Solar
by Ian McEwan

Solar is a delightful and dark satire on the greed of humanity, embodied in the massive and deceptive Nobel Prize winner Michael Beard, whose brief brilliance was recognized and feted, who received (perhaps in confusion) a Nobel Prize, and who coasted thereafter on his appetites for wives, fame, fortune, food, and energy — an unlikely person to save the planet from man-induced climate change.

Solar moves smoothly through the first two of its three sections:

So by the third section, "2009", Beard is a pretty unsympathetic fellow, particularly when he says things like:
Here's the good news. The UN estimates that already a third of a million people a year are dying from climate change. Bangladesh is going down because the oceans are warming and expanding and rising. There's drought in the Amazonian rainforest. Methane is pouring out of the Siberian permafrost. Now the eastern Antarctic is going.

The bottom line: Despite the grim irony of Beard finding such news 'good', if this novel convinces a number of climate-change skeptics to revise their opinions, maybe McEwan's dystopian novel might be his most valuable to us.

No wonder we are glad to see Beard's personal world fall apart, even while he wriggles on the hook of Denial.

Weather Glossary

Glossary: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z.

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