Slightly hopeful fiction

Photo credit: Pixabay, inactive account

Well, the truth is, I feel like a bit of a hypocrite. Because I encourage it, but I won’t actually do it.

I know that things are only THIINGS, but still. I can’t even write notes in the margins of books. And folding down corners to mark my place is unthinkable. Yeah, they’re just paper and you can still read them after a little wear and tear. But I can’t.

So, if I can’t do THAT, you know I can’t key an SUV. Even though I can — and do — promote exactly that. And more.

These ideas aren’t even my own. I don’t have the imagination, but — on the other hand — I do know a good idea when I hear a one. So, I heard one and started making noise and coined the hashtag #moffo which, as you know, stands for “make fossil fuels obsolete.”

Nobody ever paid attention to any of my rants before. It’s a noisy world and on social media, which is where everything seems to happen nowadays, only big shot “influencers” get attention. Plus I don’t have social media accounts on the main platforms. I lost interest and patience and stopped ranting. I can’t stand vacuous arguments — they are a waste of time, and if our world is going to be destroyed by climate apocalypse, I want to LIVE the time I have left.

So although I post comments on the few (nominally) social media accounts I have left — Medium and LinkedIn — I mostly go about my life, doing remote work and making sketches. I take walks. I look up at the sky which, where I am, is not full of noxious smoke. Yet. I walk through pocket parks with trees that are still sucking up carbon dioxide and exhaling oxygen. They’re not on fire. Yet. I’m petting stranger’s dogs. I’m letting my mind wander and watch random thoughts come and go.

That’s life for now.

But other people have picked up on #moffo. Was it me? Or was the time just right? Had people finally looked up? Did they just decide to finally act, to make things happen instead of merely waiting and hoping?

For awhile, I’d read books describing how serious the coming climate apocalypse will be. Depressing. And I’d read about how to fix things — mostly slashing use of fossil fuels and accelerating solar and wind power. Maybe nuclear, too. Or not. All that was obvious and doable, but it didn’t matter because in the real world nothing was being done.

The abuse of the Earth was still accelerating. For all the talk, for all the ideas, for all the brilliant new technologies for safer substitutes, more and more oil is being extracted and burned, and the decision makers are determined to pump it out and profit from every last drop. All their talk about stopping the crisis is, as Greta puts it, is “blah, blah, blah.”

I tried being nice. I wrote to business leaders in the oil industry, to billionaires, to politicians, explaining to them what they already know: climate apocalypse will kill their own grandchildren. And if those grandchildren somehow survive, they will never forgive their grandparents. You must reverse course. Now.

But those people with influence and power, though they are smart, are also selectively unimaginably stupid. They can’t see what they know. They make excuses. They change the subject. And, of course, they ignore me.

Persuasion was out. And I hate violence more than anything. But pipelines? I don’t give a crap about pipelines. So, I read this book, How to Blow Up a Pipeline by Andreas Malm. He’d been involved with climate activists and saw that the only tactics that got meaningful results was selectively damaging property and making fossil fuels less profitable. He worked with some others to key SUVs and, in that area, SUV sales plummeted. Yeah, he didn’t like damaging personal property — his group and even copycats left notes explaining why they did it and that they were sorry it was necessary — but this group understood that it was the only way forward.

Now, these and similar actions — including blowing up pipelines — are common worldwide. The response — massive police action, arrests, vilification in the press…well, all that happened. Predictably.

What wasn’t predictable were the notes. Yeah, they use the hashtag #moffo. But they also use pictures and names. “For my grandniece Eileen. With love. This is for you and your beautiful planet. Grandma.”

Yes. It’s not just activists anymore. It’s ordinary people. Let me tell you, it looks really bad to set the police on grandma. Or 12 year old children. Or minorities. Or the disabled. So, yeah, the police response and the political posturing has been very strong. But it’s weakening the old guard. They look downright evil.

Nobody knows how it’ll turn out. I don’t know what will happen next. The guy with the rifle pointed at me doesn’t know either. He thinks I’m scared. “This is all your doing,” he yells. It’s not but I don’t argue with people who can’t listen. Not on social media and not here on my own lawn.

“Stop being scared,” I say, just to say it. “What’s happening will help you, and your loved ones. And future generations.” His finger tightens on the trigger, but he’s thinking things over. Whatever. I’ve done my part. I just hope he doesn’t damage my books.



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