Dr. Rick Van Noy: RU Professor Writes Climate Change Novel

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By: Wesley Wallace | wwallace5@radford.edu

Dr. Rick Van Noy, an English professor at Radford University, discusses the importance of climate change and how it impacts the American South in his latest novel, Sudden Spring. 

The book highlights individual stories of people who are becoming more climate-resilient within their southern communities.

Dr. Noy spoke about his writing process for Sudden Spring, “I would take these trips during Summer or Spring break, and I would come back to my office and transcribe my field notes and recorded conversations until I could gather a story.”

He continued, “After one of my classes, I went to Norfolk, and it was raining buckets. When talking with people, I learned about Rain Bombs and saw westerly winds push water into the streets, which caused people to get stranded from the boat ramps.”

When asked about the significance of climate change in 2020, Dr. Noy said, “It’s getting to be more of an issue all the time, when I first started Sudden Spring, it wasn’t as urgent because in 2016 it wasn’t even mentioned in the Presidential debates.”

He continued, “I can’t imagine not talking about climate change, especially with some of the most recent natural disasters, like hurricanes and floods. I think seventy-percent of Americans now acknowledge that climate change is real and that it’s caused by humans.”

Dr. Noy gave his opinion on the efforts made by millennials to combat climate change by stating, “I think millennials are doing a great job. The efforts made by Greta Thunberg and the global climate strike show that millennials understand the urgency of climate change a little bit more than people who are older because it will affect their futures.”

Dr. Noy expounded upon his statement by saying, “I think young people aren’t as fatalistic, or cynical as older people. Sometimes there’s pressure to do individual things like recycling or not using plastic straws, but it’s important for people to vote on laws and become more involved in government policy.”

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Photo Credit: (Hailey Scherer | The Tartan)

Featured Image: Dr. Rick Van Noy