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Novel Excerpt: "Book of Baker" by Adam Flint

· Advocacy Stories

Author Adam Flint reached out to The Climate Reality Project Canada out of concern for his grandchildren and future generations, fully aware of the gravity of the climate crisis and the need for all of us to do our part to help solve it. Although there are no "one size fits-all" solutions to fight climate change, storytelling has been said to be one of the most effective way to connect people with one another and create more empathy and solidarity. When people share their stories, they are also able to acknowledge that you do not need to be a scientist to talk about the impact of the crisis. Through his stories and words, Adam Flint writes about a possible future in the form of a dystopian story, asking what would be the consequences of global warming for the next generations in a time span of two centuries if we don't act now?

Explore the world of "The Book of Baker" by Adam Flint in the excerpt below and learn about what YOU can do to help mitigate the climate crisis by visiting:

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About the Author and the Book of Baker

Adam is a 63-year-old Californian; he has grandchildren and understands young people who realize that they and their children, not he, will be fully impacted in survival terms by global warming, caused by the essential inaction of now, of his generation holding the commands of power. In the USA two other deadly and very real trends are at work: the ever-increasing inequalities by the triumph since the 80s of the neo-conservative type of capitalism, trapping us in the sole accumulation of wealth for a very few, and the rise of a far-right anti-science anti-women, anti-LGBT racist dynastic dictatorship. These three trends pile up a storm upon a storm upon a storm for the future of common people.

If nothing significant stops them, what happens to the coming generations? This dystopian fiction which indeed is not far-fetched at all and grounded in our real world, tells and pictures it, through characters and their life, not afraid to counter taboos and preconceptions the American literature is limiting itself with.

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He got up on his feet and stood behind me, kissing my neck and stretching his arms with mine across the blue immensity of the sea. It vaguely conjured up a scene of one of these censored old movies I had seen in Jubail. I turned my head and saw a glitter in his eye: it is exactly what he meant. I remember telling him: “the ship sinks at the end, but they were in love and had so much joy together.”

Mona stopped there, watching the scene where there were only a blank wall and a grimy window. She heaved a sigh, then looked at me again, as if she was just figuring out that I was in the room, coming back from far, far away. She said to me:

”Oh, little Eve, where is my Walter?”

I stood up, shaking in my legs, and turned my back to Mona. Sobs were mounting in my throat, my head and my eyes like a tsunami, our last twenty years of loss, pain and misery suddenly choking me. My worst feeling was now the emptiness in my chest, this emptiness of my father who was nowhere in my life, which Mona had just dug deeper, showing a gaping bleeding hole in me, open to the void. I stretched a hand to the wall to hold myself, bent, shaken by spasms in my chest which I could not control. It took some time, then I heard Mona’s voice:

“Come back here darling, I’m OK. There is more to tell.

The crew of the tanker and the servicemen who were with us turned a blind eye on our illegal situation and we did not feel the need to hide like on the base. We had both our stateroom of course, still, we spent every night together in one or the other and we didn’t care about the possible consequences. Walter had contrived to get witnesses of our engagement early that morning, at a distance, for he knew that it was customary at this time and in this case to soften the rules of public morality. We elicited friendly smiles, heart signs and timid cheers.

We were always together on the ship, there was nothing else to do for us than write the final report of our assignment and we were talking a lot, I and Walter. He was very dedicated to his job as a biologist and his experience studying survival in a lethal environment at the base had inspired him, been striking to him. Despite the good relationship we had overall with most of the scientists coming back home on the ship, he had confidence only in me and his good friend Aaron Goldberg, well aware of the danger of expressing his opinions.

Our only disagreement was about children. He had not wanted any when he was married the first time and he didn’t want any with me either. It was a conversation we had often on the tanker, even before we promised marriage to one another. He told me that having children had been a wish from his part, in the abstract, until the end of his education when he changed his mind, more and more so during his working life. He had then become aware of the destruction the planet was already undergoing, that it was only going to get worse to the point of endangering life on earth, and thus, having children was irresponsible.

Climate change was indisputable, despite the media denying the obvious. We’d passed the point of no returna self-feeding mechanism now impossible to slow down. The exponential acceleration of global warming, which speed could not be exactly foreseen nor its geographic variations, led the world inexorably to famines, the shrinking of inhabitable zones, other wars, and finally, likely, the extinction of life.

The true scientific data concealed by the government had been known by climatologists for decades. Some areas of the planet were getting dangerously close to what he called the extreme heat index, fatal to life beyond 131 degrees Fahrenheit, which is the combination of heat and humidity factors. Droughts, wildfires, storms, floods had plagued entire countries and the USA during the last decade, causing famines and killing millions across the globe.

The North Pole ice cap was gone in the summer, the permafrost had released its methane, ice in Greenland and Antarctica was melting. New Orleans, Miami and other cities swallowed by the sea, the utter destruction of the large forests of the world, the massive extinction of plant and animal species on the continents and in the oceans: the process was speeding up a lot faster than real scientists themselves had projected.

Walter was saying in a sneer, cracking a dark joke, that the United States was on earth. He was inexhaustible on these subjects. His shame was that he could get valid employment as a biologist only for the fossil fuel industry, helping to kill the planet faster. It was the reason for his silent melancholy, which I had accepted as a charming feature of his character. He was a harbinger in isolation, as my grandfather had been.”

I said, pulling out Dad from my fuzzy memories:

“I know Mom that Dad was very concerned about these things, haunted by our future, of me and Allan. I was but a child and he was not much at home, but I remember you were talking about the climate and what it meant. You instructed me not to talk about it with anyone, not about anything from your discussions with Dad. What was true at home did not exist outside. What he said happened though, and maybe there is no future. I guess the Earth will do just fine without us”.

Mona hissed a sigh, squeezed her mouth and creased her lips. She flicked her eyes to the side, to where the door was not, all signs of contained irritation by Mona. She replied:

“I don’t know about the future, honey, my time is past. The future is yours Eve, and of your children. I know, you get what is delivered, no choice there for you, like it or not. It will be hard. Nobody is ever exonerated from the time when they live. But remember that, life must continue, do your best honey. What I can do is tell the past, you have to know my life before I go, that much I can do.