Today is the second day in a month when San Francisco has had breathable air. And I’m getting back into the swing of writing. Working on revising Death Trap, my assassin book. It’s looking fairly good. I don’t think it’ll require as much work as The Lonely Years did. This is a book that appeals directly to the id. So long as it’s sexy and dangerous, it should work out fine. It’s a good book; exactly the kind of book I’m always looking for.
My commitment to reading learnéd articles rather than tweets has continued. But it’s a little depressing. I’ve subscribed to a bunch of magazines and book review type journals, including two conservative ones. One of the conservative journals had a LONG paeon to Viktor Orban, being all like, yeah whatever, he rewrote the constitution, but it’s what the people wanted! And some of his supporters have bought up all the country’s newspapers, but wait…he ALSO stopped the refugees! And took a stand against ‘cosmopolitan’ elites. They were like, we need an Orban here in the US. A competent nationalist! It was appalling. Reading the conservative papers has made me realize, democracy is gone. We can’t go back to the American consensus, when the parties worked together to do simple stuff like…pass stimulus bills or increase the deficit cap or make routine judicial appointments. Or, rather, Democrats are willing to do that for Republicans, but Republicans won’t do it for Democrats. The inevitable result is increasing Presidential power, rule by executive order, and, eventually, a President who takes and keeps all that power. Maybe we’ve already reached that point, or maybe it’ll come in ten or twenty or thirty years. Maybe Trump is Julius Caesar or maybe he’s only Sulla. Either way, Augustus is coming.
The other review I read was of this book, Six Degrees of Warming? We’ve had one degree of global warming. All of the current chaos–fires, storms, droughts–is the result of that one degree. We can expect three degrees of warming (if not more) over the course of the 21st century. The results will be horrific. Maybe civilization will survive? I think it will, but I genuinely don’t know. Either way, large sections of the planet are going to become uninhabitable; other sections won’t be survivable for a portion of the year without AC. And every year, millions of people will lose their homes to natural disasters. It’s pretty depressing, but again, what can you do? It’s going to happen. Not to be fatalistic or anything, but I genuinely don’t see any way that I, personally, can alter these outcomes by one iota. The time to ‘do something’ has passed. The time when we can even mitigate these outcomes is also on its way out.
My mom would say that once upon a time people thought overpopulation was going to destroy the Earth. They saw it as a demographic inevitability that India, Mexico, China would run out of food and billions would starve to death. Instead the Green Revolution substantially increased crop yields around the world. Maybe something similar will come along to avert the climate-related doomsday scenario. All I can imagine is that at some point opinion will change and then, like a shot, within just five years, everything will be converted to renewable sources and emissions will drop precipitously. That won’t avert global warming, but maybe it will stop worst-case scenarios. I genuinely have no idea.
But on the other hand, I’ve got a great novel about a sexy assassin to sell you!