Picture the Effect of Climate Change by Reading These Books




I was reading The New Yorker article about The Climate Fixers (the link is featured on a previous post) and out of the blue, the last book of the Mistborn trilogy by Brandon Sanderson came to mind. Spoilers follow – I don’t know if I recall correctly, since it’s been several months since I finished that book, but a well-meaning individual tried to change their ecology when he briefly had the power to do so. Now the ashes that they’ve been living with for so long suddenly made sense. One change was made and a whole world suffered. 


As I was reading this long and well-researched article, my imagination was also running in overdrive. What if the Stratospheric Particle Injection for Climate Engineering (SPICE) project went ahead? What if something went wrong and the experiment had catastrophic results that went way beyond what they projected? What if desertification, ocean acidification, and arctic methane emmission exploded? 


As with the Haiti, Katrina, and typhoon Haiyan disasters had shown us, desperation leads to a breakdown in civil society. Reports of looting, escalation of crimes, even rapes abounded. A person who has lived through this will have plenty of hate for the people whom he perceive has caused his sufferings. What if the climate disasters that we now have resulted in climate change terrorists?


Naderev Sano, the Philippine representative to the COP19 climate talks, broke down in tears and said he will fast until a satisfactory conclusion to the talks was reached. Japan’s response? It will reduce it’s emissions targets. Rallies were held in solidarity with Sano’s stand and people refrained from eating their lunches in sympathy. 


What if we graduated from just fasting to suicide bombings as the situation in direly affected countries escalate? I know this is extreme. Hey, I’m a writer, my imagination is constantly in overdrive. Here’s where we come to The Passage by Justin Cronin. I know that this is vampire material, but substitute vampire with a suitable climate material – say radioactivity evolution (picture residents transformed by their exposure to radioactivity due to storm surges damaging nuclear reactors) – and there you have it: dystopia.


Finally, The Road by Cormac McCarthy had blown me away when I read it a year ago. I couldn’t wrap my head around the description of the sea being gray. Now, with oceans warming and becoming more acidic, it’s possible. With the death of the coral reefs will come the death of several species of marine life dependent on them. Picture the Great Barrier Reef receding. Now of course there are waves that this reef influence, and these waves affect storms. I don’t need to ask you to picture typhoons that these storms create. Just look at the news. Of course, what affects small marine life affects the bigger predator that in turn affects the biggest predator of all – man. 


That’s all folks. I’ll turn my imagination now to writing my book.


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