The author says he had wanted to write about climate change for a long time, but, like many frustrated journalists today, just couldn't find the right angle.
"I couldn't see a way in. A subject so weighted with moral and political value is not helpful to a novel. I couldn't see a way of making it come alive."McEwan's idea-bulb finally lit up while he was in the arctic for a meeting between artists and scientists. He says he was inspired by the juxtaposition of the idealistic evening discussion and the "chaos of the equipment room."
Politically, he remains "baffled" by the exaggerations of those who would like to paint the East Anglia email situation as a game-changing scandal, but his book research did end up changing his views on nuclear power.
"We just don't have anything else that can run our cities on a windless night in February." Better nuclear energy than coal, he said. "It is rare that virtue and necessity collide. Sooner or later we're going to have to find a new energy source for mankind."Preferably sooner. Stay tuned.