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A Bright New Author Offers Her Take On Global Warming

Nuclear engineer, musician, and author E. A. Smiroldo is also a dedicated environmentalist and humorist. In her first book, The Silent Count, she makes use of actual science. It combines drama inspired by real-world events with her arcane knowledge, to produce a dark and dry satire on government stasis. She is a resident of Washington, DC, and has seen firsthand how politics taints and distorts people’s perceptions of what is good and what is wrong.

What is the synopsis of the new novel?

Dara Bouldin creates a strategy to stop climate change. It involves removing certain mountain formations. There is just one issue: nobody at her federal agency cares enough to read her proposal.

She works for a federal agency, and they are hardly aware of her. She is devastated when her long standing engagement is broken off like a twig from a dead branch.

While she’s stuck paying for her ex-musician Jericho, who is swiftly ascending the charts with his new track, pay her father’s gambling debts and education obligations. Dara gets thrust into the heart of a dangerous situation before she realizes it.

She never imagined how her discoveries would become so disastrous in the worldwide struggle. Beyond that would be a spoiler alert.

How did she get the idea for this story?

She began forming her idea for the novel several years ago, when she ran across some articles in old science journals that advocated removing several major mountain ranges with nuclear bombs in order to let the monsoon rains sweep through desert plains to water large currently unfertile areas in South America and Africa. 

While she is quick to state that she in no way endorses such a crazy way to change the environment, the concept of removing barriers to atmospheric moisture intrigued her no end. After several years of research on her own, and in consultation with geological and environmental scientists around the world, she began forming a theory about how extreme terraforming might alleviate the current global warming crisis.

Her work as a federal government employee gave her some keen insight into how the whole democratic process works – or doesn’t work. She says she uses that knowledge in her book to indicate how difficult new ideas are to sell to a bureaucracy unless you have the ear of the right person.

Her protagonist does not have that kind of an in, so even though her plan to safely avert the coming global warming catastrophe is scientifically provable and available, she is ignored and finally branded a crackpot. 

Is there any truth in your fictional story?

Smiroldo is quite certain that this kind of thing is actually happening right now in the United States federal government – that individuals with great ideas for instigating vital change are going unnoticed and unrewarded, forcing them out of the federal government into the private sector where their initiative is much more appreciated. 

Of course, since she wanted this to be a novel and not a dry essay, she had to spice things up with a hot boyfriend for Bouldin – one that is both a ‘bad boy’ and a talented, sensitive artist.

She thinks the novel, her first, gives a fair idea of how she feels about being a woman and a scientist in a world that still sees men as the only ‘real’ people capable of intelligent research and discovery.

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