New visitors to the chronicles from the future may first wish to visit the past, by reading the earlier hologramletters. (see the older listings on the right, go to the bottom and click the link to the earlier hologramletters)
The heat radiating from and on the windows seemed as if it would melt the glass. Summer in Perth, had once been a time to go out onto the beaches and enjoy the sun, the water and the afternoon sea breeze. They had called it the Fremantle Doctor as it would bring welcome relief on a hot summer’s day.
NOTE The following is an adaptation from the soon to be released book ‘Letters From 2030’. To register interest on its release, or to order a copy email Bob Williamson via this link.
He remembered back to 2005 when he noticed the first effects of global warming. He had stopped his summer sunbathing around the family swimming pool where he lived back then. There was a discernable bite to the sun, even on a spring day when temperatures were pleasant. An extra sharpness that penetrated the skin could be felt from the sun. In those times there was only an additional 1 watt per square meter of thermal warming on the planet. Here in 2030 it was well past 2 watts and now that scientific monitoring no longer took place, it may have been even higher.
They gave little thought to these impacts back then, but the gradual rise had taken its toll on the parched soil, that had long since given up its carbon content adding yet one more positive feedback, to global warming. Billions more tonnes released into what he had coined in the book ‘The Sky Bank Carbon Account’. One more tipping point reached and then breached. Just one more outcome of mans folly.
He had left the monitors on today, as his photovoltaic cells were gladly accepting full charge. What a luxury given freely by the sun. Ironic, he thought, that with mans tampering of the natural balance, this free solar energy would lead the world to where it was now.
The panel lights flickered and Anthony’s greeting also warmed him.
So, how does it go for you today? I hope you’re making progress on your power cells.
Things are starting to come together here. Thanks to you, Katey has come around. Now don’t get me wrong, we still have several issues of contention, but at least we can talk through them and her input is proving invaluable when it comes to making decisions. She’s quite possibly the smartest person I have ever met, and I’m sure this proves cumbersome to her at times. Why, having to deal with me is why?
I have been thinking a lot lately Bob, who should be left in charge when something happens to me. (A temporary successor until an election can be held.) After all, we are fortunate to have made it this far, you and I. What bothers me most is that there seems to be nobody who can straddle the opposing viewpoints of the group, no one who possesses the diplomatic ethos to elicit artful compromise. I may have to start some mandatory classes in conflict resolution. In fact, it is a good idea; you make for a great sounding board. LOL
People! How they frustrate me. This morning, however, at breakfast I lost it. The silence that filled that room amazed me. I couldn’t help myself Bob. Some people even now fail to comprehend what happened! Among The Others is a woman whose idea of work must have been dictating responsibilities to her staff. This in and of itself does not bother me. What gets under my skin is her constant yammering and carrying on at breakfast about her dreams! Once again, this morning, she was expounding upon what must be her favorite reflection into the past. She was wishing somehow that things would return too ‘normal,’ so she could return to her mountaintop cabin in Colorado. She has gone on and on about this log mansion with its twenty-seven rooms, three bathrooms, two kitchens and the carefully landscaped terraced hillside, where her staff worked to keep everything picture perfect. Apparently from listening to her, it was just her daughter and she that used this home. Yet the staff, who were allegedly housed in rather small cabins out of sight and out of mind, stayed there the year round maintaining everything. They even had a helicopter pad to bring in supplies. I guess the only other way in and out was a rather precipitous climb. I asked her once if the power supply was independent of the grid, or how they managed to run the place. Giggling she said, “Of course not silly, my husband was a hedge fund manager for a conglomerate of energy companies. We had lines ran up the mountain from the Denver Power Company. You could see the path straight down the mountain through the tree-line.”
