Climate Change and Literature

Volunteers from Ressun lukio, IB World School, compiled an exhibition about climate change and climate change literature in Rikhardinkatu Library in the fall 2021. You can familiarize yourself with these current issues here and take a small quiz afterwards!

Effects of Climate Change in Finland

  • Temperatures are rising. 
  • Precipitation is increasing. 
  • Snow cover season is becoming shorter.
  • Sea level in the Baltic Sea is rising.  
  • Storm winds are increasing at the coastline.
  • Winters are becoming cloudier with less sunshine.

Climate Change and Literature

  • Literature regarding climate change broadens discussion and spreads awareness 
  • Generates empathy

→ Increases people’s climate concern - can convince them engage more actively with the crisis 

→ Can make a difference in shifting public attitudes about climate change 

  • Enlarges our understanding and global consciousness

→ Helps us grasp the scale of our losses and the imprint of our actions

  • Helps us visualize what’s coming and how we’re going to cope with it
  • Offers hope 

CLI-FI (Climate Fiction)

= Literature that deals with climate change and global warming 

  • This genre often includes science fiction and dystopian or utopian themes, imagining the potential futures based on how humanity decides to respond to the climate crisis
  • Often included ecocriticism = investigates how individuals in a society behave in relation to nature and ecological aspects

What can I do?

  • Even small lifestyle changes and changes in thinking can make a difference. Small consistent changes are better than no change.
  • Read literature on the topic - educate yourself.
  • Use public transport instead of driving a car.
  • Avoid food waste.
  • Eat less meat and dairy products.
  • Recycle - packaging materials, old clothing etc.
  • Switch to renewable electricity.

Quiz

  1. Which one of these is not an effect of climate change in Finland?
     
    1. Temperatures are rising. 
    2. Precipitation is increasing
    3. Snow cover season is becoming shorter.
    4. Strong weather events such as earthquakes are more frequent.

  1. What are common characteristic of the CLI-FI (climate fiction) genre? (There can be more than 1 correct answer)
     
    1. Dystopian or utopian themes.
    2. Technocentric approaches.
    3. Children as a target audience.
    4. Ecocriticism.

  1. What impact does literature not have regarding climate change?
     
    1. Spreads awareness of the climate change.
    2. Blinds us from the severity of the climate change.
    3. Enlarges people’s understanding regarding the topic.
    4. Increases people’s climate concerns.

  1. What can we do to slow down climate change? (There can be more than 1 correct answer)
     
    1. Read literature on the topic.
    2. Switch to non-renewable energy.
    3. Minimize usage of public transport.
    4. Recycle old books.
      (can be done in Rikhardinkatu Library)

Answer Key

  1.  d, 2. a, d, 3. b, 4. a, d

References:

https://www.euronews.com/green/2020/12/14/how-fiction-can-persuade-readers-that-climate-change-is-real

https://literariness.org/2016/11/27/ecocriticism/

https://lithub.com/17-writers-on-the-role-of-fiction-in-addressing-climate-change/

https://ilmasto-opas.fi/en/ilmastonmuutos/suomen-muuttuva-ilmasto/-/artikkeli/74b167fc-384b-44ae-84aa-c585ec218b41/ennustettu-ilmastonmuutos-suomessa.html

The article and quiz are made by students from Ressun lukio, IB World School, who are volunteering in Rikhardinkatu Library.