Hello Greens and Interested Readers. In a few paragraphs following this introduction I have begun a story that may seem too dark, bleak and frightening to contemplate ever actually happening. I certainly hope this story is far more pessimistic than need be. The purpose is to present a scenario where Green values continue to be used as a cover by the status quo to carry on with activities that have taken us to the brink of a climate catastrophe. The message I am hoping for is that we must vote for genuine Greens at every level of government starting right now. The title indicates that this is part 1 of a series. I’m sure there is a great deal more to say, however, part 2 may, or may not materialize.
This story has not been authorized or in any way endorsed by the Green Party and in publishing this story I do it as an individual not as a representative of the Green Party. It is a work of fiction only that came directly from my imagination.
A Survivor’s Tale: (part 1)
I’m old and tired and expect to be dead soon. I can’t tell you how old I am because I lost track long ago, but I’m older than most because I remember life in the Old Era, before the heat came. It’s not as though the heat surprised us by just arriving one day out of the blue. There were warnings of what might happen if we, and when I say “we” I mean everyone on the planet, didn’t change our ways. But we didn’t really change anything much. Those warnings were given a lot of attention by the media, and by politicians, and by lots concerned citizens, but for the most part the warnings were ignored. And now we live with the consequences. There are very few of us left who were there before the Old Era ended and know why we are living in this deadly new world. Before I die I want to tell that story.
They say that in 2016, the Old Era year of my birth, the threat of global warming was very real but the biggest news was about terrorism, wars and politics. Only an occasional story was about climate change to explain why particularly destructive natural disasters were happening more often. It was already well known at that time that human activity was the cause of a steadily warming world but the majority of the populations didn’t want to stop doing what they were doing even if they knew it was adding to the problem. And, year after year the Earth grew a bit hotter, and that was the root cause of storms, forest fires, and flooding that became more frequent and more destructive. As a child I couldn’t help but accept those disasters as the natural way the Earth behaved. Maybe others did too, but my parents, their friends and some of my schoolteachers made sure that I knew things were going very wrong with the climate.
My parents, they were different. They were doing a lot to reduce their effect on the environment, and they were politically active with a group called The Green Party. This was a small political party at that time with only a little influence in government but my parents were sure this political party had the right policies in place to make a positive difference. I’m convinced that given half a chance, the Greens could’ve gone a long way toward slowing the warming of the planet.
By the time I was old enough to grasp the immediate danger of climate change, I was old enough to grasp the importance of Green Party policies. I could not understand why everyone else did not see that this was the party to be running the country, and the world for that matter, if we really wanted to preserve most of what was left of the natural world including the human species. Of course, this did not happen until it was much too late.
The word then was that scientific innovation would solve the climate change problem. Eventually though, even the most ardent industrialist realized that technology was not going to save us from ourselves because it was just adding to the problem. The impossibility of zero emissions manufacturing was not widely known because this was hidden like a state secret from the public by industry and governments alike. But they did create a whole lot of jobs, and to everyone’s delight the economy was boosted, but at the same time a great deal of earth-warming gases were produced under the banner of the fight against climate change. One focus of production was on clean, renewable energy because the way of life at that time demanded so much power, mostly in the form of electricity. The clean energy was not producing enough so the old, highly polluting power-generating plants couldn’t be abandoned anyway. One thing I remember clearly at the end of the Old Era was that rechargeable, battery-operated cars were promoted and subsidized by manufacturers and governments and were on the roads by the thousands. They drew plenty of power from the electrical grid. I know because I owned one. On top of that, the list of energy-eating technology at that time was very long indeed.
In 2037 I was 21 years old, freshly graduated from university and ready to save the world. But this was not to be. It was the year the heat came.
For a decade or so before that, greenhouse gases had risen to levels that guaranteed drastic change for at least the next 100 years. The ominous 2˚C rise in average world temperature, a tipping-point temperature rise that should never have been allowed to happen, had happened and was growing annually. Not surprisingly, the Green Party became quite popular as natural disasters increased. Having The Green Party as official opposition in parliament and being on track to form the next government meant there was some hope for the future. This is when the country and most of the world adopted Green Party policies. I say policies because the old, established parties that had been in power throughout our history, and had done little to stop the warming, were quick to make promises that sounded a lot like Green party policies. For this, they were elected once again. Unfortunately their green policies were watered down versions that were put into practice in such a halfhearted way they did little to reverse the very real problem of a warming world.
The heat came and it stayed. I was miserable because I never did function well in the heat. Glaciers all around the world retreated and just disappeared, super-sized storms raged all around us. Life for humans had really changed for the worse. Some areas of the planet became blazing hot deserts where nothing could survive. In other areas, torrential downpours and high waters submerged entire towns forever. It was the beginning of the end of the Old Era, the beginning of a new world of disorder.
Mike Sorci, Guelph, ON.