Needless to say Bob, I don’t hang around this woman much. I lost it this morning, like I said. Throwing my coffee cup against the wall, I started yelling and screaming at her asking her if she failed to realize that it was blind self-serving indulgent fools, such as her and her husband, who created this current world she found herself in. Actually that was probably the nicest thing I said. I guess I went on for about ten minutes. At the end of which I just stood there glaring at her, as she stammered trying to find something to say. She started to cry, spun around and went running from the galley. Of course everyone was looking at me like I was a demon monster. Seriously although, I am amazed that even now, after having survived and lived through this nightmare, there are still people that will not acknowledge their part in the destruction of our species and the chaos we have caused within the cyclical patterns of Mother Earth.
I tell you Bob at times I envy you, alone in the solitude of the wastelands. You should be here and I there. You were always the one that preferred to be out in front. The one to mingle and mix with society. I on the other hand, had retreated from society shortly after the turn of the century, perfectly content to work the land and spend time in the river bottoms. Storing up my memories of them as I knew the landscape was about to change. I highly doubt now that the Iowa River carries a stream for the entire season. Has any of the timber managed to survive, doubtful? For several years every season I was blessed as foxes would make their dens in relative close proximity to my home. It was wonderful to see kit foxes playing in a pasture by their den, or out in the woods scampering over the landscape. Why, I ask you, why with all the voices that had awakened, why did humanity continue to plunder this planet for its own selfish comforts? We knew, and several writers cried forth alarms across the globe. The scientists of course knew first, they presented their findings, spoke until they were blue in the face. Some of them even lost it and could be found in the hollowed halls of our great civility, screaming at our pre-posthumous leaders to take immediate action. Yet, in the namesake of greed and complacency, in the shameful feckless fear of the status quo, they let the sixth great extinction event, manmade; roll unheeded without ever seriously attempting to stem the flow. How many species are now extinct? Back in 2009 they had predicted one-third would disappear unless we changed our course. This was based upon information that wasn’t up to par with the reality of what was happening. I’m just guessing of course, but it wouldn’t surprise me if we lost 80 percent of the higher life forms on the planet.
Yes, Rosa could bring up satellite imagery and let me see what the environs of my home look like. I would rather not witness that. In the stillness of sleepless nights and in the restless dreams I have, it is to my home and those river bottoms that I travel in my mind. Upon that old deck by the house and out in the orchard I walk and visit with family, friends and loved ones from the past; odd how the distance of time changes the reality of life. Now, I seem, too always win the debates standing there beside the garden, under the shade of the pear trees. It is through the faded memories of our past that we transform the tortured experiences of our lives into the cherished memories of the golden years. We forget the heat, the mosquitoes, the quarrels we had with friends and foes alike as they become conversations of civil discourse. I cherish these misconstrued recalls. They ground me in my current reality. I wonder although, with so few people left, does the past, through guilt, regret, or remorse drive many of the marauders in our collective mist to strike out upon the remnants of humanity?
So, I left the galley this morning and went down to Vicky’s lab, escaping from everyone else to tell you the truth. Hardly anyone comes into her lab, as she will go on and on about genetic sequences when you are there. With the exception of Katey and Rosa, no one here has a clue what she is talking about. I am sure it makes people feel uncomfortable, and well, stupid. I grew accustomed in life to being a latter day renaissance man, a poor example of a real one I might add. I found the state of the American educational system from the 1990's on, so sad. It was almost as if they were intentionally trying to create a society that lacked the ability to engage in critical thought. I became so irritated at times with so-called specialists, experts in their own field; however, without a diversity of knowledge they failed to apply their craft in an ethical/judicious manner. Yes, I was and still am bitter.
So anyway, there I was ranting and carrying on as Vicky was running tests. Occasionally she would throw in a ‘huh-huh, yep’, or ‘oh so true.’ Mainly I was there to vent. I didn’t really think she was actually listening to me, as when I respond like that I’m not paying attention to people. After getting myself all worked up again, over losing it on that poor woman, I ended up ranting about the Sixth Great Extinction Event. I was practically foaming why, why, why? She was looking at a display from an electron microscope or something and simply pointed to the wall. Gazing over there I saw a new quote she had posted. I loved the old one. I have to relay that to you first. Something I wish our members of society would’ve taken to heart. “I rarely ever quote; the reason is, I always think,” Thomas Paine.
