On September 21, more than 300,000 people converged on New York City for the “People’s Climate March,” demanding immediate action on climate change.
On Sept. 23, President Barack Obama met with 120 world leaders at the United Nations Climate Summit to press for bold new initiatives to fight climate change worldwide.
But even if the entire climate-change agenda were adopted tomorrow, former Reagan speechwriter Kevin Hopkins contends in his new novel “Skylight,” the effect on the world’s climate–and the earth’s future–would be negligible.
An Uncomfortable Truth
“The uncomfortable truth in the climate-change debate isn’t that the underlying science may be wrong,” says Hopkins. “The uncomfortable truth is that, even if the science is right-even if the world is hurtling toward an environmental nightmare-then even the boldest proposals in the climate-change quiver will do almost nothing to prevent that catastrophic outcome.”
Hopkins cites research from the American Enterprise Institute demonstrating that, even if the entire industrialized world were to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050, the most widely accepted climate model shows that, by that date, average global temperatures would have declined by only 0.1 degrees–far too small to have even the slightest beneficial effect on the environment.
Solving the Climate-Change Problem
In “Skylight,” a novel built around a global atmospheric catastrophe and its aftermath, Hopkins proposes a new approach to warding off environmental disaster that is designed to actually solve the climate-change problem but in a way that preserves, rather than penalizes, people’s economic well-being. It is a conceptual approach–perhaps the only one on the market–that has the chance to win over climate-change adherents and skeptics alike.
“I chose fiction for this message because I believe it’s the only vehicle with a hope of bringing people together to protect the Earth,” Hopkins says. “Environmentalists and economic-growth advocates have been talking past each other in the political world for decades, with very little to show for it. If a global catastrophe is on the horizon-and if we truly want to prevent it-then we must do much, much more than we’ve done to date. And we must do it now.”
The book’s description of “Skylight” reads as follows:
“The Catastrophe had been predicted for decades. But it arrives with a swiftness no one had expected. On an otherwise glorious October evening, the air at high altitudes suddenly becomes unbreathable, depleted of oxygen. In minutes, 12 million people die.
“No one knows when-or whether-it will happen again.
“Energy executive Martin Fall is with his family in Denver on the night of The Catastrophe. Miraculously left alive, he embarks on the long journey home to Los Angeles as society begins collapsing all around him. Within months, the city-like others throughout the country-is on the verge of breakdown, overrun with 80 million migrants seeking the safety of lower altitudes. Fall is lost among them, struggling for a reason to go on.
“But soon he has no choice. Trapped in a web of lies from those he trusted, allied with others he barely knows, he must risk his life for a cause he scarcely comprehends-but one that may be the world’s only salvation.”
Skylight, published by Sweetwater Books, an imprint of Cedar Fort Publishing Company, is available online from Amazon and Barnes & Noble (search for “Skylight Kevin Hopkins”).
Praise for “Skylight”:
“Skylight… is one of the most intelligent discussions yet of the trade-offs that our society faces between energy production and environmental protection… The book’s clarity and insights are a very valuable addition to the public debate on these vital issues.”
-Jack Cox, former Chief of Staff, U.S. Congress