Sunday, May 12, 2013

Revelation 22:12–14, 16–17, 20–21; John 17:20–26

Barbara Kingsolver explores the dystopic effects of climate change in Flight Behavior, a novel about a family and community struggling through the rainiest winter in memory. Sheep farmer Dellarobia Turnbow lives on a wooded hill that unexpectedly becomes the winter hibernation grounds for millions of monarch butterflies when weather chaos disrupts the species’ normal migration pattern.

Scientist Ovid Byron arrives to study the phenomenon and sees a dire future for the species: “I am a doctor of natural systems,” he says. “And this looks terminal to me.”

At first Dellarobia disagrees and is fascinated by the beauty of the scene. “I just can’t see it being all that bad,” she says. But by the end of the novel Dellarobia understands the science of climate change and realizes that the presence of butterflies on her hill means that she is in effect living on a different planet.


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