In the 2030s, as the world spirals into ecological and economic meltdown, three generations of an Australian family must find a way to each other, and then a way to survive and make a good life.
What will it be like, to live in a climate changed world?
Meticulously researched, ‘470 ‘ explores the nature of resilience when the world suddenly tips.
“A rich tapestry of possibilities, igniting our imagination of how hope and vision can emerge from the darkest of circumstances.”
Co-originator of permaculture
“instantly recognisable and well drawn characters whom we can imagine vividly.”
Dr Jenny Dowell, OAM JP
“I found myself unable to put the book down.”
Dr Kitty van Vuuren
“It all began with a question: I wonder what life will be like in a climate-changed world?
It sparked a series of follow on questions: What practical skills, assets and relationships, and most importantly, what attitudes of mind, will be useful?
And that led to another question: Does it change what it means to be human, to be a good human?
And finally: I wonder if it possible to really imagine it, with the dense reality of a novel?
And three years later, here we are.”
What they say
When I started writing ‘470‘, I didn’t have any clear intention. I set out simply to imagine characters living in the kind of world that climate scientists tell us is just over the horizon, and see where it led. What would they do? How would that feel? What would happen then?
It led me down any number of research pathways. When they say “heat waves will become more extreme”, what does that mean? Two degrees hotter is what it is normally in Cairns, why is it scary? What will happen to the internet? Electricity grids? Transport? How will people stay in touch with loved ones? What will happen if they get sick? Are they more likely to get sick? Are the preppers who set themselves up in armed fortresses completely mad, or will society become more dangerous?
You can follow some of these lines of research in the blog – click on the tab at the top.
I wanted to think through what it would feel like to experience what science tells us is coming, and at the same time what skills, resources, attitudes, relationships might be useful. But of course, once you start writing a novel, the characters take over and it becomes about people and what is important to them.
How does it feel to be contemplating having kids in this time of uncertain future? What would it be like to be a climate refugee? Or to be called upon to support them? Family and community, the limits of self-sufficiency, the intangibles that are more use than money in a crisis. If we were looking back from the future, what might we wish we’d known?