I have been studying the science of global warming with a passion since the late 1970s and earned a degree in Environmental Science in 1992.
One Last Breath: A Look Back at 200 Years of Global Warming is a compelling novella that fits into an increasingly popular genre known as climate fiction. This genre is a natural extension of science fiction with stories that focus to one degree or another on the climate crisis and how it will play out in the future.
One Last Breath is also considered a hard science fiction story since it was written with concern for scientific accuracy and logic in terms of how the climate crisis could unfold in the future. The story is compelling, romantic, and highly educational in nature, as great care is given to explaining the history of climate science, the causes of global warming, and how the current impact of global warming could be extrapolated into the future.
The story revolves around the life of a Canadian individual named Scott Stevens who is raised by his global warming-denying grandfather. Scott comes of age in the middle of the 21st century as the effects of global warming on the planet grow undeniably worse. The reader experiences future global warming through Scott and his wife Sarah as the conditions on Earth worsen, and humans desperately try to address the problem using human engineering prowess.
The setting of the book varies, as the story takes place in many places around the world to capture the worldwide nature of the developing climate crisis and the various impacts of global warming on Earth and its inhabitants. Although it has a global focus, the majority of the story takes place in western Canada, where the main characters, Scott and Sarah, live their lives and endure the ups and downs of climate change and mankind’s efforts to address the climate crisis. The story details increasingly dramatic climate events that unfold through the latter half of the 21st century into the early part of the 22nd century as well as human efforts to engineer a solution to the unfolding crisis.
Educational Benefits of Reading One Last Breath
Besides being an entertaining story that provides an interesting peek into the author’s vision of the future, not only in regard to climate change but also general technological advancements, the educational aspects of the novella make it a worthwhile read for anyone trying to understand the history and science of climate change and why scientists are concerned about future global warming.
The story delves into the history of climate science, going all the way back to the early 1800s when scientists were trying to figure out how ice ages occurred. It then includes a thorough summary of how climate science developed from those early years through the 20th century and into the 21st century. It also explains how the greenhouse effect warms the Earth and how gasses such as carbon dioxide and methane are contributing to global warming.
The story also weaves in an assessment of potential geoengineering solutions that could be implemented to potentially head off and reverse global warming. This assessment includes some of the challenges and problems associated with various geoengineering solutions.
Essentially, the reader gets the full view of climate change and global warming from the beginning of scientific inquiry into climate science all the way to how the climate crisis might eventually be solved by mankind in future decades. The fact that the story is set in the future as the effects of climate change unfold in the later 21st and early 22nd centuries make it especially interesting for those that wonder how global warming might eventually play out. Perhaps the story’s greatest strength is that upon completion, the reader will have a greater understanding of the climate crisis, how it became a crisis, and its possible solutions.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 John Coviello
fran rooks from Toledo, Ohio on April 26, 2020:
I will definitely read this book! It is crucial to attempt to stop destroying our planet. I don't understand how anyone could dispute climate change.
John Coviello (author) from New Jersey on April 11, 2020:
Thanks, Liz. So far, the feedback I've gotten is that it is an interesting book to read. I weaved in a lot of history regarding climate science research, explanations regarding how global warming works, and some educated guesses regarding where things are heading and why. I think anyone will find it stimulating. Enjoy!
Liz Westwood from UK on April 10, 2020:
This sounds like an interesting book to read during lockdown.