And it was fun!
Steven Cornelliussen of Physics Today noticed that the Times had published a round table interview that pursued the question “Will fiction influence how we react to climate change?” And in a very nice article, he pointed out that Oreskes and I had just written exactly what the panel was supposed to be talking about.
The Times’ writer had apparently never heard of us, so we weren’t invited to participate. Go read the Times’ piece here.
But there’s an obvious answer the entire panel missed. Fiction has already affected our response to climate change. Or, rather, it has prevented us from making any effective response. The adolescent fantasies of Ayn Rand have been powerful influences on climate change deniers. One need not look further than the biographies of Ron and Rand Paul to discover that fact. (Here’s a Washington Times article on them).
Anything that’s happened before can happen again, so since fiction has already influenced our (non) response to climate change, fiction can be influential in the future, too.