Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like
In case I haven’t mentioned it lately, I have a new book out that deals with climate change and the way our political system is handling (or not handling) it. To date I’ve sold thirteen copies.
This means that 1) people aren’t especially concerned about climate change, 2) people who follow me wish I’d write a sequel to Yesterday Road, 3) I picked a bad time to put out a political novel, 4) most people don’t trust indie books, or 5) nobody can figure out what “Eternity Began Tomorrow” means.
No. 5 is discussed in the book, so you can find out what it might mean by reading it. It’s also a subjective thing, so it can mean whatever you want it to mean, but if you buy and read the book you’ll have some alternative ideas to kick around.
By the way, my $20 promotion on Book Doggie yielded one sale, so I really bombed there. I think it’s because Book Doggie (I should have known better with that name) mainly pushes free and 99-cent promos, so my book seemed to be three times the cost of the other offerings. C’est la vie.
But here’s the thing about the relevance of a book about climate change: We’ve hit, or are approaching, a climate tipping point, and if the effects of global warming haven’t hit you yet, they’re going to. Example: We were nailed last week, here in Northern California, with a 57-hour power outage, which was put into effect by the electric company, PG&E (I first typed PG$E, which is probably more apt), because they’re afraid that their poorly maintained power lines are going to spark a massive wildfire under certain “red flag” weather conditions. These conditions were predicted to start last Wednesday and possibly last “for days.”
The juice was cut at three thirty in the morning on Wednesday. Almost immediately we began to hear the sweet murmurings of neighbors’ generators, while all we could do was try to sleep knowing that everything in our fridge would be growing hair before long if we couldn’t snag some ice at daybreak. I had a nice pair of frozen pork loins destined for the BBQ machine, but we were out of charcoal too.
PG&E was notoriously vague on how long this might go on, so we had anxiety up to our nostrils as we hunted around the house in the morning for candles, batteries, flashlights, and the seldom-used cooler and camp stove. Found ‘em. Sue went out on the ice hunt while I shut down laptops to conserve battery life and got the place ready for an extended blackout. Here she comes, bearing ice and charcoal, so we’re gonna save those loins, baby, and that’s something to be happy about. To celebrate, we get out of there with the dog and go on a nice long hike at Sugar Pine reservoir, where there’s no sign that we all rely on something as falsely reliable as electrical power.
We do spy a lot of dead trees though, and that’s another possible signal that climate change might really fuck things up before long.
Long story short, we spent two nights in the dark, playing Scrabble and rummy 500 by candlelight—Sue kicked my ass in both—and listening to the 27-year-old boombox quietly burning its six gigantic D cells. Between news updates and Brazil ’66 we were doing all right.
Fifty-seven hours later, the lights came back on and we heaved a sigh of relief. But the anxiety lingers because there could be more “red flag” weather any old time. It’s fire season and earthquake season out here (if you believe in that).
Clearly things are going to be different from now on, if a for-profit utility can cut the power for a million or two people so it can’t be held liable for another catastrophic wildfire. Rather than maintain their lines, they funneled money to shareholders over the years, in keeping with modern capitalism’s amoral mandate, and now they’re making us all pay for the inevitable consequences.
Plus every year is hotter than the last.
I guess all I’m saying is, get into the spirit of all this by buying and reading Eternity Began Tomorrow as soon as you possibly can.
The future of humanity may depend upon it.
Photo credit: paul silvan