Getting Over The Climate Change Wall
We’ve all hit it.
Maybe we don’t quite realize it, but we have. That sinking feeling that everything has all gone too far... too far to go back in any case, and that the ‘good’ life we have been enjoying has an expiry date. We have different reactions – for some, it’s full steam ahead. Until we hit it well and good and 'burn out'. For some, it is a longer crawl out of bed every morning. We try to make it familiar and talk about it like we discuss the trials of our sports teams – the latest bushfires, flash floods, reef bleaching, historic droughts.
‘Isn’t that climate change again?’
'Nah, bullshit, just a bad run of weather.’
'The dinosaurs had it worse'.
Of course, we don't really know what worse means.
Still, inside we all know. The Wall is there. We might not be able to see it, but part of us knows even when we willfully ignore it. It is there. And still, tomorrow comes, disaster looms only in small increments. Tomorrow with a capital ‘T’ changes only slowly, steadily becoming that much smaller... fewer possibilities. Like passengers on the Titanic, we pass the time idly just when we most need to pull together and change course.
This is the Climate Change Wall.
I first hit it in 1989 reading Al Gore’s debut book, ‘Earth In The Balance.’ The science was compelling even then, and a political consensus seemed to be developing. We still had time. Of course, 30 years later, that time has run out. We urgently need to go forward, but where is our destination?
The thing about Walls, they tend to block the view.
In 1997 it was clear to me the direction things were going, but there was that bloody big Wall in the way and the only direction seemed to be straight into it. I needed to see over it.
And so began my 20-year project writing the science fiction novel Ten Directions, set a century on the other side of the climate change Wall. My only assumption was that humanity had adapted and we had survived, were even thriving. Everything else was up for grabs. My passage to 2140 lasted 20 years, time dilating like on an interstellar voyage nearing the speed of light. I arrived in a remade Earth - in this time money is based on planetary repair, the CEO of one of the last multinational (and interplanetary) corporations has been exiled to the Moon, people’s loyalties are more to Networks than Nations, and religions have re-emerged with an ecological mandate. Even with all this change, we were still barely holding our necks above it, but we had met the challenge.
An unfamiliar Alien technology arrives via radio transmissions, offering potentially unlimited riches or spectacular doom. The Wall is still there. Getting past this newest iteration still depends on the best in us. We can still blow it. What will happen? I invite you to join me in enjoying the journey.
The thing about Walls... they have another side.