Monday, December 06, 2004

More Than Ecology

Posted by Trent Walters at 5:46 AM
Cora Buhlert feels there's too much focus on ecology: "while ecological awareness is a very good thing, ecologically aware (science) fiction has the potential to be very preachy." Preachy would make bad fiction, to be certain. Fiction needs to be quality no matter what heading it comes under.

But being Mundane is more than ecology. It's any field that will help improve conditions on earth (or if you feel that humanity needs the exploration of space, even the solar system--although some feel strongly that that is wasted energy): sociology, biology, physics, computer sciences, law, psychology. Open up a college course catalog and there we are in every column.

On the other hand, if you've been following the general science news with any regularity, ecological problems pop up in almost every issue. For science fiction not to cover this crucial field in science because readers grew tired of hearing about ecology in the 1980s--that is, twenty years ago--is a grave injustice to the planet and its many species. Any near-future without at least mentioning a changed climate in the next 100 years is already talking about an alternate universe. Science reported that ecologists across the world recently agreed that even if nothing else were done to the environment, the temperature will increase 1.5 - 4.5 degrees.

So if we've placed much emphasis on ecology, we do not mean to mislead readers or writers into thinking that's all that we're about, yet residents of earth cannot live without it. If you had the job of imagining an improved world, how much emphasis would you place on ecology?