1. What led you to write this novel?
I wrote the novel to create images in people’s minds of what is very likely to happen in the next 90 years and beyond. The original inspiration was Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth,” which was a life-changing event for me.
2. Your book sounds epic in that it follows the life story of its main character Stormy. How long did it take you to write this novel? How did you plan and imagine the events of Stormy’s life in this saga?
It took about four years to write, and a whole lot of Irish coffees. The events in Stormy’s life came from reading about 65 books on climate change, which are shown as a video bibliography at the website.
3. You received a PhD in Forest Resources from the University of Georgia. How has this affected your research into climate change, which led to the writing of your book?
My doctorate provided me with a big picture, holistic approach, which is what is needed to understand why climate change will eventually impact every aspect of our lives.
4. Extending the previous question a bit further, as we know, global deforestation is one reason we are experiencing climate change. I recently read about a project called Global Forest Change Map (http://www.
The southeastern states are growing their 3rd forest (after the original was cut and a second one grew up and was cut). Yes, it is a tree crop, grown over badly eroded soils from an era of cotton fields. This is not deforestation, but is a form of agriculture. The problems that will occur in the next 90 years are that climate change may make it very difficult, if not impossible, to continue this industry. Forest fires will become more frequent and intense. Droughts are likely to become longer, more frequent, and more severe, and insect/disease problems will increase. I have seen the NASA photos, which are a valuable asset in the big picture approach.
5. Do you feel that your novel, or other novels in the cli-fi genre, can change people’s opinions and lifestyles? Have you had any good feedback about your book?
Hopefully this novel will wake people up to what is happening, why, and how extremely difficult it will be to cope with it.Feedback:
“Thumbs Up” – Wallace S. Broecker: Newberry Professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University and a scientist at Columbia’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory; Author – Fixing Climate, The Great Ocean Conveyor.
“Hope it does well” – John Englander: President – The Sea Level Institute; Fellow – Institute of Marine, Engineering, Science, and Technology; Special Advisor on Climate – Friends of the United Nations; Author – High Tide on Main Street.
6. It seems that your life-work is also related to helping the environment. Can you explain your work at the Lake Merritt Institute?
The Lake Merritt Institute seeks to enhance and improve Lake Merritt, which to Oakland is similar to what Central Park is to New York City.
7. Finally, if you have any other thoughts about your book, climate change, and human impact on the environment, we would love to hear it.
Climate change is irreversible and politically/economically unstoppable. I really believe that.
Thank you for this opportunity.
Thank you, Richard!