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What a Wonderful World it Will be – IF we choose it. A Story for Our Time.
This story is still in progress – this is a very rough unfinished draft – I put it in here so you can see how wonderful it can be ….
Once upon a time – in fact very recently – actually, right now – there was a hypothetical city named Greyburg, a city much like any other city in the Westerland, still under the spell of that old outdated 20th century belief that “we must continue to dig and drill ever deeper and wider to find the gas, oil, coal necessary for running our society, or else we will freeze and starve in the dark. And we must forever use toxic substances and polluting methods for food production, or else massive crop failures and starvation will kill billions”.
Deep deep down, in their bones, everyone was sad and fearful, knowing full well that such systems are not sustainable, and will inevitably lead to ever-worsening conditions: “These systems are the cause of ever more unbearably destructive storms, floods, droughts, fires – these systems cause the deep pollution of all water, soil, species and ecosystems, even the vast oceans – These systems cause deep harm to our health, our society, our environment and economy - These systems makes us feel insecure, vulnerable, powerless, and controlled by people whose highest priority purpose is to make ever higher profits, not to make life better for all (“buy ever lower, sell ever higher – never mind the consequences”). These clumsy 20th century systems are ruinous, and they greatly reduce our sense of security and freedom.” These conditions and dread of doom were spreading like a plague across land and ocean – people felt encased and trapped within a dark tunnel of toxic particles and hopelessness.
Our story will focus on the lives of some children who live in Greyburg.
Many Greyburgers, especially the children, suffer with conditions such as asthma and allergies, that are caused by the harmful pollution leached and emitted by all the systems that keep Greyburg running: Mountain Top Removal, Deep Ocean Drilling, Fracking, Tarsands, Deforestation, CAFOs, Pesticides, Hormones, Wastewater Treatment, etc, etc. All these processes contaminate air, water, soil, food, and every living being, near and far. But this winter was much worse than usual – most public facilities such as ski slopes, skating rinks, swimming pools and fitness centers, even libraries, were closed because of severe municipal budget cuts caused by skyrocketing prices for the fuels needed to run those facilities. Then Ms. Merriweather, the really cool 5th-grade teacher at the Greyburg North School had a brilliant idea: “How would you like to go away on a school trip to somewhere really interesting”. The response was a unanimous YAY!!! Over a period of months they planned and plotted and researched and inquired about different destinations and ways to get there – an 8-day trip to somewhere fabulouso!! And they launched one fundraising event after another, because the class had to raise half of the total costs of the trip – the other half would be paid out of the school budget. But, one morning, just a couple of weeks before vacation, the principle came in with devastating news: “I am so sorry to have to report that the money that we had earmarked for your trip is gone - it had to instead be spent on emergency repairs for our septic system, and for ever higher cost for heating and electricity. Your trip will unfortunately have to be cancelled.” The children are heartbroken when the long planned and much longed for vacation trip was suddenly cancelled -
to be continued ….
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