Our Future With Climate Change, A Story

How climate change is going to shape the future political landscape of the world?

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Walking down the ochre dust covered asphalt at the edge of the city, a young girl stared at the patterns scrawled on the ground by the dry wind. The only sounds that could be heard were of the rusting of the dry leaves which slipped off the sickly branches which could no longer hold onto them, and the squeaking of her wheeled board. Teetering with 3 empty 20 litre water bottles, it lurched behind her as she tugged on it with frayed ropes strapped to her shoulders. Despite the streets being lined with houses, not a whisper betrayed their occupants. None had much reason to venture out anymore. All the homes had lost their battle to the dust which had glued itself to the miserly walls. Despite the vague difference in shapes, the monotonous khaki made them melt into the ground upon which their stood.

However beneath the unrelenting curtain of dust, there were words tacked to walls which were yet to fade away. Screams of protest from people desperate for their voices to be heard. As she crawled along the familiar path, her eyes fell on the ones she always acknowledged. The ones which had begun to be ravaged by time.

“YOU’RE BURNING OUR FUTURE!”

An unearthly creak echoed in her skull as one of the wheels struck a pebble she forgot to kick away.

“THERE IS NO PLANET B.”

The whisper of the wind seemed to turn into incessant wailing as she continued to read the melancholic messages.

“SAVE OUR ONLY HOME.”

As always, she recalled the old grainy photos her parents had stored away amongst their precious belongings. Anything and everything that could have been pawned had been given away long before she was born. However, the photos- which would have fetched no profits- seemed to be their most prized possessions.

“ACT NOW BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE.”

Memories of old stories from her parents reminiscing of their own youth, where people marched against those who refuted the rising temperatures flooded her mind. Often, she daydreamed of being in their shoes, under a sky flooded with fluffy white clouds, and not the uninterrupted blue it was now. Of marching alongside her brothers and sisters to confront ​them​. The ones who ‘did everything but care about their planet’. The ones who once squabbled over petty grievances until the heat overcame their air conditioners.

And then, like always, she came to a stop before the final one. The only one, it seemed, which stood out clearly from the others. While its family was adorned in deep hues of blue and black, it shattered through the landscape with an eye catching scarlet.

She remembered the first time she saw her mother get a cut from a splice of splintered wood outside their home. Through the matte dust coating her lush skin came out a thick ruby liquid which gleamed in the sun.

The letters of this too, seemed to bleed out of the walls of the forcefully abandoned home.

Her parents had once told her, upon her insistence, that the people who lived there still believed in the power of words. They thought words still held the power to change the world. It was after they had proclaimed outside their walls, in bold lettering, that they had disappeared overnight, their belongings still waiting for their return inside.

She did not know whether it was out of shame, or respect, that their house had not been looted for the first week. However, as the thirst of the people won out over their humanity, the home too was ransacked, leaving nothing but the words of the owners still etched in the walls.

“IT’S TOO LATE”

Standing rooted to the spot, she paid her respect through her silence, fighting off a shiver that did not belong in this dry heat. Once the words were branded in her eyes, she trudged towards the community centre, where she always would find water.

This time, her feet caught onto the situation before her mind could fully grasp it.

A bubbling crowd, clutching ominously at themselves stood around the meagre shelter.

Indistinguishable conversation surrounded the girl as she did the unthinkable, and abandoned her bottles to scout ahead. Pushing through the crowd, she reached the foot of the truck, where a sickly man with scarecrow limbs looked down at her pitifully. Behind him, stood nothing but rows of empty bottles caked with dust, not a drop of water to be spotted.

“I’m sorry my child.” he rasped, his voice like rough sandpaper. “You’re too late.”