The Heat Is On: Melting Santas and Family Values in the Era of Climate Change

So I haven’t blogged in—oh, just about forever (over two months)—but I’ve been fine and dandy, thank you very much, and trying to keep my ducks in a row: Besides being a professor, and all that entails, mainly I’ve been trying to finish a draft of this new novel that hangs around my neck like a stinkin’ albatross. (Note to self: use “eftsoons” somewhere in the text, as in “Eftsoons his hand dropt he.”) But I’m actually enjoying the writing of it when I can find/squeeze the time, and that makes me disinclined to bother to blog. But I suppose I’m feeling a bit peckish for the “short form,” and here I am.
To be more particular, here I am, saddled with righteous indignation at the fate of the world. My last two novels—Goodnight, Texas (2006) and The Bird Saviors (2012)—have been identified as falling into the CliFi (for Climate Fiction) category, and although I try never to stand on any soapbox in the novels themselves, I’ve been outspoken about the reality of Climate Change in the world as I see it, especially my beloved second home in the mountains of Colorado. It’s a given that the American Southwest will be (and has been) affected more quickly by Climate Change than, say, the Eastern U.S., and I’ve found that to be unfortunately quite true. Drought and summer wildfires have worsened in the last two decades. Yes, they’ve always been part of life in the Southwest, but now it’s worse.
So today comes this article in the NY Times, that bastion of lukewarm-at-best Climate Change blather, detailing the opinions and hopeful actions of scientists at the latest United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change meeting in Lima, Peru, here. It’s all rather dire, as will be no surprise to those who have paid any attention to the science behind this for many years now. But as the holiday season is now or soon upon us (Does Black Friday count as a holiday? Thanksgiving, does, but it’s now past), I’ll soon be around other family and friends, who often seem to reflect much of the polls of Americans who don’t really know or care about Climate Change. When we bought a high-mileage vehicle recently, family members wondered why we didn’t get something bigger, roomier. Something you can stretch out in! Something you can enjoy while you ruin the planet! And they wonder why our house is relatively small (less than 2,000 square feet), when we could afford something bigger: more bedrooms, more bathrooms—a granite-countertop in the kitchen would be nice, for Chrissakes! Although it’s hard holding on to a glimmer of hope that my daughter’s life won’t be greatly affected by Climate Change, I do wish that individual attitudes would adapt, wake up and smell the zeitgeist. Santa’s home is melting. The North Pole may soon be kaput. What will happen to all the elves and their workshop when they sink to the bottom of the sea? No more American Girl dolls, egads? At least I’m glad that, at this moment anyway, my daughter can still play in the snow on a cold Thanksgiving day.

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