This is the follow up to The Carbon Diaries 2015, where the UK had just introduced Carbon Rationing, and the entire country was having to deal with the impact of restrictions on their energy consumption and reduced natural resources (e.g. water), and Laura’s diary was that of a typical teenager with college, friends, boys and her band, alongside the changes to her day to day family life.
Society is not dealing well with the changes two years later. Laura is now studying at university in London while her parents have moved to a farm in Abingdon and her sister is working in Thailand. The government is failing, the right wing movement is growing as the number of immigrants has swollen the population and there aren’t enough jobs and resources to go around, the police are becoming more military and the general unrest between the various factions of the community is making daily life even farther removed from what Laura has known.
I loved the direction Lloyd took this second book in. She has really considered what might happen in the world she’s imagined in the not too distant future if the impact of global climate change follows a certain path, but rather than concentrating on the results of carbon rationing, she’s taking it that step further to look at the implications on the wider society, but always reining it back in to focus on the world of a single teenager and her immediate family and peer group.
I found it a gripping read, and unfortunately, it actually feels far too believable as a look at how a society could crumble in the face of an energy and water crisis.