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description Journal article public Journal of Critical Studies in Language and Literature

Ecoutopia From Fiction to Fact: an Interview with Heather Alberro

Heather Alberro
Published 2020

Abstract

Human is at the heart of the story of climate change in the Anthropocene where, according to Dipesh Chakrabarty (2012), human behaviors have influenced the environment and created a distinct geological epoch. Current climate change issues are largely human induced. This implies that the human species is now part of the natural history of the planet.  In November 2016, Stephen Hawking warned that humanity has 1000 years to leave the earth due to climate change, but in his most recent BBC documentary aired on June 15, 2017 called Expedition New Earth, he suggested humans have just 100 years left before doomsday. In spite of such warnings and writings, Donald Trump withdrew America from the Paris Climate Agreement on June 2017, on the same day, satellite images showed that a huge mass of ice in an area of ​​five thousand square kilometres was breaking away from the Antarctic continent under the impact of rising temperature. It seems that Trump's act is beyond ecological consideration as he believes the agreement could “cost America as much as 2.7 million lost jobs by 2025”. Projections of climate change, however, have shown horrible scenarios involving a central economic metropolis such as New York losing much of its lands because of rising sea levels. The inhabitants of such areas will have to uproot their communities and cultures to move to less vulnerable lands. Thus, it is important to examine how ecoutopian literature is responding to the conditions of the human being in this epoch. In the following interview, Heather Alberro has answered to some questions on climate change, the conditions of human being in the Anthropocene, and the role of literature and culture in relation to environmental issues.

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