Top positive review
18 people found this helpful
A brilliant, thought-provoking and timely look into an all-too-possible future scenario.
on 29 November 2008
The Carbon Diaries are based on a fascinating premise - that a switch from twenty-first century lives (cars, mobiles, laptops, foreign holidays, rampant consumerism etc.) to an austere restriction on each individual's carbon footprint takes place on an arbitrary date (1/1/2015) in a drastic attempt to stop global warming and its building consequences. Already European winters are longer and more bitter, whilst summer temperatures and droughts cause different but equally terrible problems for society.
Aimed at teenagers, the tale of 17 year old school-girl and spare-time band-member Laura, and her increasingly dysfunctional family, is told through diary entries that are both amusing yet haunting. The book is generally light-hearted and many entries are very funny as her parents crack up, as she tries to help the elderly gentleman next door and so on. However, it is disconcerting for the reader to realise how very quickly today's society could slide into something very different indeed if, for example, life-threatening flooding and other freak weather conditions become more commonplace so that water and electricity become unreliable or scare resources.
While the cover is appropriately austere, fitting perfectly with a green message and "back to basics" outlook, combined with its similarly plain title this book looks rather like a governmental treatise or academic study which is a shame. I would never have noticed it on the shelf if my friendly and helpful local bookseller hadn't personally recommended it. I'm just very glad they did - and, on buying, so will you be.