Dire Warnings on the future State of our Planet reflected in my adventure novels.
“Civilisations are going to collapse and much of nature will be wiped out to extinction if humanity doesn't take urgent action on climate change” - Sir David Attenborough.
“We are clearly the last generation that can change the course of climate change, but we are also the first generation with its consequences” - Kristalina Georgieva, the CEO of the World Bank.
"Climate change is running faster than we are and we must catch up sooner rather than later, before it's too late. For many people, regions and even countries, this is already a matter of life and death” - United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
These are some of the headline statements from the UN’s Climate Convention held early this month (December 2018) in Katowice, Poland.
A daunting and foreboding view of the future!
But, climate change is already threatening the lifestyles in the extreme north of the planet. The Inuit communities are already being impacted by unprecedented seasonal weather changes, sea-ice instability and species migrations. Apart from affecting social, economical and environmental conditions across the Arctic it also has an impact on cultural factors such as the local knowledge system related to hunting and fishing practices. This is significantly contributing to the food insecurity of the Arctic people.
I am attempting to raise awareness about this and the other hugh challenges confronting us as a species living on Planet Earth, by publishing gritty adventure stories in the style of James Bond but with each having a background environmental concept such as the dis-connect between politicians and the people, the rapidly diminishing resource – water, and the melting of the Arctic permafrost. Entertainment and information all packaged together in a cocktail mix of adventurre fiction and dramatic truths.
The third novel, The Hwanung Solution features the melting of the ice in Siberia and Alaska, the release of ancient viruses as the ice melts, the new shipping routes being opened and the consequential rise in military and political interest in the area, a hunt for gold and a love story.
18th December 2018
Extreme adventurer captures audience at book launch.
To be pinned to the high altitude mountain face by ropes, with the summit of Everest in view and sharing the experience live in a “Skype in the Classroom” with children in 34 different countries, is simply mind blowing. Add to that accounts of having to encourage helicopter pilots to land on unstable ice during an expedition to both Poles and it was small wonder the audience at the Waterstones Birmingham launch of David Middleton’s latest novel were enthralled by the stories of adventurer Mark Wood.
Mark was a guest speaker at the launch of The Hwanung Solution, David Middleton’s latest Bond-like pacey adventure that is largely based in the Arctic and features the consequences of climate change. Whilst the book is a cocktail of fact and fiction, Mark’s accounts were of startlingly true events of tenacity and courage in extraordinary extreme conditions. But the overlap between the adventurer’s real escapades and the author’s fiction was very evident to the audience.
The Hwanung Solution has much fact within it – the melting of the permafrost; the opening of new sea routes as the ice melts; traditional lives being abandoned; mysterious holes appearing across Siberia; the release of ancient viruses as the ice melts – and more. Into this is weaved a story of greed, political ambition, love and sex, a hunt for gold – and more. The book completed a trilogy, The Final Shah Mat was based on the divide between politicians and the people while The Acionna Projects is about water, the most precious of natural resources.
Birmingham City University director, Beverley Nielsen, said a “great buzzing crowd assembled for the launch of David Middleton’s third book, The Hwanung Solution. David has a strong sense of our inherited privilege and the duties this should bring to ensure we pass on a rich legacy, but all packaged in fast-paced, gripping stories, grabbing head and heart, a rollercoaster ride right up to final punchline. But what made this different to most book launches was the cast of characters – Mark Wood, artic explorer whose feats of daring and philanthropy were a revelation. Paul Fisher gave evidence of the work of Water Aid in Africa transforming the lives of millions without the basic hygiene and facilities we take for granted.”
David Cole of SIG Limited said “Your amazing and informative PowerPoint of explanation along the way, as well as your journey through your working life and your connection with Mark Wood and Water Aid was exceptional.”
Artist Dee Manning said: “I learnt so much information. All the presentations were fascinating. I really enjoyed the evening!”
Energy and Sustainability Engineer, Jane Goodman of BSD Limited said: “The evening provoked a lot of discussion. Mark Wood’s talk was very alarming and I will be looking on Netflix to watch his film with my son asap. I have been reading quite a few reports on the Arctic and Antarctic rates of melt over the last few months. This is hopefully a sign that a greater number of comms are out there. I will certainly be sharing the messages of last night.”
Fizz Forbes said: “We all thought that Mark Wood was just the most inspirational person we’ve heard in years and, have had fun looking him up on the web for more info. And the very measured and frightening statistical talk by Paul. I knew water ‘things’ were pretty dire in certain parts of our world – but incredible those numerical facts for just one country and … a country not in constant conflict with itself or with others. Very, very sobering indeed.”
Paul Fisher from Water Aid also highlighted an issue we have known about for decades about how we have not managed to apportion the comparatively low funds needed to provide healthy standards for all. “For too long our leaders have been too reluctant to divert funds from military spending to prevent mass poverty and loss of life in developing countries.”
