Although this was a long book and dragged in the beginning I liked reading the background info of the main characters, to see their beliefs, struggles, and passions. Unfortunately, after 7 books into the semester, I still don’t like the part of the stories that focus on the terminology of climate change (science was never my forte). One point that really stuck with me was when Charlie claims that it is “easier to destroy the world than to change capitalism even one little bit”. Robinson’s strong distaste for politics and corporate/capitalistic greed is shown through Charlie. Charlie’s frustration with how Senator Phil Chase and the rest of the United States Government’s refusal to make any real changes on environmental policies, even when climate disaster were directly affecting them.
I liked that the setting was placed in Washington D.C., because I think Robinson’s intention was to tell them (politicians) that it will affect them too. All the dirty politics and backdoor deals affect the larger group and should go beyond money and power. I appreciated that Robinson a male author, shared both the financial and family burdens, it’s a reality that most families are obligated to manage. I thought it was cute how the couple’s professions were rooted in the same cause. Also I found the attention Robinson gave to Anne and Charlie’s children was important, because they signify the future, and that they will have to deal with climate change effects more than their parents.
“The Dalai Lama, when asked what surprised him most about humanity, answered ‘Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices his money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die and then dies having never really lived’” Although this quote does not mention climate change or the government, it reminds me of this story. In our society we are concerned with financing a luxurious lifestyle, unworried about the environmental and health fears that we pay. He explains this is a cycle and in the end our hard work is damaging.