Oh God. I can't believe it's been almost two months since I've updated the blog (bear with me here, I realize there's only one other entry, but calling it "the blog" makes me feel diligent and marginally less pathetic). The truth is that the prospect of an imminent cover reveal lit a nice toasty inferno under my butt. How have I spent the last two months? Lazing around, trying to stay off Gawker and eating tubs of miniature dark chocolate peanut butter cups from Trader Joe's? No. Not completely. Not every waking moment.
I've also been outlining a sequel to Some Fine Day, which imagines a world that's experienced eight degrees or so of warming. The first book focuses on hypercanes, which are basically hurricanes on steroids (see Super Typhoon Haiyan), but the other all-too-real impacts of severe climate change stagger the imagination as well. Wildfires. Tornados. Outbreaks of nasty tropical diseases where they really have no business being. Like dengue fever in the state of California. Mass extinctions of species, and fleeing of survivors toward the poles.
Eight degrees is not as crazy as it sounds. In fact, NASA funded a study last year that predicted just such an increase by the end of the century. All this is marvelously fertile ground for futuristic heart-pounding thrillers of the sort I love to write, but it's also kind of depressing. Since instead of prodding my overactive imagination to produce ghastly, bleak scenarios (which, sorry to say, it does quite eagerly), I'm just stealing material straight out of scientific journals.
Sometimes I think we'll get it together in time to avoid the worst. Sometimes I think our leaders can't be THAT stupid and short-sighted. They live here too. They have kids and grandkids, don't they? How much evidence has to pile up before they do something (like, I don't know, standing up to fossil fuel interests)? Is more than 9,000 studies an adequate number?
Then I remember that 20 years—20 years!—of yearly U.N.-organized meetings have accomplished, right, pretty much nothing at all. Emissions are actually growing in many of the richest countries (yes, I'm talking to you, Canada, Japan and Australia). The rest (Hey there, America!) aren't great either, although I'll give a shoutout to China, Germany and Iceland. Nice job. Especially Iceland. Because, God, you guys are unbelievably cool on so many levels. Did you know that one in 10 Icelanders will be published authors in their lifetimes? And they lead the world in gender equality?
Anyway, Book 2. Depressing, but I do enjoy the plotting process, where you just get to sit and stare into space and occasionally shout "Hell yeah!" and jot something down in a binder. We're skating toward the precipice, but there are still miniature dark chocolate peanut butter cups and if worse comes to worst, we can always put Iceland in charge. Skál!
Happy Halloween, yo! It almost feels weird not to be shivering in the dark, berating myself for failing to prepare for the latest natural disaster. Water? Candles? No, but I have beer and fun-size Snickers.
Last year it was Sandy. I can't really complain. Living 30 miles north of New York City, we had it easy compared to the millions of poor souls wading through the fetid swamps of the five boroughs: a few downed tree limbs (none of which crushed my senile Jeep) and no power, but only for a couple of days.
The year before was Snowmageddon, a.k.a. the Snowpocalypse. Again, no power, but that time it was really cold. And to add insult to injury, my town cancelled trick-or-treating. We went anyway, in the pitch black, and the people who opened their doors seemed pathetically happy to see us. As we were them.
Mother Nature gave us a reprieve this year, but I wouldn't count on too many more. It's a brave new world out there.
Ah well. If nothing else, we can greet the next hurriphoonado with panache, as my daughter Nika did last year, in a butt-length mullet, Dead Boys Young, Loud & Snotty shirt and some gold Elvis glasses.