I have no idea if these dead trees just off the Great Ocean Road are a result of climate change or simply natural wastage, and to be honest I didn’t give a lot of thought to extinction on our Aussie holiday, except my own when I tried surfing.
However, it’s been hard to escape the perfect media storm of the London protests, Greta the wonder-kid, and Sir David Attenborough’s powerful film-making. I think I arrived at the funeral wake for the Earth a bit late but now I’m here I’ll be making a fuss about it as much as the next person ... provided the next person is not Donald Trump.
I’ve read so much about the crisis that inevitably it got me thinking about my own writing - and of course I have already touched on climate change in my fantasy novel, ‘Rise of the Andahar’ (currently being sent out to agents). There, it’s a case of drought followed by floods, but in truth it’s a side issue to drive the action rather than any sort of end in itself.
However, I’m now planning a Young Adult fiction novel which has been brewing for years, and has existed, half-written in various forms on iPad, laptops and probably an old typewriter somewhere. Yes, it’s been that long in the making. Somewhere along the line, though, I’ve fallen out of love with the thing (I’m sure that’s a common occurrence amongst writers) and weirdly, it’s sent me back to a screenplay I tried to get off the ground even further back in time. That was called ‘Supercell’ and featured a perfect storm due to unusual weather off the Kent coast around Dungeness. It had an element of the climate debate about it (hey, I was ahead of my time, right?) and featured a family of storm-chasers.
Anyhow - to cut a long story short (literally), it’s been resurrected as YA fiction - and relocated to the US and set
at the time when the west-coast ‘fire-nadoes’ (who knew that was a thing?) ravaged the town of Paradise and others. I’m excited about writing it - and the climate story is dead centre this time and is planned to end with a dramatic set piece between an adult climate-denier and a young girl, driven to the ultimate act of rebellion.
Greta, you don’t know what you’ve started.