The new quote she had up was from a book I had read four times. It was a great escape, a classic, and the time period was intriguing. So from War and Peace, Leo Nikolaevich Tolstoi.
“In historical events great men – so called – are but the labels that serve to give a name to an event, and like labels, they have the last possible connection with the event itself. Every action of theirs, that seems to them an act of their own free will, is in an historical sense not free will at all, but in bondage to the whole course of previous history, and predestined from all eternity.”
With predestination a pillar of the Christian faith, I began to wonder about our little botanist! She anticipated my thoughts although, as I find many in the sci-squad are ahead of me, leading my thinking to conclusions or at least to avenues of reflective thought. You really have to admire and respect an intelligent woman, a weakness of mine. She said, “Leaving aside the concepts of free will and predestination, we have arrived at this point in human history. Despite the noble actions of so many voices/activists, group think carried mankind to this point of near extinction. In fact, I believe we are an endangered species, who may not survive long in the new epoch. Now is not the time to ponder why, now is the time for action.”
I thanked her, wrote down the quote and jotted down her words as well. I present them as a quote to you, although it is really just a paraphrased comment. I have been pondering upon the closing words in that quote. “...but in bondage to the whole course of previous history, and predestined from all eternity.” It makes me reflect upon Plato’s Timaeus and Critias, his depiction of the great city of Atlantis, echoed forth from the Academy. Are we somehow the new Atlantis, a replay of mankind’s foolish errors? Will the new epoch create a toxic brew of atmosphere that will retrograde our species sentient abilities, delude us of our mental capacity and regress us to tribal memories? Also, will this be better or worse than the marauders? I have no idea what the future will bring. Vicky however, with very few words has pushed me toward a new dedication. I will find and/or cultivate a new leader. Someone who, when I am ready to step down, will have the ability to play Kennedy, Kissinger, FDR and Theodore Roosevelt all in one.
I’m off to find the good Rev. Ted. It is about time. I have to have a little chat with this man. It’s scary, this role of leadership that the tides of life have thrust upon me. Most of my life was spent as a spectator of humanity making commentary upon the ebbing flows. Now, I question myself daily and cannot show it to those around me. I find myself at times being doctorial in nature, rationalizing that desperate times deserve desperate measures and remembering that absolute power corrupts absolutely. I did not ask for this, nor do I want it. We stand upon the cusp of a Brave New World, wish I had a copy of that book right about now, along with 1984.
Stay safe, and stay wise my friend.Winging it as always.Anthony.
LOL, I was once told “Anthony” meant fortress of faith. Oh when did I lose mine?
................There were deeper insights into Anthony’s thoughts than he had previously relayed. He was becoming more philosophical and reflective on the past, and on the future. He was becoming more resigned to his and the collective destiny of man that was now irreversible.
Anthony was, Bob thought, quite wrong about one thing...... he was indeed where he wanted to be...... alone.
He stepped back from the screen, and as if wanting to have Anthony hear his words but not, he said out loud:
“Anthony my friend, we are where we were destined to be, long ago. Too many others had made that choice no longer ours. For me though my friend, the time that I wanted to embrace the company of man, the close interaction with others, or the openness of direct contact has long since past.
Anthony, I was blessed as many never were, by sharing my life with a soul mate and kindred spirit. How fortunate I was and how much now is gone; makes this, the right place for me to be; alone. With your newfound understanding, I think, should I speak these feelings to you, you would understand. But Anthony; even though I speak them here to you now, where you cannot hear them, they will never be uttered to another living soul. The only one that can now hear the words of my heart... the only one who will hear them is...... my soul mate.”