“What if you were in charge of everything in the world?” I’ll ask the students in Invisible Cities, my summer teen writers’ workshop for Frequency Writers on utopias and intentional communities. Last night people who attended the Frequency Open House had a chance to write mini alternate histories on the spot, with several people working from the same climate anxiety.
I asked for one responsive sentence from each person. I didn’t specify some of the constraints I used when writing the first alternate histories, and writers didn’t get a chance to correlate their responses, so some of these are more magical, gadgetary, contemptuous or apocalyptic than I allowed myself to be.
I’ll post them throughout the week. Here’s the first batch, by 3 different people.
The hole in Siberia. I wake up thinking about it. I was reading in the Washington Post … about how they figured out what it was and it’s not good: it’s permafrost that’s thawing and it’s supposed to be frozen, and it’s releasing [the greenhouse gas] methane, and I have this 20-month-old! I don’t want to leave him in a world where giant holes open up in the earth.
They figured out how to plug the hole–all the discarded pacifiers of the world congealed together–the baby saliva a new kind of permafrost, a sticky layer trapping the methane.
Everyone plugs up the hole (and all subsequent holes) with copies of the Washington Post.
Fox News would address climate change and the environment in a weekly televised forum. This would be the “New Reality Movement.” The Kardashians would slip from collective consciousness and general interest as we know it.