An Interview with Author and Scholar Matthew Schneider-Mayerson

This month I have a fascinating interview for you. Matthew Schneider-Mayerson is an author and Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies at Yale-NUS College, who studies climate fiction. His latest academic study, “‘Just as in the Book’? The Influence of Literature on Readers’ Awareness of Climate Injustice and Perception of Climate Migrants,” examines the impact of climate fiction – specifically, Paolo Bacigalupi’s The Water Knife – on readers. We discuss his findings below. Your latest article, “Just as in the Book,” is a fascinating look at how Paolo Bacigalupi’s The Water Knife influences readers. What inspired you to conduct this study? I started reading a lot of climate fiction in 2011 or so. As it became more common and received more attention, it struck me that while there was a lot of interest in different aspects of this new category of literature, its psychological and political potential was frequently highlighted by authors, critics, and scholars. They were, and still are, responding to an important question – what

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Tiny Coronavirus Stories: ‘Moist earth cascading through nimble fingers’

Moist earth cascading through nimble fingers. A melody enhanced by the spicy fragrance of lemongrass and turmeric remnants
lingering on dew-kissed skin.
Content joy radiates from the pair of us, eager to absorb the
intimate sun
nestled in Green mountains.
We are the lucky few.
Fortunate to not have been uprooted in disarray
Spring blossomed and
we never lost trust.
We never learned not to touch or to inhale through masked fabric
Isolation symbolized our boundless expansion of being still,
intertwined, close.
Cloaked now in misty fog cityscape, I remember the freedom of our lungs
in the refuge we built.
— Imara-rose Glymph (San Francisco, California)

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Stories of Climate Courage: ‘Selecting “offset your flights” always felt too easy’

Selecting “offset your flights” always felt too easy. How could I ever comprehend my carbon emissions, flying Canberra-Singapore-New York, premium economy return, for a business trip?
That’s 9.9 tonnes of CO₂e.
15 Eucalyptus viminalis seedlings to sequester one tonne.
149 trees. Two full days’ planting: the land’s degraded and drought’s made it dry. Now they’ve just got to be looked after — for the next hundred years. If there are no more really bad bushfires. Which there almost certainly will be.
Just for one traveller… one trip… that next time I’ll insist it be done via videoconference.
— Adam Sébire (Craigie, Australia)

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