I started reading science fiction around the time the first Earth Day was created, so climate-related disasters have always been part of the mix. But with real climate-related disaster on the horizon, that mix is getting more potent and is getting the message across better than boring stuff like this blog post, or so says an article in Undark, a new magazine from MIT:
The most detailed PowerPoint presentation or scientific paper, no matter how exhaustively peer-reviewed, cannot communicate the immediacy or devastation that a fictional portrayal of a sunken coastline, an inundated city, or a barren wasteland can impress upon a reader – particularly if scientists are predicting those things as being hundreds of years away.
“Despite all the good science that has been published about climate change, most people don’t really understand why it matters,” Oreskes said, “and we especially don’t understand why it matters to us — people living here and now, as opposed to future generations or in faraway places.”
There’s more background in this article in the Chronicle of Higher Education, which prompted the Undark piece.