British novelist Ian McEwan reported on September 11, 2001: “From Brooklyn Heights, we saw lower Manhattan disappear into dust.” He returned to “the Democratic heartland of lower Manhattan” to watch the election of Barack Obama and wrote about it for the Wall Street Journal.
But sentiment turned quickly to a call for action on climate change – a subject McEwan addresses in his current novel in progress. He writes in the WSJ essay about American research into solar and wind power and concludes:
“Barack Obama may succeed in tipping the nations toward a low-carbon future simply because people think he can … He [Obama] is invested with more symbolism – or renewal, of rationality – than his slight frame can bear. But having persuaded everybody else, he may be doubly persuaded himself.”