The size and severity of the global climate crisis is such that even the most committed environmentalists can drift into a state of denial. The award-winning writers collected here have made it their task to shake off this nagging disbelief, bringing the incomprehensible within our grasp and shaping an emotional response to mankind's unwitting creation of a tough new planet. From T. C. Boyle's account of early eco-activists, to Nathaniel Rich's comic fantasy about a marine biologist haunted by his youth, and David Mitchell's vision of a near future where oil sells for $800 a barrel—these ten provocative, occasionally chilling, sometimes satirical stories bring a human reality to disasters of inhuman proportions.
Royalties from the sale of I'm with the Bears will go to 350.org, an international grassroots movement working to reduce the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere.
It's not what you think--some sort of enviro agitprop. These are literary artists responding to our situation head-on, as artists, and with striking results.
But it's not any clever sci-fi futurism that stays with you, or any mere didacticism. It's the acute psychological portraits, the way they cut through abstractions like "climate crisis" to bring it home, make it real.
I want to say these stories get at something desperately needed--a psychological realism, an emotional depth, almost completely missing from the climate "debate." I don't mean just a palpable fear (much less some naive hope). I mean something more like the will to survive, or the capacity to love, maybe even to pray. Something we understand as human.