be heeded and acted upon.

Keywords:   Green values, Shute, Labour, Working class, Green bans

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