Gaia Trilogy #1
The near future. Climate change and geopolitical tension have given rise to a new international threat – a world war for water. This most vital of resources has become a precious commodity and some will stop at nothing to control its flow.
When a satellite disappears over Iceland, Sim Atkins thinks he knows why. He is given the chance to join the hallowed Overseas Division and hunt for the terrorists responsible. But his new partner Freda Brightwell is aggrieved to be stuck with a rookie on such a deadly mission.
Freda’s misgivings are well founded when their first assignment ends in disaster – a bomb destroys a valuable airship and those responsible evade capture. Seeking redemption, the British agents follow the trail to a billionaires’ tax haven in the middle of the Atlantic ocean and uncover a web of deceit that threatens global war. Whom can they trust?
As the world edges ever closer to destruction Sim and Freda must put their lives on the line to prevent Armageddon – and protect the future of ‘blue gold’.
A River Runs Through It
I was really pleased, and simultaneously saddened, to see The One Show feature a piece on our disappearing rivers this week. (You can look it up on the BBC iplayer, around 18 minutes into the 9th October episode.) Several rivers in this country, especially chalk rivers in the South East, have either dried up completely or slowed to a level where the quality of water becomes difficult to sustain fish. Climate change – prolonged periods of dry conditions – is partly to blame. But large increases in population have also been a major factor. Groundwater levels have declined because there are too many humans washing, eating and drinking as much as we like.
There’s a chalk river near my father-in-law’s home and we often walk its peaceful banks. We’ve spotted a water vole there and if the weather is nice, we’ve even been known to take a dip in our undies! This particular river has escaped the worst effects because it’s in a relatively sparsely populated area. Next time we visit, I will cherish our walk even more, knowing of the unfortunate state of other rivers in the area.
Blue Gold is a thriller set in the near future during a world war for water. When I first thought of this idea for a story, at least 8 years ago now, it seemed like something that could happen in the 2030s to other parts of the world. Droughts in California or Australia seemed likely, but not here in the UK. Just like the melting of the polar ice caps, our science-based predictions about climate change are not proving to be exaggerated like climate deniers would believe, but too cautious.
I’ve given several talks already about the economics and science behind water shortages. Most examples of what’s going wrong refer to places like Asia where population pressure, economic development and climate change are felt even more acutely than here. It’s sad to think that I can start including British examples in my presentation slides.
But there are things we, collectively, can do to look after precious water supplies. The technology behind desalination plants – making salty seawater drinkable – is improving all the time. Even machines that can condense water vapour from the air are being made for use in the driest parts of the world. We can conserve water better, by fitting greywater systems to homes, by repairing our drains or by being less precious about green lawns and using our sprinklers less often. We can demand stricter regulations about the pollution of
rivers (particularly a problem in Asia), but since we’re happy to buy very cheap clothes, paint and other polluting products from these parts of the world, we can’t feel too pious about the quality of our own rivers.
I suspect we, as a species, will need a grand wake-up call to start conserving water resources on a bigger scale. That wake-up call might simply be a huge increase in the price we pay for water. Or it could be the sort of conflict I write about in Blue Gold. That’s an excellent setting for two British Agents to go on a daring mission, but it’s also a future I hope we never get to see.
Thank you, David Barker and Love Books Group Tours.
About the author
David lives in Berkshire and is married to an author of children’s picture books, with a daughter who loves stories. His working life has been spent in the City, first for the Bank of England and now as Chief Economist for an international fund. So his job entails trying to predict the future all the time. David’s writing ambitions received a major boost after he attended the Faber Academy six-month course in 2014 and he still meets up with his inspirational fellow students. He loves reading, especially adventure stories, sci-fi and military history. Outside of family life, his other interests include tennis, golf and surfing.
website : https://davidbarkerauthor.co.uk/
Amazon : https://amzn.to/2IbAGUT