The Climate in Emergency

A weekly blog on science, news, and ideas related to climate change

Climate Fiction–and Truth

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The following is a mini-fiction piece submitted to my contest. I only got two entries, so I’m declaring them both winners. Here is the first.


A Cassandra Tale, by Kass Sheedy

In the not too distant future, in a land very close by, live a young woman named Ilsa and her mother, Aingeal, in the top of a tall tower. Ilsa remembers that when she was a little girl many people came to Aingeal to seek her counsel. It had been a long time since anyone had come. The tower had one window out of which Ilsa could not look. One day, overcome by curiosity, Ilsa pried open the window and looked out while her mother was sleeping. She saw a desolate land of water and marshes. It is not how she remembered the world. Where were the green fields filled with people? Where was the town with its lights, cars, trucks, and seaport? Where was the world? Ilsa asked the only person available – Aingeal who became very sad and replied that she would answer the next day. At dawn Ilsa woke her mother and demanded the answer. Aingeal began to both weep and speak. She said:

“Many years ago the people who came to me were asking about the future. I told them that the world was changing and that they would not like it. I told them they had to change their lives or the world would become as you see now. They didn’t believe me. They called me crazy. Eventually, they sealed our home and would not let me speak to them. They didn’t want to hear. They went about their business. And now – they are gone, along with the lights, the cars, and the seaport, all of it –gone. And we remain, living on the food I had stored years ago.”

“Mother, do you weep for the world we lost?”

“Yes, but I weep more because being right can be a terrible thing.”



Author: Caroline Ailanthus

I am a creative science writer. That is, most of my writing is creative rather than technical, but my topic is usually science. I enjoy explaining things and exploring ideas. I have one published novel and another on the way. I have a master's degree in Conservation Biology and I work full-time as a writer.

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