One of the best things about the old John Wyndham novels like The Day of The Triffids or The Kraken Wakes was the way that disaster crept up little by little, sign by sign, until it was too late. Indeed the Kraken Wakes describes a group of malevolent aliens who set out to destroy humanity by melting the ice caps and drowning us all. Who’d have thought it? Not that we needed aliens, given our propensity for fast cars and cheap fuel.
Although written in 1953, Wyndham’s predictive powers were in top gear. Writing in the Guardian‘s long read Alice Bell describes how awareness of global warming slowly dawned. It’s eerie to discover that politicians like Lyndon B Johnson and Henry Kissinger were talking about this more than fifty years ago, but, Wyndhamesque as ever, humanity kept sleepwalking closer to the abyss. We also plug Alice Roberts’ book, Our biggest Experiment, for those with time in the long warm summer days.
If you still think it won’t happen to you, try Ran Boydell in The Conversation. He thinks that most building standards were designed for an age before global warming and its terrifying new weather events. Perhaps the subtitle should have been-atishoo, atishoo, we all fall down?
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