StoneChild – Kevin Albin

“We are a very interesting species and we live on the most beautiful planet. Having been privileged to see an awful lot of it, let’s preserve it and win it back.” Kevin Albin

The voices advocating for a more sustainable planet are ever increasing and rightly so. People are becoming more aware of the consequences of climate change and their responsibility towards protecting the environment. There are numerous strands attached to this course and one of them is using the art of writing to spread the message. Our guest today, Kevin Albin is one such voice and says that people need to be more aware of the realities of the situation if they are to be empowered to act.

Kevin Albin was a police officer in the UK for 25 years during which he served on a tactical firearms team and worked as a hostage negotiator. He then retrained as an International Mountain Leader and has worked around the globe guiding on trekking trips and leading expeditions in conservation. In 2011, he won the bronze in the World Guide Awards. Being unable to travel and work overseas during the pandemic, he wrote and published an Eco-fiction novel, Stonechild, where the statues of London come to life with a message on saving the planet. He currently lives in France.

In today’s episode, our guest will discuss his book and the inspiration to write it. He will also talk about the issue of climate change and what he believes can be done to begin to address it.

Listen in!

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  • As a writer, you want to stimulate people’s emotions and if someone can’t sleep or put your book down, that is something that we look for. [3:21]
  • ‘Stonechild’ is a mixed bag because it is what we call a bit of eco-fiction, something to do with our social society, the government, the pulling down of statues, slavery, and racism. [3:38]
  • It is also ‘ripping yarn’ as it has been described. It has got a bit of humor in it and certainly, it has got a pace. [4:30]
  • We have all looked, prayed to, talked to, or touched a statue, and have at some point imagined if maybe a statue could live, what would it say? [5:52]
  • I was working in London one day and I just pictured the royal tank regiment memorial statue in London coming to life and talking to me [6:06]
  • A thought struck me and I wondered why they would come to life, and I concluded that it is because we are in a crisis that is much more serious than the pandemic we’re living through which is climate change. [6:36]
  • So they could come to life saying that we have to take note and take action rapidly and that was the motivation for my book. [7:07]
  • I warmed to Molly as a character and any author will tell that you’ll know yourself as the character grows on you. [9:24]
  • I liked Molly a lot in that she wasn’t black or white but she did see the gray in between, and she did question those things and was prepared to listen to other people in their points of view. [9:39]
  • She has some prejudice against statues and why we build them which fuels her to doubt them and question what appears to be their message. [9:55]
  • I wanted the reader to question whether or not statues are bad, whether they can attack people, and for what reason because part of reading the book is for you to form your own opinions [10:17]
  • Statues is a huge topic at the current moment and it deserves to be talked about but in fact, what deserves to be talked about is the crisis of climate change because those are the things that are going to make a difference for everyone. [12:23]
  • Commercial Break [13:17]
  • The science world is struggling to convince the people that they have the power and that they’re the ones that can change things. [16:15]
  • If I was trying to identify the biggest problem that we have at the moment, and the one that we really should tackle, that is our use of fossil fuels. [16:50]
  • We can tackle it as individuals, certainly but it needs to be a systemic change where we need to completely change the way we live our lives and the use of fossil fuels. [17:11]
  • The fossil fuel industry is vast and they are very protective understandably because they employed many people and have vast amounts of money tied up into the industry that they don’t want to give up. [17:24]
  • We need a way to bring the industry on board and not see it as ‘them’ versus ‘us’. [18:21]
  • A very common thought process is that of ‘they’re not doing it so why should we?’ But in fact, it should be the reverse and say ‘we should do it because they won’t have any choice but to follow [20:38]
  • There is a momentum whereby some scientists now are beginning to learn to talk not only to scientists or to governments but also to the people in social media which is very good. [21:27]
  • Fossil fuels, climate change, and global warming are all intrinsically linked and we have to find ways to stop it rapidly and we can. [21:55]
  • The plastic industry was the one that created recycling and it was never going to be viable so there is some deceit there. [24:36]
  • We can’t go from not being aware of what’s going on to we are doing it perfectly, there has to be a transition between the two. [25:28]
  • We need to make those individual choices but at the same time, we need to be pressurizing governments, countries, and organizations to be greener. [26:47]
  • What people don’t seem to be talking about is that we have a crisis here and in any crisis, a huge amount of money is made just simply from innovation and the new inventions that come out of it. [27:04]
  • Here is a golden opportunity for economies to capitalize on the innovation of being green. [27:21]
  • There is a huge number of projects going ahead and they are not perhaps widely publicized, but there are a lot of people doing a lot of good. [29:29]
  • We are the most intelligent species in the entire universe and have done a lot of creative things and so we can solve this issue, we just have to have a mind to unite and work together. [29:40]
  • The greatest thing that we could all do is just be informed be and there are some very good books and sites. [32:26]
  • We tend to look for greater power than ourselves and that’s only natural. [35:42]
  • This is where we stand at the moment and we are still evolving and that should give us the enthusiasm to choose to evolve in the right direction. [36:07]
  • We do have time and we do have the capacity and the capability of changing things. [36:39]
  • We are a very interesting species and we live on the most beautiful planet and having been privileged to see an awful lot of it, let’s preserve it and win it back. [38:11]
  • We know that when we do those things, when we’re part of nature and looking after the environment and after each other, we feel good about ourselves. [38:31]


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