This is fiction. But tomorrow, it may not be.
Musk wasn’t happy. Koch wasn’t happy. Bezos was livid.
Their businesses had ground to a halt. The peasants were revolting. Worse still, the scientists and engineers refused to do their work. This was unacceptable.
Musk and Koch and Bezos called their Congressmen, their Senators, and their Presidents. Nearly all of those guys belonged to them, both parties. And not only in the United States. Through PACS and other lightly camouflaged entities, these billionaires and a few others like them controlled governments and policies.
The usual threats went out. And calls for patriotism. Phony nonsense about how “we’re all in this together.” Pep talks. This had always worked before. But not now. Could it be that obedience and fear has a shelf life, and that time is over? But it had ALWAYS been this way! How could this change?
Sure, the storms and heatwaves and floods and shortages had gotten worse. These things happen. But we’re supposed to just roll up our sleeves, patch it all up and keep going. It’s the American Way.
Crises, Real and Imagined
Scientists and engineers and workers weren’t interested in the fake crisis. They didn’t feel like being obedient to foolish billionaires and their pals. They didn’t feel like producing useless widgets that end up in landfills to further enrich people who were already obscenely rich. Scientists and engineers didn’t care about the projects of rich people. They were interested in the planet they live on and the creatures that live on it.
The few thousand rich fools could do whatever they want. Which wouldn’t be much because they are mostly old and weak and incompetent. But…whatever.
Orders Went Out
Shoot to kill was the order. THIS was a desperate situation. Everything, well almost everything, had ground to a halt.
National governments, still obedient to their financial sponsors, gave the orders to shoot. Their police and military would fire into the rebellious protesting crowds. But there were no such crowds. There were just empty shop floors, empty offices, Zoom calls unanswered. There were no leaders to round up, no scapegoats to vilify. There was no visible enemy.
No private rockets were launched. Amazon warehouses were pretty quiet, with the occasional robot stirring to pack a product for shipping. But nobody was driving trucks, so nothing was delivered.
There wasn’t really an active resistance. A law enforcement official on the street would be greeted by a young person, who would put a daisy into the barrel of that officer’s machine gun.
For the powerful decision-makers, this wasn’t working out.
Only Useful Work Being Done
Food was still being produced. Energy, at least clean energy, was being generated. People had a lot of time and no money when they didn’t waste time doing STUPID work. Most people helped each other. They socialized. They wrote stories, drew pictures and played. Children and adults seemed…happy.
Oh, there were still problems. Although C02 emissions declined due to the end of unproductive work, the results of generations of climate abuse continued. The Earth seemed angry and hostile. And had every right to be.
So scientists and engineers worked to assist. Lowered “productivity” (of useless crap) was a step in the right direction but not nearly good enough. People did meaningful work— for free and NOT for anyone’s profit — to reduce carbon emissions and remove toxins from the environment. At a large scale.
This was difficult but important work. And a much better use of people’s time than what they had been doing. People, for the first time in years, felt connected to each other. There was feeling of camaraderie.
Of course, that wasn’t universal. The wealthy few and their ideological allies were pretty damn grumpy. But no sane people cared. You can’t save people from themselves.
We Didn’t Ask You
Eventually there was a bit of discussion in social media. Essentially, the majority answered the charges of treason, of being communists, of being lazy and irresponsible with a few short words: “We didn’t ask you.”
In essence, the wealthy and their allies had lost all credibility. And therefore their power and influence. They had failed catastrophically to address the climate crisis, instead focusing on their own personal wealth and power. Nobody cared about their wealth and power. People cared about the decreasing habitability of the Earth, and what would happen to their children.
Sanity had broken out.
For some, it seemed like human nature itself was broken. Where was the greed, the fear, the anger? Where was hostility? And especially, where was the selfishness? Hey, nobody was even venting against the “leaders” who brought on the climate emergency.
It’s like they were interested in fixing the problem, and not the blame. The old guard had lost not only power, but they had lost attention as well. Nobody was paying attention to them. They weren’t masters of the universe anymore. Just people. Just people who were out of touch.
Galileo Was Right
Those who had faith in the ideology of greed and power were left behind. Reality had established a grip and most people now embrace reality. This is the only way to make things better — not to fight or deny reality, but to embrace it and work within its confines.
This wasn’t the world of political ideology anymore. This has become a world of reality, of science, of experimentation and learning and action. This is Galileo’s world. This world won’t be saved from an armchair or behind a keyboard. We will save the world by going into it and confronting our challenges directly.
Mistakes were made and are still sometimes made. This isn’t easy and success isn’t guaranteed. But it’s a fresh start, and people are taking real action. People CARE. It may or may not be too late. But the human race is trying. We will either succeed in rescuing and repairing the Earth, or fail.
But we are trying. And that, in itself, is wonderful.