In parallel with five new scientific scenarios of alternative societal developments (shared socioeconomic pathways, SSPs), a wide range of literary representations of a future world in which climate change comes to matter have emerged in the last decade. Both kinds of narrative are important forms of “world-making.” This article initiates a conversation between science and literature through situating, relating, and comparing contemporary climate change fiction to the five SSPs. A parallel reading of the SSPs and the novels provides the means to make links between larger societal trends and personal accounts of climate change. The article shows how literary fiction creates engagement with climate change through particular accounts of agency and focalized perspectives in a different way than how the factors important to challenges of mitigation and adaptation are narrated in the SSPs. Through identification with the protagonists in literary fiction, climate futures become close and personal rather than distant and abstract.
Climatic Change – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 8, 2017
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