Stanley Johnson releases new ecological thriller The Warming
- Credit: Edwin Smet & Author/PA
What if Captain Scott unknowingly discovered a mineral that could solve climate change? That's the premise of the latest novel by Boris Johnson's father, Stanley.
The book is billed as a "pulse-pounding adventure" which bolts between the South American jungle, Amsterdam, the Falkland Islands and Antarctica.
The Warming follows journalist Charles Hodson who is on the trail of his missing brother in the Brazilian rainforest. The personal rescue mission becomes something much more terrifying when Charles uncovers evidence of a global conspiracy surrounding a large deposit of a rare substance: a mineral that could solve the planet's climate-change crisis.
The former MEP and author of 25 books was inspired to write The Warming from a trip he took in January 1984 with the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) aboard the RRS John Biscoe.
During his time in Antarctica, Stanley, who lives in Queen's Park, said he felt the “presence of great Antarctic heroes”, particularly Captain Robert Scott.
Prior to his death in 1912, Scott pulled back about 40lbs of geological samples on his sledge. Stanley was interested in the idea that “somehow Scott, unbeknownst to him, brought back from the polar regions this substance which is going to prove to be the salvation of humankind”.
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Stanley said: “It is vital we find we find systems of absorbing carbon gases from the atmosphere. One the very plausible possibilities is that you might find some substance which – if you are able to introduce it into the waters of the southern oceans – might actually increase the carbon absorption.”
Despite Stanley’s lifelong interest in environmental issues, he points out that an ecological thriller cannot “get away from the human element”.
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He said: “I want readers to take away: 'Is this a jolly good read?' That is particularly what one is aiming at. You are aiming to entertain.”
Stanley has joined the Conservative Environment Network (CEN) as its new ‘International Ambassador’ and a member of its Steering Committee. He will use the role to champion ambitious international action on climate change and biodiversity loss, as well as working with CEN to build new global targets for net zero greenhouse emissions.
On the appointment he said: “I am delighted to be joining CEN in this critical year for the environment.
“As host of the COP26 summit in Glasgow, the UK should be trying to get the nations of the world on a path to net-zero emissions by 2050."
The Warming is out now (The Black Spring Press Group).