Thank you to Jane and Esther; my editor Sarah Speight; and readers Dan, Aliya, Eloise, Anwar, Miriam and Issy.
Author’s Notes 2021
This novel was developed up to 2018 and the inspirational intervention of Greta Thunberg and other activists. Some will find aspects of the story controversial:
• A male author has imagined life and the future through the eyes of a young, slightly autistic female outsider who sees truths that others reject.
• The risks from global warming have not been downplayed.
• The author has resisted removal of regional accents in characters.
Other aspects of the plot have been overtaken by events:
• Strife in Syria was originally intended to be just a theoretical risk.
• Global warming is now already at around 1.3 degrees Celsius and rising.
• Discussion of climate change is now more acceptable, yet this has not yet resulted in effective action, leaving responsibility to the young.
• Scientists predict that current promises of cuts to emissions will still leave the young generation facing devastating temperature rises.
This book is a work of fiction. Opinions on climate have been collected, but are not intended to represent the views of any individuals or institutions.
MA(Oxon) CEng CEnv FICE FISructE MIHT IHBC FRSA
Dedicated to the next generation.
“When I consider the magnitude of the subject which I am to bring before you – a subject in which the interests, not of the Country, nor of Europe alone, but the whole World and of posterity are involved …. it is impossible for me not to feel both terrified and concerned at my own inadequacies for such a task.”
William Wilberforce, 1789 abolition speech at the start of his campaign against slavery
“The eyes of all future generations are upon you.
And if you choose to fail us, I say – we will never forgive you.”
Greta Thunberg, UN Climate Summit, New York, 23 September 2019
With the broad subjects of chapters.
Ref Title Subject Page
Prologue Part I 1
Chapter 1 Dreaming Spires Narrative 1
Chapter 2 The Partner Narrative 9
Chapter 3 The Girl from Aleppo Narrative 13
Chapter 4 Hatter’s Tea Party Narrative 33
Chapter 5 Sustainability Lecture Climate + Engineering 39
Chapter 6 Novice Rowing 51
Chapter 7 A Wonderful Life Narrative + Rowing 57
Chapter 8 Magisterium Strikes Back Climate 69
Chapter 9 History Lessons Narrative + Climate 73
Chapter 10 Inappropriate Conversation for a Pub Climate 79
Chapter 11 Falling Climate 83
Chapter 12 The World Between Worlds Climate 89
Chapter 13 Selected Rowing 99
Chapter 14 Waves on the Wear Climate + Rowing 107
Chapter 15 Riders of the Storm Rowing 131
Chapter 16 Tragedy of the Common World Climate 161
Chapter 17 Scrums on Water Climate + Rowing 177
Chapter 18 Social Debutant Narrative 189
Chapter 19 Torpids Rowing 197
Chapter 20 Endings and Beginnings Narrative 229
Prologue to Part II 239
Chapter 21 Yorkshire Narrative + Climate 243
Chapter 22 Licence to Kill Climate Solution 255
Chapter 23 A Walk Back to the Bronze Age Archaeology 273
Chapter 24 The Neolithic Community Archaeology 295
Chapter 25 A Mesolithic Hotspot Archaeology + Climate 303
Chapter 26 Progenicide Climate + Engineering 313
Chapter 27 Blame Game Climate 335
Chapter 28 Sunderland Star Rowing 355