Urgent Evoke

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Increase children awareness to water issues thanks to a sci-fi book

As some other agents pointed out, I think that educating children to the different important things of our world is the best investment for the future. About water, there is still a lot to do, anywhere in the world, to make people aware of the current problems and future risks.

When I was 11, I read a book called "L'Or bleu" (blue gold) of Danielle Martinigol. The story takes place in the future of Earth, where water has become extremely rare (for instance, Mediteranean see is completely dried).
It is a strong, yet easy to read book. It anticipates what can happen to us if we don't care about water, and also makes us realize what would be life if there was almost no more water. I really think it could be a great thing for Earth future if such book was chosen to be read in schools.

Here is a translation of the summary of the book, with the authorization of the author and her editor :
Bruce, who had always lived aboard orbital settlements around Uranus and Saturn, spends his first holidays on Earth. Launched against his will into a wild chase that leads him to Capri, alongside Bérénice, a young
and beautiful actress, will Bruce discover the truth hidden by those who
hold the supreme power in their hands: water?

Here is a translation of an extract of the book :
Water... The most precious liquid. After the black gold had stirred the blood of men in the previous century, they had learned the value of the
blue gold, the most inestimable of all assets, that of survival.
Vivien was coming out of the tiny bathroom when he heard a strange noise
coming from the landing. Before he had the chance to understand what
was happening, the door shattered. The young man stepped back by
instinct to lean against the wall. Through the smoke and the dust of the
explosion, he saw two figures dressed in moiré-patterned uniforms.

In general, I believe that fiction can help a lot mobilizing people and increasing their awareness on important issues

The author wrote several sci-fi books for children and teenager on ecological issues. Another well known book here is France (my teacher asked me to read it in class) is "Les oubliés de Vulcain", that is about a planet, used by the rest of the galaxy as its garbage.

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Comment by Chris Ke Sihai on April 27, 2010 at 4:24pm
I think we often underestimate the value of fiction as a means to educate people. I read a lot of SciFi when I was young, and still do so. People like Arthur C Clarke and ursula K LeGuin are visionaries of the highest order, and I would love to see their books being used in schools.

The absolutely most coolest book to read is "The Dispossessed" by Ursula LeGuin, which depicts life on a resource-poor world inhabited people who have chosen to live without government, money, or possessive pronouns. You can use the handkerchief I use, instead of "my" handkerchief. Marvellous stuff!
Comment by A.V.Koshy on April 27, 2010 at 4:29pm
love this post, mak has a project called blue gold about water
Comment by Hanna Brady on April 27, 2010 at 4:50pm
I write fantasy, so I am a bit biased, but I totally agree.

I think that science fiction and fantasy particularly (but all stories) help to build the habit of creativity. There are some wonderful glimpses of the future out there. The one that comes to mind for me is not a book at the moment, but Miyazaki's Princess Monanoke. Most of Miyazaki's work has environmental and pro-peace themes, and the art is gorgeous.

Great post! Post again if you hear from the author?
Comment by Edwige Lelievre on April 27, 2010 at 6:05pm
I get an answer of the author ! (She answered very fast, this is awesome :) ) There is no available translation of this book at this time, but she asked her Editor if I can translate a part of the book (first chapter or abstract). I'll let you know if I have further news :)

Thanks for the advice, Chris, I will try to find and read the Dispossessed :) And Hanna, I agree with you, Princess Mononoke is also an extremely ecological and excellent fiction (though I find it is a little bit violent for children ;) )

Ampat, can you please link me the project you are talking about please ? :)
Comment by Turil Cronburg on April 27, 2010 at 6:24pm
Everything I ever needed to know I learned from Star Trek. :-)

Oh, and Hanna, my absolute favorite movie of all time is Nausicaa, by Miyazaki. It's stunning and so powerful in serving us the message of respecting our planets and treating her and her children (including us) as precious things.
Comment by Hanna Brady on April 27, 2010 at 6:34pm
I love Nausicaa too! Miyazaki manages to interweave ideas that are easily dismissed because they appear cliche with a story that gives them new life. I'm sad that it looks like Ponyo will be his last full length movie.

@Edwige - ^_^ I guess that Laputa: Castle in the Sky might be a bit more child friendly than Monanoke, but with similar ideas. And lets not forget Totoro.

I'd love to read the first chapter or whatever you end up translating. Or I suppose I could get to work on learning French.

Although it does not directly deal with Earth, the ever popular Dune by Frank Herbert is another book that can increase water awareness. I still think about the water-reclamation systems and how appalled Fremen would be by sinks and taps and showers. Good writing can certainly make an impression.
Comment by A.V.Koshy on April 27, 2010 at 6:47pm
i prefer ghost in the shell - you should see sarah's parkour stuff - and i loved paprika
edwige this is the link where you find out about the blue gold project - mak's
Comment by Shakwei Mbindyo on April 27, 2010 at 6:57pm
We use hadithi in Kenya to teach young children in school (and at home) about life, love, nature, community, competiton, etc. Hadithi is basically a story and there is a process to telling a hadithi. I am not sure if this is because of our strong ties to story telling in general or poor access to books or a combination of this.
Comment by Hanna Brady on April 27, 2010 at 7:02pm
@shakwei - that sounds quite wonderful. Do you have a more detailed post on this? Or a place I can learn more? (I can google, but just in case there is somewhere with a particularly good description and examples that you know of...)

Thank you ^_^
Comment by A.V.Koshy on April 27, 2010 at 7:18pm
totally off the topic remark - hanna and gabriel and jane all like the same icon


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