Climate Of Change

Entry by: jaguar

3rd December 2015
The Last Fairy Tale

There is a company that talks of fighting climate change. Like it’s a battle worth risking, as if they have it under control. I sat in my disappearing homeland watching the plastic bottles they pushed on the world as they floated by, too close to my face. I wasn’t convinced the Ogre corporation were fighting the battle I wanted to win.

So now I’m working in one of their research laboratories. I had to leave my family behind on our submerging island but it was the only way I could find out for sure. Did these big dollar guys know what they were doing? Were they going to save us, or not even notice when we drowned?

I’ve got kids and when that happens all your focus on being OK in the here and now evaporates. You have to think about the long term. You’ve put a rung of a ladder down and you want that ladder to go all the way to the ground. I might never meet my great-grandkids but I have to leave a world they can live in. I want them to be able to grow up on the same island I did.

I feel like I’m in a real life fairy tale. My specialty is biochemistry and it all came from planting seeds. My parents really did sell their best cow to get me my airfare to the states but, first of all, I created such a plant the world took notice. It didn’t tower above the earth like Jack’s beanstalk. It went down and its roots spread so far they meshed the soil and found the deepest pockets of water.

I’ve taken Ogre’s bag of gold by being on their payroll and it’s become a golden hen that lays the same egg every month. It’s not enough for me though - I’ve turned as greedy and stupid as Jack. I want the golden harp. The tune I want it to play is reversal. I want this company’s laboratory to rescue my island from its fate and restore its future.

That conflicts with my other aim – killing Ogre. When I look at the scientific evidence I can clearly see my company’s output isn’t helping things. Right now we’re one of the contributory factors to a rubbish-tip of doom. I go round and round trying to work out how to get it all while I miss my children’s days like shedding skin. My relationships are dust at this distance. Every year there are hurricanes, tsunamis, flooding and erosion. It gets closer and closer to those I love.

I can’t remember how my kids sleep or the smell of my wife’s skin. They’re a blank for me, a missing sense. Then, on the news, the Arab spring flows back into winter. I know I have to act before the world gets more segregated by hate. I ask all my research colleagues to a meeting.

‘I come from the Maldives as many of you know. My island is going under. Do any of you have ideas about reversing climate change?’ They mutter at each other in small groups. I can see them shaking their heads and I don’t know if it’s my audacity or the impossibility of my appeal. My feelings sink even faster than my home. I’m as stupid as Jack and this is no fairy tale. I’m going to be banished with nothing at all.

The chairman’s wife coughed. She’s one of us, a working scientist, you wouldn’t know she was married to a billionaire but I still took a big risk inviting her. I probably won’t have a job tomorrow. All that stuff about golden eggs was a bit of an exaggeration. I can’t live for long on what I’ve made from this job. I should have thought about my family. Me being there day to day isn’t as important as me providing for them.

‘You know that plant you created – the drought-resistant one?,’ she asked as I nodded, ‘I’ve been working on that baby and it has other qualities too. It raises the soil up with its spreading roots. It literally adds inches to the land it’s planted on. How about we try it on your island?’

‘Thank you but it’s not enough,’ I said, ‘even if we raise the island it will go under eventually with the way we’re all living.’

‘No,’ she smiled, ‘my husband and all his fellow capitalist bosses have decided enough is enough. They’ll make no more plastic, convenience rubbish. They want to level the playing field so no one feels angry enough to kill. We’re all in this together. We’re going to make our shared world sustainable.’

The alarm went off and I woke up. The sky was a horrible colour, like sunburnt skin.