Thursday, 6 June 2013

Warm and wet

Climate change deniers (who like to be called sceptics/skeptics, but they're not so I won't) love to make dishonest claims. This is because, I presume, they don't really don't give a shit about the facts. One untrue claim is that, back in the Seventies, scientists went around predicting an imminent Ice Age and nobody had heard of global warming. 

This is very blatant lie, because you can actually check scientific publications and find out what was actually being discussed and predicted. 

But it wasn't just the scientists. The idea of global warming had penetrated popular culture to the extent that at least three British science fiction writers tackled it. Bob Shaw in Medusa's Children (1977); Christopher Priest (rather peripherally) in A Dream of Wessex (1977); and Richard Cowper in The Road to Corlay (1978). The latter has a map on the inside cover. As you can see, Cowper's prediction of sea level rise was fairly drastic, but - given that it must have taken a few centuries - not unreasonable. Note that, finally, London no longer holds sway over England, as the Smoke has gone the way of Atlantis.

Oh, and all three novels are excellent - well worth reading, despite having aged in a few minor respects.


  1. Also the kraken wakes? It's not technically global warming, but the sea is warmed by the kraken and the ice caps melt and the sea level rises. But I suppose he didn't necessarily mean it as an allegory or anything, in 1953. So it's a bit of a stretch. Forget I said this.

  2. It's possible that Wyndham was ahead of the curve. There's a remarkable 1958 doc on global warming, produced by Frank Capra. The actual theory of greenhouse gases dates to late Victorian times.