The Year of the Bad Decision, by Charles Sobczak. Indigo Press. 352 pages. $16.95.
The premise of this frightening novel is that man’s activities do impact climate change – particularly global warming – on an enormous scale. Over time, the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will raise the earth’s temperature beyond a level that will support human and most other life forms. CO2 will also deaden the seas. Tracing the accelerating changes out thirty years from today, Mr. Sobczak imagines the stages leading to inevitable doom and the bright idea that is meant to reverse the deadly process.
Scientist Warren Randolf has carefully studied the plan to save the planet. It involves dotting the atmosphere with tiny mirrors to reflect light (and thus heat) back toward its source, cooling the earth to an inhabitable level. Meanwhile, CO2 scrubbers will cleanse the atmosphere. These mirrors are designed to self-destruct before the cooling goes too far. Warren discovers that there is a flaw in the system’s design: the self-destruction of the mirrors will not occur.
It’s Robert Frost’s “Fire and Ice” revisited.
Man’s recklessness since the dawn of the industrial revolution has created one disaster; his proud determination to correct the situation has created another. No one heeds Warren’s warning. They can’t believe his maverick viewpoint is correct.
Sanibel author Charles Sobczak mixes narrative, dialogue, and action to help readers understand a future of severe crop failures that can result either from the increase in CO2 or from the shrunken growing seasons resulting from blocking the sun’s rays. Worldwide hunger is the consequence of either petroleum industry greed or Green regulation miscalculation. Chaos and depravity seem assured.
Acting on his understanding of what’s coming, Warren Randolph moves from Chicago to Bozeman, Montana and sets up a survivalist compound on the outskirts of the town. He employs a “runner” to bring invitations to a handful of friends and accumulates a large hoard of foodstuffs and other supplies to last through the several years until the normal seasonal cycles are expected to return.
The day to day, season to season, and year to year lives of those in the Bozeman compound and those in other situations (government scientists and officials in particular)are given credible detail. The greatest capital is food, and the greatest future capital is seed. Though seeds stored by Warren are stolen when his compound’s larder is raided, there is a chance they can be replaced by seeds surreptitiously brought from a regional seed bank. . . .
To read this review in its entirety, as it appears in the March 20, 2013 Fort Myers Florida Weekly and the March 21 Naples and Bonita Springs editions, click here Florida Weekly – Sobczak 1 and here Florida Weekly – Sobczak 2