Coming up — Four Years of Inspiration for SF Writers

It’s hard to believe that this country’s most significant and dangerous step into the future is only a day and a half away. The writer in me rejoices, not that I’ve been lacking for ideas. But the humanist in me shakes with dread. Will it be a never-ending nightmare in which the future is the blackest of black comedies, or a black comedy that makes every day a nightmare?

Humans, as a species, aren’t good at facing reality, and the next four years may be the ultimate proof of this failing. Global climate is, in a way, the metaphor that illustrates what such blindness will cost. It is proof that when faced with an unacceptable reality, humans are perfectly capable of rejecting what they see with their own eyes and experience with their own bodies, and retreating into a fantasy world in which bad things simply don’t happen. There is factual, real-life evidence, from every part of the world, that processes we can’t stop are already underway, and that they are proceeding at a much faster rate than scientists were willing to admit until very recently.

There is no shortage of rose-colored visions of a future that won’t be as bad as the worriers and Cassandras predict. Wishful optimism fits both climate change and the upcoming administration. The belief that raising buildings a few feet will defeat the incoming waters, or that the man moving into the White House will, sooner or later, start acting more “presidential,” are dangerous delusions. What will happen, sooner or later, is that the wearers of rose-colored glasses will be the first to scream, “Why didn’t you tell us sooner?” And they will be looking for someone to blame.


9 thoughts on “Coming up — Four Years of Inspiration for SF Writers

  1. I will continue to do what I can, in my sphere of influence. I will try to be far more aware of discrimination in public places, and people taking advantage of other people, and to speak up where possible (Dave Hingsburger’s blog has turned me more activist, and he’s right: DO something). Which means I will make all kinds of mistakes.

    But this world’s acceptance of anyone who isn’t in power above them is grudging – witness our treatment of whole classes of people based on the color of their skin – partly because we often need someone to blame for our own failures, and partly because the perception of scarcity increases scarcity.

    I happen to be Catholic – and I need to do more, because I believe it is right. ‘If you want peace, work for justice.’ And be personally kind and supportive where possible.

    We could fix the world in a generation if the poorest people got the best schools for that generation.

    1. The poorest people never get the best schools and never will, because then they’d be a threat to the powerful. Drumpf’s ed choice is one who wants to make sure they stay down where they belong.

    1. Yup. But people will still judge by their local weather. From that point of view it was a cooler than usual year. I have a feeling that where you are, you’re thinking the heat has just taken another swing upwards.

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