Environment missing from literary conversation, says Amitav Ghosh

New Delhi:The topic of environment goes missing from the literary and imaginative conversation, says acclaimed author Amitav Ghosh whose new book deals with the issue of climate change. "It is a question that engages me. I'm not an activist but how is it that we writers and artists take pride on being able to see ourselves to see things differently. Yet, there is something that is out there and changing our lives and not considered as a serious fiction," said Ghosh at the release of his "The Great Derangement, Climate Change and the Unthinkable", that happens to be his first non-fiction work on the subject.  The book launch here on Tuesday evening by Penguin India in association with Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) at India Habitat Centre was followed by a conversation with CSE director Sunita Narain, Director CSE, whose work had been admired by Ghosh in his new book. Dubbing the present "environmental crisis" as "the big elephant in the room", the conversation focused on the consumption issues of the masses as a matter of concern, the role of America in extending some of the problems faced by the world and how focus is around 'commas' and 'full-stops', while the climate is running away. Ghosh also noted that "people had lives through deluge in Mumbai and Chennai but almost nothing has come out of it in terms of imaginative production, except one film in 2005, otherwise there is a complete silence" Stressing that there's nowhere to run, when the catastrophe approaches, Ghosh argues that the central prey to such catastrophes are the middle classes. However he added: "When a cyclone comes, its not going to distinguish between a rich or a poor. Its coming for you." As also mentioned in his book, Ghosh had been apprehensive of the COP-21 Paris agreement, while speaking highly of Pope Francis's "Laudato Si", claiming the latter offers a better solution and awakening for climate change.