The Carbon Diaries, 2015

By: 

Saci Lloyd

Number of Pages: 

330

Minimum grade level: 

7th

After the Great Storm hit London, everyone was, like, “It’s 2015 already. Stop global warming now!” So the government volunteered Britain to become the first guinea pig for carbon rationing. Meaning only 200 carbon points a month. Meaning stereo or PC for two hours a day, five minute showers only, and you’ve got to make a choice between the hair dryer and the microwave. No more mangos, no more nights out at a club, and definitely no more weekend trips to Ibiza. Laura’s just trying to make things stay normal, whatever that is. Her mum can’t drive her car, her dad’s job at the tourism bureau is all washed up, and her sister Kim is selling points on the black market. As Laura’s whole family goes twisted, she focuses on her nu-punk band, and hopes Ravi (dead gorgeous and just next door) will notice her. Blackouts, looting, fuel shortages, water shortages, carbon offender class, torturous family retreats to the Wolf Medicine Workshops, and another giant storm on the way. Laura’s diary tells all in Carbon Diaries 2015 by Saci Lloyd.

Discussion questions

Spoiler alert! Some of the questions contain key elements of the plot. Do not read if you don't want to know what happens!

  1. Do you think carbon rationing is possible in the near future? What would it look like?
  2. Laura has to make choices about what are the most important things to spend her carbon points on. What choices would you make?
  3. The family starts out polarized in the first chapter as they work out their luxury items. How do they become more polarized as living conditions decline? What advice would you give them to help fix their broken relationships?
  4. How is Kim’s involvement with Tracey Leader and selling carbon points on the black market similar to drug dealing?
  5. After a cholera epidemic breaks out, Gwen Parry-Jones says they are living in third-world country. What makes a third world country? How do natural disasters contribute to the feeling of living in one?
  6. Laura experiences many typical teenage emotions, but also feels she has been robbed of her teenage years. How is this conflict revealed? At what point does Laura begin to discover her inner power?
  7. Kim refuses to open her ration card because she sees it as a symbol of her lost youth. Why would she see it that way? Would you see it that way if you had to ration energy?
  8. Kim and Laura have very different personalities and very different responses to rationing. Discuss.
  9. Why does Laura say the energy crisis is about greed? How does panic buying create a greater crisis?

If you liked this book, try

  • The Carbon Diaries 2017 by Saci Lloyd
  • The Declaration by Gemma Malley
  • Life as We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer
  • An Inconvenient Truth by Al Gore
  • Exodus by Julie Bertanga
  • Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan