Ting and the Possible Futures
This science fiction story brings to life the frightening but real possibilities of an out-of-control climate crisis. It also introduces the positive, creative—and very doable—steps we can all take to save our climate, and in so doing build a greener, more humane and beautiful future.
Ting and her three best friends have worked all year on a project for the science fair. It’s a Possible Futures Transporter—a time machine that carries you to different scenarios in the same place and time.
The first future Ting explores is one of drought, submerged seaside cities, and refugee shantytowns. Ting’s best friends—now 60 years old—show her around and explain how this grim world came about. People had continued “business as usual”—using lots of oil and coal, ignoring the signs of global climate crisis. Now the polar ice caps are melting, raising sea levels by many metres, while extremes of heat, drought and flood are routine.
In the second possible future, Ting sees a huge change in attitude as well as landscape. Because people acted in time, the polar ice caps have been saved, and the worst effects of climate change averted. Ting’s friends show her creative sources of energy, the power of planting trees and urban gardens, and the attractions of a transport system that relies more on trains, trams, bikes, and walking than on cars.
After returning to her school in the present, Ting organizes students to start building the green future at their own school and neighborhood, with technology already available. A year later, she checks out the most probable future given the progress they’ve made….
While framed in fiction, the climate and energy facts presented in Ting and the Possible Futures are accurate, and the scenarios are based on widely accepted projections of climate scientists.
Published in: 2008
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