Author Gayle C. Krause discusses how the environment inspired the world building behind her book, RATGIRL: Song of the Viper, and offers ways we can better our environment and teach our communities to do the same.
The sweltering temperatures this past week of 90-99 sent most of us scurrying to air-conditioned buildings or cooling centers, or, at the very least, to a swimming pool or a river/lake. And it was still spring. We haven’t reached the dog days of summer yet. Can you imagine if there was no power to run those cooling systems and the temperature was triple digits, everyday? What if the rivers were mere streams and lakes nothing more than mud puddles? You’d die, unless you were driven to the only place where the suffocating temperatures and deadly rays of the sun would not get you….underground.
And that’s exactly where Jax Stone and her ragtag band of friends are forced to live.
Let’s jump to RATGIRL’s future, 2511, to be exact.
Six of the seven continents suffer extreme drought and intense temperatures. The rich, the only ones who could afford the exorbitant costs of escaping the hell on earth have fled to the New Continent. Actually, it’s the 7th continent we all know. But the same increase in temperatures that fried the rest of the world has melted the polar ice caps of Antarctica and revealed a fertile land beneath the ice. It’s a good thing, too, because the world relies on their advanced agricultural system to feed the remaining world population.
Colt Conrad, pilot for the international Air Care-a-van, the company that delivers fresh foods to the other continents, meets the strong-willed Jax Stone and soon realizes he knows who she is. Her grandmother and his grandfather were two of the four founders of the ECOS, an environmental group started two generations before to help save the earth from global warming.
When Sylvannis Culpepper took over the reigns as mayor, he cut power to the electrical grid for the rest of Metro City, keeping the bulk of energy for himself and his White Labs. He lives above ground in a climate controlled mansion. The greenhouse gases released from his laboratory poison what’s left of the city’s river and contribute to global warming.
While others rely on Colt’s food deliveries, Jax forages the woods outside the city for sustainable wild foods like acorns, clover, cattails and dandelions. Humans can withstand 2 hours of sunlight a day, one at dawn and one at dusk, therefore they live in abandoned sewer tunnels, subway stations, and the catacombs beneath the monastery by day. Of course, the city’s rats already claim these places as their own and when they begin to attack the people for invading their space, people die of diseased rat bites.
I’m sure no one wants to live in sewer tunnels with rats, so what could you do now, in 2013, that will prevent the life I just described from RATGIRL: Song of the Viper?
Here are some simple things everyone can do to curtail the release of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping “greenhouse” gases in the atmosphere. Our individual efforts are especially significant in countries like the US and Canada, where individuals release over 10,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per person every year.
1. Change the light bulbs in your home from incandescent to compact florescent.
2. Recycle more and buy recycled products. (Make a compost pile for organic scraps to reduce garbage)
3. Walk or ride a bike to local destinations rather than driving. (Better for your health too)
4. Drink tap water, not bottled water. (plastic bottles pollute the environment)
5. Buy fresh food from local farms and dairies. (Food transportation is one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions.)
6. Grow your own vegetables/herbs in your yard, on your patio, or on your windowsill.
7. Reduce lawn size so it doesn’t need to be cut with a power lawn mower. (emits 10-12 times as much hydrocarbon as a typical auto. A weed-eater emits 21 times more and a leaf blower 34 times more)
8. Better yet, let natural ground cover grow around your home (ivy, pachysandra, forget-me-nots)
9. Unplug electronic devices when not in use.
Making energy conservation a part of our daily awareness is essential to the goal of reducing global warming.
So once you read RATGIRL: Song of the Viper, start that herb garden, put air in your bike tires, and unplug your computer when you don’t use it. Maybe then the real Jax Stone won’t be forced to live in sewer tunnels with the rats.
Enter to win an ecopy of RATGIRL: Song of the Viper over on the I HEART YA page!