A new novel by Dan Churach coming in September 2019.
The inspiration for the novel EIGHT.
I’ve been asked why I wrote EIGHT. As a fictional tale interweaving climate science and solastalgia along with a crime story, just what stirred me to pen this particular story? I can best answer that with my own question: do you read the headlines? Since EIGHT is a novel, I might rephrase that ‘do you read the headlines, real and imagined’?
No doubt you can see where we’re heading here. Temperatures soaring, sea levels rising, rainfall totals mounting, wind speeds increasing, bush fires raging… Look around you. Even people's tempers seem to be flaring: more bullying at work as well as in schools, road rage on the increase, drug usage widespread, domestic violence seemingly everywhere… But our saviour could be… [Cue the trumpets!] the Subdermal Angel Microchip - the SAM! This just might be the answer to our prayers. All the computing power and connectivity of a smartphone but implanted in a rice-grain-sized chip beneath the skin between your thumb and index finger. What could possibly go wrong?
For too long, we have viewed climate science as somehow separate from all other issues. As we learn from Professor Glenn Albrecht’s recognition of solastalgia as a growing mental health issue more than a decade ago, it is critical to understand that changes to the ecosystem do not occur in a vacuum. Of course, the earth had higher concentrations of carbon dioxide in the past, but not with 7.5 billion people on the planet. Naturally, the climate always changes, but again, not with 7.5 billion people on the planet. If you were born in 1971, the world has double the number of people alive today since when you came on board. If you were born in 1950, the world’s population has tripled within your lifetime. We are on track to reach 9 billion souls on this planet by 2039 and that – many have argued – may be the maximum number of humans who can live comfortably on this planet.
So, what inspired me to write EIGHT? I suggest you read some headlines…