In one of those funny coincidences that occasionally beset you I have just managed to read two consecutive novels both dealing the ever so cheery topic of the apocalypse.
The first was Douglas Coupland's Girlfriend in a Coma, his 1998 fantasy about a 17 year-old girl who slips into a coma in 1979 and wakes up years later to warn her friends of impending doom.
The apocalypse that follows sees the world succumb to a surreal pandemic where everyone simply falls asleep, never to wake up, until the only people left alive are the girl's boyfriend, small band of school friends, her teenage daughter who she gave birth to while in the coma, oh and the ghost of their dead classmate - bear with me here it really is a very fine read.
All the tropes familiar to anyone who has read a Coupland novel are present and correct: an appalled fascination with modernity and technology, an obsession with a group of young friends, a love of memorable one liners and a fiercely questioning agnosticism.
The apocalypse is ultimately a metaphorical one, highlighting the spiritual vacuum that afflicts the modern world - a world which the waking coma victim believes has gone dark.
However, while the end of the world may be fantastical in nature the scenes of the small group of friends coping in a city stripped of human presence offers a compelling reminder of the fragility of civilisation.
It is this concept that is taken to its chilling extreme in the second novel, Cormac McCarthy's The Road.
It tells the post apocalyptic story of a father and son travelling across a "cauterised terrain", "a cold illucid world" stripped of all life except for occasional lone travellers and terrifying bands of cannibalistic bandits.
The novel has already been hailed as a masterpiece by environmentalists, including George Monbiot who called it "the most important environmental book ever written" – he has a point.
What McCarthy's haunting, apparently post nuclear, landsape shows us is what will likely happen in the event of the biosphere collapsing. As Monbiot observes, "his thought experiment exposes the one terrible fact to which our technological hubris blinds us: our dependence on biological production remains absolute".
So why draw your attention to all this on a business blog?
Well, besides that fact that The Road is a genuine full blown masterpiece, the kind of which you want to tell everyone about, it also highlights the full scale of the climate change risks we all face and the fragility of the societies we have built.
The world The Road imagines is necessarily extreme, but the scientific consensus is convinced that milder versions of it are heading our way unless urgent action is taken.
It always seems heartless to point out that business suffers in regions devastated by starvation, drought or flooding given that people suffer far more. But it is also a useful way for stimulating action.
The Great Depression had its roots in the dust bowl and the collapse of the midwest's ecosystem and it is a precedent all firms should take to heart. None of the many companies currently investing in India want to see their money wasted in the event of the monsoon being disrupted and the country succumbing to drought. None of the firms ploughing cash into China will want to see a vicious fight for resources between China and Russia to its north, particularly when both have the ability to turn nuclear warheads on each other – in short, if the biosphere suffers, business suffers.
Countless UN and government reports, including a new study this week from defence think tank the Royal United Services Institute, have now warned that climate change and its associated natural disasters and migrations represent the greatest security threat the world faces, but still this message is not getting through to business leaders and policy makers.
Perhaps Mccarthy's The Road can succeed where the scientists have failed and make it plain what the collapse of the biosphere really means. And if it does then the book also contains a second message for our leaders in its representation of the father and son protagonist and their compelling hope, ingenuity, and burning desire to survive.
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