Australia, China, India, Russia are showing their indifference to the future. Coal, oil and gas are only to be ‘phased down.’
Why the humanities must come in now. How long have the humanities been trying to help us?
Back in 1959, Walter M. Miller wrote A Canticle for Leibowitz
‘A Canticle for Leibowitz is a post-apocalyptic social science fiction novel by American writer Walter M. Miller Jr., first published in 1959. Set in a Catholic monastery in the desert of the southwestern United States after a devastating nuclear war, the book spans thousands of years as civilization rebuilds itself. The monks of the Albertian Order of Leibowitz preserve the surviving remnants of man’s scientific knowledge until the world is again ready for it.’ This novel has never been out of print. Note! It spans thousands of years!
In 1897 H.G. Wells War of the Worlds was published serialised. Right at the time when there was an increase in the late 19th century anarchist movement! See any comparison in our contemporary world?
In 1909. E.M. Forster, The Machine Stops imagined a time and situation when the society, relying on ‘the machine’ for everything in their survival, had to live underground.
In 1932 Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World took us to a government where people were made passive with SOMA sedation, keeping people under control at the least expense.
The ‘Getting of Wisdom’ was discouraged, just like Australia today with the cost of Humanities degrees – in the arts, literature, history, politics, drama, music, – raised by 113%. Rejecting creative and critical thinking.
Now, in Australia, we have Clade by James Bradley, first published in 2015 by Hamish Hamilton. The meaning of ‘clade’ comes from biology. It is ‘a group of organisms believed to comprise all the evolutionary descendants of a common ancestor’ – From ‘great apes to human clades’. In 2013 Australia’s Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, attacking effective emissions reductions, and stopping them, had called climate change crap.
Like the rest of the world, Australia has known about global warming for decades. The less frightening term ‘climate change’ was brought in by those determined to protect their carbon-fossil fuel profits. Read The Carbon Club by Marian Wilkinson which details the way Australian and American corporations worked so well to deprecate, slow down, dismiss – as Rupert Murdoch did with his media empire – to stop the elimination of fossil fuels. James Bradley has looked ahead to imagine how some will live in Australia, the UK and China.