Booker Prize-winning author Ian McEwan waxes poetic on climate change

From 35,000 feet above the earth’s surface, you can see awe-inspiring views of vast, open spaces. Unless, that is, you’re flying over spots like Mexico City and Beijing, in which case you’ll see “a great rim of grime — as though detached from an unwashed bathtub,” as British novelist Ian McEwan puts it. In a piece first published on, which is hosting an interactive global discussion on climate change, the author of Saturday, Atonement, and Enduring Love ponders what we should do with these images once back on solid ground, and how we can face up to the complexities of climate change.