Discussion prompt: How can fiction positively or negatively shape our narratives of the design of nature’s future(s)? Be sure to give an example or two.
Fiction is a great form of entertainment; we read fantasy books and watch science-fiction movies. However, fiction is more to us than just entertainment, as it has the power to affect us and our actions, both positively and negatively.
The controversy of global warming and our capability of saving planet Earth is portrayed numerous times in fiction. Unfortunately, the future is often shown as bleak, such as in Interstellar. The 2014 blockbuster’s plot is based on the notion that mankind cannot save the Earth. Instead, we have to find a different planet to inhabit. This is the main narrative in the trailer of the movie. For instance, professor Brand, a character in the film, states: “We’re not meant to save the world, we’re meant to leave it” (Nolan, 2014).
As discussed in class, this negative illustration of the future can be demoralizing. We are bombarded by fiction that shows the inevitable doom of Earth, which might cause us to take less initiative when it comes to being environmentally sustainable.
On the other hand, a positive vision of our future could help raise awareness about the consequences of climate change and give us confidence that we can prevent it. This has been done at times, as shown in the 2016 documentary A Beautiful Planet. Here, we see the planet from the perspective of the International Space Station, and are given encouragement that we can save planet Earth (Myers, 2016).
Even though this is a documentary, it is a step in the right direction for entertainment. Let us hope that the next big movie portrays the future of our planet as bright.
A Beautiful Planet. Dir. Toni Myers. IMAX, 2016.
Interstellar. Dir. Christopher Nolan. Warner Bros., 2014. U.K.