In the academic world, we are often taught to sift fact from fiction as a means of making decisions. I remember learning how to detect bias in the news as a sixth grade student. My teacher described the act as a civil responsibility. However, civilians must also consider the bias fed to them through fiction. I neglected the power of fictional accounts of climate change and apocalypse my entire life out of pure ignorance. For example, below you can see my mental image of climate change (1):
The Day After Tomorrow terrified me as a child. Watching the film forced me to truly consider climate change for the first time. I desired to set a course for a different future and a different environment after viewing a tidal wave smash through New York. At the same time, the threat of global destruction predicted in the film posed a problem too great to conquer. My young mind could not comprehend such suffering, let alone a practical solution for it. I felt as though it were too late.
This class forced me to confront this belief. I have subconsciously viewed climate change as too big to comprehend since childhood because of the fiction I consumed. Now, through Pacific Edge and the articles on visioning we read in class, I see climate change as a call to action. I see that fiction allows us to create a future better than our present as a goal, not just an escape. My sixth grade teacher was not totally correct that finding facts in media is our civil responsibility. Our true responsibility is to develop our visions, possibly through novels or movies, and build them into fact. In the end, fact can start with fiction.