On Flight Behavior

I’ve just finished Barbara Kingsolver’s Flight Behavior, a novel which tells the story of a woman trapped by a teenage pregnancy in a situation far below her intellectual capabilities.  For those of you who know Kingsolver’s work, it will be no surprise that her writing skills keep one glued to this excellent story.

What drew me to the novel, however, was its driving plot point, which is the fictional migration of monarch butterflies to a farm in southern Appalachia.  That’s something which has not happened, but very well could, as global warming runs its course.

The progress of a butterfly extinction event associated with Climate Change would more likely revolve around temperature change in their historic nesting place in Mexico, but a relocation attempt by the monarchs as their normal expectations of Mexican climate is driven to higher altitudes is not beyond all reasonability.

As an important part of the story-perhaps the most important part, from my point of view-the tension twixt environmentalists and Climate Change deniers is examined and illuminated.  The strength of Kingsolver’s microscope cannot be denied, and her writing is so superior to mine I dare not try to summarize it.

I found her rendition not only riveting but sympathetic to both sides while explaining the dysfunction of the situation and the importance of resolving this issue.

The main critique I have regarding the plot is, of course, that I found its resolution far too optimistic.  But so it is with all published works dealing even slightly with environmental issues.

I urge you all to read this excellent book.

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