Oscar Wilde famously opined, “Life imitates art.” Never has it been truer than in Scott Brody’s The ORG. Brody sets aside the banal denials of climate change to transport his readers into a world already being ravaged by the effects of an ecosystem critically damaged by humankind.
Wilde’s remark was to illustrate how people’s perception of the world changes when looking at it through the lens of art. And Brody’s The ORG attempts to do just that. Moving beyond any presumption that climate change could be a myth or its dangers overblown, Brody forces us to accept its reality. The transported readers must bear witness to the resultant crises our indifference and inaction might cause.
Brody’s challenge to readers is only more poignant as it addresses an existential threat that is very real and immediate to us all. He employs fiction as a vehicle to strip away the artifice constructed to insulate us from the stark realities and immediacy of climate change. Stripped of the false narratives and fringe science that still acts as a security blanket to push away the inescapable truth that fast approaches humankind, we are forced to look at what may soon be.
That Brody might challenge our beliefs and guide us to a reckoning with our possible future is no accident. Born to a politically active family, Brody was exposed early on to the spirit of political activism within his own family.
As a teen in the ‘60s, Brody was embroiled in the politics of the time and was an active protestor of the war in Vietnam, even spending the summer of ’69 at Woodstock. Brody’s activism would only mature from there, including a run for Congress under the US Labor Party in 1976.
Brody has continued a life of service dedicated to causes transcending simple politics to address universal concerns for the US and humankind as a whole. His dedication to fighting climate change is just a natural extension of his tireless work.
In embarking on crafting The ORG, Brody has chosen a battle that goes beyond examining political affiliations while very much simultaneously being enmeshed in them. To Brody, climate change should not be a political decision. It is a matter of survival and a challenge that humanity is capable of meeting and overcoming.
Yet, it is inextricably entangled in politics due to short-sighted, greed-driven factions possessed with both the urge to maintain a self-destructive status quo and feed a narrative to a public that is only too eager to accept a salve, no matter how saccharine, that all is well and the warnings of the planet’s impending peril are alarmist and overblown. The ORG lays bare the truth of those factions governing the information the public is given to digest.
Ever optimistic and the ‘60s forged activist, Brody has taken inspiration from Wilde and attempts to reach readers in the medium of art. Removing the artifice of denial, we are plunged headlong into a dystopian world of our own creation to bear witness to the fruits of our failure.
The ORG is far from nihilistic, though. It is crafted not as an inevitable prophecy of Earth’s future, but rather a warning and a call to action while humankind still has time to change our future.
To learn more about the author and what impact you can have on climate change, listen to Scott Brody’s podcast on the Books That Make You Show today.