From the 1960s to the present, activists, artists, and science fiction writers have imagined the consequences of climate change and its impacts on our future. Authors such as Octavia Butler and Leslie Marmon Silko, movie directors such as Bong Joon-Ho, and creators of digital media such as the makers of the Maori web series Anamata Future News have all envisioned future worlds in the wake of imminent environmental collapse, engaging audiences to think about the Earth’s sustainability. As public awareness of climate change has grown, so has the popularity of imaginative works of climate fiction that connect science with activism. Today real world social movements helmed by Indigenous people and people of color are leading the way against the greatest threat to our environment: the fossil fuel industry. It is through these stories and movements by Natives and people of color—both in the real world and imagined through science fiction—that we understand the relationship between culture and activism and how both can be a valuable tool in creating our future. Imagining the Future of Climate Change introduces readers to the history and most significant flashpoints in climate justice through speculative fictions and social movements to explore post-disaster possibilities and the art of world-making.
Shelley Streeby is Professor of Literature and Ethnic Studies at UC San Diego and Director of the Clarion Writing Workshop. She is the author of Radical Sensations, American Sensations, and co-editor of Empire and the Literature of Sensation. She is Associate Editor of American Quarterly.