A few blog posts ago, I posted a short story of the ”cli-fi” kind, titled “The Warming Sickness,” and the feedback was both pro and con. I said at the time that the story is perhaps the most important climate fiction short story one will ever read in the 21st century. Was I exaggerating?
I created it after a 10-year process of studying the issues, observing media reactions to global warming and ”sampling” world literature. Is it hopeful? You decide. And your reactions are, of course, most welcome.
Someone asked me: ”Mr Bloom, after reading this story, one must ask: Are you optimistic about humankind’s future?”
I answered as best I could this way: ”Rationally I understand just how bad things are, and how much worse they’re likely to get. I also believe it’s vital to face the future by accepting that the problems we face in terms of runaway global warming and climate change are insoluble. Does that make me a pessimist? That makes me a realist.”
”But at the same time, I don’t expect things to get real bad right away, and not for another 30 generations, about 500 more years.”
”So there’s plenty of time to take action and help future generations learn to prepare to accept their fate and to learn to lie down in medically-prepared mass suicide rituals. Sounds bizarre, I know, but think about it. When the time comes in 500 years, like the characters in my short story Bernie and Sylvia – in this short story that I ‘sampled’ from a novel published in the 20th Century — such things might very well happen.”
”I’m not a political scientist or an anthropologist or a New York Times ’climate desk’ reporter. I’m a prophet, a modern day Jeremiah kind of prophet and I’m not hearing the voice of any God or gods. I’m hearing the voice of death, 25 billion deaths in the year 2500, happening and taking place over the four corners of the Earth and on all seven continents. I’m speaking out with empathy for future generations. Won’t you add your voice to mine?”
”We are facing the end of humankind in 30 more generations. Think about it. Don’t gloss over this. We must help our descendants and their descendants prepare. That’s all that I’m about: Speaking up and speaking out to those hapless souls who will come after us…in the distant future….until…there is not one human being left on Earth.”
“Only the nonhuman will abide. Not us.”
“We did this to ourselves, unwittingly in many cases and wittingly in others, fueled by greed and selfishness. We strayed from the mythical Garden of Eden. And this fate that awaits us all is our comeuppance.”
“Hear me out. I’m not crazy and I’m not joking. I am speaking truth to future.”