The Carbon Diaries is a young adult novel by Saci Lloyd. It is a novel about a year of a sixteen-year-old girl Laura as the world imposes carbon rationing at the edge of weather-related disasters. That’s why the novel is an example of Climate fiction. As a subtitle of the dystopia genre, Climate fiction focuses on climate changes, global warming and in general environmental problems. It is considered as “eco-dystopia” and being a subtitle to dystopia, environmental studies are concerned with the intermingling of nature and literature. The Carbon Diaries is a book that is written with ordinary and everyday language and the plot is derived from our everyday life. The defamiliarization technique provides the reader with a fresh perspective to have a chance to evaluate the scene. Yet, the world that is created in The Carbon Diaries is similar to our world, thus the reader does not need the defamiliarization technique. In the novel, the teenager point of view is utilized.
There is a new system that is applied by the government which is called carbon rationing and each person has a two hundred points limit for energy saving. To critically examine, the limitation in the points is that given, mirrors the limitation of individuals themselves. To exemplify, no matter how cold the weather is, if they are short of points, they cannot use the central heating, regardless of the cold weather of winter they have to eat ice cream not because they like it but they cannot heat their meals. Another point is the use of a carbon card to maintain life with two hundred points, similar to the system of credit cards. The use of carbon rationing affects the member of families and creates tension between them.
The other point that is examined in the novel is the smart meter a widespread technique that is applied all over Europe, which counts people which hardens the conditions of living. When the individuals exceed the carbon rationing system, they are warned by the Postman which can be considered as a totalitarian system’s functioning. On the one hand, the government built a new department called the Carbon Department which creates new rules to control the individuals. From an environmentalist perspective, the mass development of technology maliciously affects the seasons. For instance, in summer, the temperature increases massively thus people die. Even in England, the people cannot endure the massive heat. Similar to other aspects of carbon rationing, the shower time is limited to one minute per person. Another system that controls and determines the limitations of individuals is the water meter which determines and limits the amount of water that can be used by an individual. Lastly, Lora’s father sells his car in return for a few animals and tools that are an outcome of his survival instinct. To conclude, the atmosphere of the society, similar to the atmosphere itself is depressive which can be considered as an outcome of the carbon rationing system and the other systems.