Birmingham based Middleton, a Fellow of the RSA, retired in 2014 after being an environmental and sustainable development advocate for 25 years. He was CEO of the UK branch of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development for 13 years. His books draw down from the knowledge and experience gained in that period.
The book launch also featured a presentation by Paul Fisher of Water Aid, recently returned from a fund raising cycle ride in Tanzania. A raffle run at the event raised nearly £120 for the charity.
Only 5% chance we will meet climate change targets
My third novel, The Hwanung Solution, published in November 2017 is all about climate change.
The following was published by ‘Edie’ on August 2nd.
“There is only a 5% chance that the Earth will avoid warming by at least 2C come the end of the century, according to new research that paints a sobering picture of the international effort to stem dangerous climate change. According to the University of Washington study, there is a 90% likelihood that temperatures will rise between 2C and 4.9C by 2100. Global trends in the economy, emissions and population growth make it extremely unlikely that the planet will remain below the 2C threshold set out in the Paris climate agreement in 2015, the study states.
The Paris accord, signed by 195 countries, commits to holding the average global temperature to “well below 2C” above pre-industrial levels and sets a more aspirational goal to limit warming to 1.5C. This latter target is barely plausible, the new research finds, with just a 1% chance that temperatures will rise by less than 1.5C.
“We’re closer to the margin than we think,” said Adrian Raftery, a University of Washington academic who led the research, published in Nature Climate Change. “If we want to avoid 2C, we have very little time left. The public should be very concerned.”
Climate Change! - it's here
Climate change is here! It’s not theory or malicious political fiction. Just ask those already impacted by it – such as the Inuit communities of the Arctic, those living on low lying islands in the Pacific, Cindy Lerner, Mayor of Pinecrest, a coastal suburb of Miami. The evidence is global.
I have now completed book 3 – The Hwanung Solution – which is all about climate change and the impact of melting permafrost on people’s lives; greed and lust for gold; a love story; shifts of political and military power as sea ice melts and opens up new sea routes.
The book is in its final edit while we also consider which route to go for publishing.
Is This Love? Olton. February 13th
“Is This Love” is the theme for another book reading event at the Happy Heart Café, Olton, Solihull West Midlands on 13th February. These splendidly informal events feature local authors – including me!
FREE to attend.
Let me know if you wish to.
Why I have written my books
Having spent the last two decades trying to get over my passion for global sustainable development and the serious environmental issues facing our world without a great deal of success I have turned to the world of fiction as a vehicle. I have written three 'Bond style' novels each a separate book but all containing the underlying themes of the problems facing us. Hope you enjoy them.
My fiction hits reality in California
Jan 2017 Me to Marcus Ruiz Evans, Board Chairman, Yes California Independence Movement
Sir - I am hugely interested in the Calexit initiative. I thought you might like to know that I pre-empted the reality of this in 2014 when I published my first novel, The Final Shah Mat which features a plot to entice California away from the United States. This reflected my long felt opinion that there is evidence across the planet that the rift between politicians and the people they are supposed to represent has reached serious and revolutionary heights.
Response from Marcus
Wow! Everything you predicted. Check out my speech. Matches your book thesis. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jUYRS3IE3Xc
Me to Marcus
Having visited the USA on many an occasion for business reasons it has often occurred to me that the difference between people in say California and those in Cleveland are as different as say people in Birmingham, the UK second largest city, and Thessaloniki, Greece’s second largest city. To assume they are so similar they can be governed by a central parliament is pure fantasy - or part of egotistical political empire building.
Marcus to me
I’m going to quote this
(extract from the Final Shah sent to Marcus)
The Vice President opened his brief case and took out some papers which he used to prompt his reply.
“Article IV, Section 3, Clause 1 of the Constitution says: "New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union but no new State shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or Parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress”. In my mind – and I have taken guidance on this – you could say that if Congress has the power to admit states to the Union and, further, has the power to create a state from an existing state or states with the permission of the state or states involved, then it follows that Congress has the power to remove a state from the Union with the permission of the state involved”.
“But Congress isn’t seeking to remove California from the Union” stressed the Governor. “We are”.
“Of course” continued Cheever. “But in the 10th Amendment it says "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."
Cheever looked up from his papers. “And that suggests there is clarity missing in the Constitution. It suggests to me that when a state is involved in something such as removal from the Union, if it has approved the idea of being out of the Union with its people, that ought to be sufficient”.
“So, what does that really mean” asked Masters.
“I think it means that if the Legislature of California asks to withdraw from the United States – and it has the proven will of the people behind it - Congress would have to approve, and a legal agreement between us and them would seal it”.
The Hwanung Solution - a 'test drive'
Why not 'test drive' the first three chapters of my latest novel. Simply click on the 'pdf file' below and you can then read.
Feedback would be most encouraging.
The Hwanung Solution is NOW in the process of being published and should be available in the early autumn.