It is not evil that undoes the world, but small errors prompting tiny weaknesses - let's not call them dishonesty - gathering in rivulets, then cascades of consequences . . . We will not rescue the Earth from our own depredations until we understand ourselves a little more, even if we accept that we can never really change our natures.Ian McEwan talks to James Button in the Age about becoming a more public figure and about his next novel which addresses global warming and grew out of a journey he made in 2005 with a group of scientists and artists to the Svalbard archipelago in the Arctic to observe a melting glacier. (I actually caught a programme about this trip on the BBC last year and it was so nice to see Ian on the ice.)
Noticing the tendency of expedition members to nick items of kit from others in the boot-room of the ship and the rows and chaos that ensued, McEwan began to muse about human nature and the fate of the Earth. And that provided the starting point for the fiction.