Book review

Gaia Conspiracy: The Last Days of Homo Rapiens
2010 / 377 pages

With any press exposure to thinking people, Don Richardson’s Gaia Conspiracy—The Last Days of Homo Rapiens should be a bestseller.  Exposure to non-thinking people will make them thinkers. Though this is a work of fiction, the facts, discussions and enlightenments brought out make this an especially valuable book that all of our citizens should read. Our nation, and the whole world,  are in dire peril. Political corruption of our governments, destruction of our environment, pollution of the land, sea and air and economic inequality brought about by the greed of the 1% through their corporations are leading us to total destruction. Most scientists and thinking Americans realize and acknowledge the forces of climate change are putting human life and the planet at grave risk. Business and government leaders ignore the facts and continue on their quest for wealth and power. They do not give a thought to the perils faced by humankind all over the globe.

The book

A group of Americans of varying backgrounds and education embark on a canoe trip in Alaska. It is their desire to experience its beauty and wilderness before global warming brings about its destruction. Their guide is a sincere and knowledgeable American who dominates the narrative on climate change.

Richardson introduces each of those who have applied for the trip by way of an interview. In this manner he can decide the merits of each applicant and their affinity for group cohesion. The author’s use of the interview is an effective way of giving the reader insight into each of the characters.

The guide is sincere in his belief that climate change presents a real threat to all life. He provides narrative on the subject while the group takes a rest break each day and in the evenings when they stop for the night. The group members add their own opinions and feelings to the narrative. These narratives are written in a direct style, which are easily understood and  initiate further discussion.

The author’s examination of the events of 9/11 and the causes of global warming are right on and demand some kind of response. As the days pass, the group members develop close relationships and they begin to feel that something must be done about climate change.

The decisions they eventually make will not be what the reader might expect. Although this is a work of fiction, one may be disturbed by the group’s actions.  I expect readers will undergo some soul searching on the ethical implications.

Richardson’s characters decide they want to share their lives with each other. Other decisions they make carry a huge risk to their lives. The tension mounts as they decide on who and what. Their actions come like a bolt out of the blue rejecting a logical or an expected development. But in the context of the story and of our times, the measures taken carry entirely different associations. The seemingly ghastly events disturb the balance of emotions and thought.

Through the discussions by the characters in this book one becomes aware of the total disaster with which we are confronted. They create a wake-up call for all responsible people in the world in order to bring attention to the late hour. They set out, at great personal risk, to make selected abusers pay a personal price for their crimes against humanity and Mother Earth and to serve as a warning to others. Change their ways or they will no longer need the great wealth that they have accumulated.

The book is excellent entertainment as well as waking people up to the problems we face. Talking and petitions can no longer be depended upon to bring results fast enough. This is a book that all concerned citizens should read. We all need to take personal responsibility to do what we can to bring corrective change, even if it is just to wake people up. We can no longer wait for Joe to do it. We must take action, too, even if what we do is not quite as dramatic.

J. Glenn Evans is a founder of PoetsWest and Activists for a Better World, hosts PoetsWest at KSER 90.7FM, a nationally syndicated weekly radio show, and is author of four books of poetry: Deadly Mistress, Window in the Sky, Seattle Poems and Buffalo Tracks, author of three novels, with The Last Lumber Baron as a works in process. Evans has been a resident of Olympia since December 2014.

Copyleft 2016