Melting road: happiness in the age of climate change

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University of New Brunswick


A heat wave in Europe kills over a thousand a week and melts the sticky, black asphalt of the highway reststops. Neoliberal austerity and growing inequality beneath the banking towers of London signal the depths of late capitalism. This creative thesis is a travel novel narrated by an unemployed Canadian looking for direction in life after the economic recession. He visits the UK during the hottest summer on record in order to reconnect with his half-brother, who is squatting in empty investment properties in London. As they party on a low-budget and hitchhike across Europe, the narrator is exposed to political and ethical anti-establishment arguments and faces the question of whether or not willing participants in neoliberalism are culpable for its failures. Blocked at the UK border, the narrator retreats from injustice to a beach commune in Spain. In the end, he must reconcile the freedom of escaping neoliberalism with the responsibility of opposing it and decide for himself how to find happiness in the age of climate change.