I was a dreamy kid who became an analytical adult who liked to write. In college, I won a couple of fiction scholarships and went through a graduate writing program. Somewhere along the ramifying pathways of the possible, I became an energy consultant.
I see the data accumulate every day, obdurate and implacable. The world consumes more coal, oil, and gas with each passing year. Carbon dioxide emissions swell. You’ve seen the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration’s graph of atmospheric carbon dioxide accumulation. It wiggles with the changes of season, but its slope is undeniably and sharply upward.
The data is unequivocal: the average temperature of the globe is going up, air and sea, and we’re adding to the problem day in and day out. Some years ago, I was seized with the knowledge that the trapped heat is accumulating especially in the Arctic and may melt the ice cap within my lifetime. The implications disturbed me.
I did some research and began to work on the novel, A Change in the Weather. In it, the Russell family is torn apart by forces beyond their control, despite their well-intentioned but diametrically opposing efforts. I freely admit it is not a cheery story.
Am I a “doomer”? I don’t intend to be. I want to be thought well of, but realize that some people can never think well of an introvert with bad news. Telling certain truths is a character flaw in our culture.
And it is our culture and the economics embedded within it that keep us from solving the climate problem, just as culture and embedded economics kept us from solving the problem of slavery 150-odd years ago. I often wonder if we are going to travel the same pathway to resolution, because the reactionary attitudes, narrow financial interests, and violent opposition to social justice that kept slavery in place despite its moral indefensibility seem replicated in climate change denial. I certainly hope not.
In a perverse way, writing A Change in the Weather is an act of optimism. Sometimes truths that can’t be discussed openly can be illustrated through fiction.
I hope that A Change in the Weather will be recognized for what it is: a thought-experiment that carries the salient facts and attitudes of our present world to a credible if disturbing conclusion. Perhaps some will recognize that such an outcome, or another equally or more tragic, might be averted if facts are faced and attitudes change.
My email is SaveTheIceCap @ gmail.com.