Dystopian December - Polly Holyoke!

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Guest post by Polly Holyoke!



My MG sci/fi sea novel, The Neptune Project, is set in a future where global warming is out of control and the oceans have risen to catastrophic levels. In the course of researching this story, I learned all sorts of downright frightening facts about climate change and the state of our oceans right now.

When I studied ocean rise, I was surprised to learn that the Waterworld scenario (where our land disappears completely after the ice caps melt and a very grumpy Kevin Costner appears with gills) just isn’t going to happen. If all the glaciers, the icecaps, and Greenland melt, the world would experience around 220-260 feet of ocean rise, period. But just thirty feet of ocean rise will flood 25% of the population of the eastern seaboard and make much of Florida disappear. Those are not great places to buy beach front property to pass on to your descendents! If you’re interested in seeing what parts of the world get submerged first, check out the ocean rise link on my website: www.pollyholyoke.com.

After Superstorm Sandy, Americans are finally waking up to the fact that our coastal cities are in peril. The practical Dutch, not exactly a hysterical bunch historically, are spending millions of euros trying to figure how they can live with the sea that is steadily encroaching on their low-lying country. Bangladesh, one of the poorest countries in the world, can’t afford to waste any funds, and its government is spending millions of dollars trying to figure out how to move 40% of its population inland because the sea is already destroying rice paddies and homes there every day. This is probably old news to lots of you, but I live in a state where many people literally won’t discuss climate change or allow their children to learn about it.

So, let’s do talk about climate change. Are we already past the tipping point? Scientists have tossed out various doomsday projections, but no one really knows the answer. It’s possible we’ll eventually figure out some way to scrub greenhouse gasses like methane and carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. But by then we probably will have triggered mass extinctions of all kinds of plants and animals. It certainly would far cheaper in terms of money and human misery and lives to address the problem now.

What can we do to prevent global warming? I’m sure you’ve heard these ways to reduce your carbon footprint before. Use less hot water, replace your light bulbs with incandescent bulbs, paint your roof white, invest in solar energy panels for your home or business, buy produce grown locally, buy less meat because feedlots and cow farts produce methane, and use public transportation and/or buy a more fuel efficient car.

Some of my research was encouraging. I learned our seas are full of fascinating creatures. Sharks are among the most successful and well-adapted predators on the planet. They’ve existed for 400 million years (compared to our paltry 2 million.) Like us, they are the apex predators in their environment. Unlike us, they don’t foul their habitat or consume more than they need. Perhaps we’ll be around in another 400 million years, but at the rate we are changing our climate and world, it will be a very hot, crowded swampy place.


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The Neptune Project - 
Polly Holyoke
Released: May, 2013
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion


Synopsis: Nere is one of a group of kids who have been genetically altered to survive in the ocean. These products of the "Neptune Project" are supposed to build a better future under the waves, safe from the terrible famines and wars and that rock the surface world.
But there some big challenges ahead of her: no one ever asked Nere if she wanted to be part of a science experiment; the other Neptune kids aren't exactly the friendliest bunch, and in order to reach the safe haven of the new Neptune colony, Nere and her fellow mutates must swim across hundreds of miles of dangerous ocean, relying on their wits, their loyal dolphins and one another to evade terrifying undersea creatures and a government that will stop at nothing to capture the Neptune kids... dead or alive.

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Claire Blennerhassett

Reader, Blogger

Twenty-something | book-blogger | tea-drinker | procrastinator | wannabe-writer | student

2 comments:

  1. very interesting. I love all the info on your website too. I will def be checking this out, sounds good! :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks! I spent alot of time on the website, and I'm pleased with the way it turned out. I hope kids will like it, too!

    ReplyDelete

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