Liz Chapman's Reviews > The Carbon Diaries 2015

The Carbon Diaries 2015 by Saci Lloyd
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Jul 14, 12

Geez, this book scared me. And enthralled me.

First of all, you'll probably only enjoy this book if you accept the reality of global warming. Climate change denialists will likely have a hard time with the premise of the story. So know that before reading. If you're not sure how you feel about global warming, this is definitely a good way to, ahem, light a fire under you to do some more research.

I was worried that this book would be more propaganda than literature, but I didn't think that was the case. It's clear that there IS a bit of an agenda, but I also cared about the characters and thought the author did justice to the complexity of the issue.

The book isn't just "oh no my life is hard because everything is hotter." Global warming is actually a lot more complex, and reducing carbon emissions means an ENTIRE lifestyle change. The possible societal effects of something that big are fascinating. For example, in this world, carbon rationing leads to a minor "back to the land" movement, with people starting to grow their own food, deliver goods via horse and buggy, and start community livestock raising. But the return of this lifestyle also means that, almost immediately, men attempt to reinstate the patriarchal system of men doing the outdoor work and women doing the domestic work. Which, of course, the women immediately fight. It's like the 60s and 70s all over again...ultra-feminists, organic farmer hippies, etc.

The carbon rationing also leads to a carbon black market, a major economic recession, the reorganization of school systems to focus on subjects that are more financially viable, extreme environmentalist radicals (sort of environmental anarchists, which is totally weird), power outages that lead to mobs and looting, and massive protests.

And, as a final thought, the book takes place in London, and it's delightfully British.
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