Through A Permafrost Wound

The following text is a speculative short story based on current happenings and projected scenarios that may unfold due to climate-change.

Our gut feeling serves us well but fails to foresee threats we hold the answers to. We stand complacent, sipping wines of confidence while we beat the drum of dishonesty in the faces of our descendants. Climate change has sat outside our homes, taunting the very future we can control. But instead of calling the police, we fed it and clothed it.

Somalia – Photograph: Ty Faruki

It seems they want the suntan of the century. Of history. Those ignorant of changes to come. Our primitive limbic system remembers in pain instinctually responding to situations to survive. But this year’s hot summer will be forgotten come wintertime, when extreme cold, a further symptom of climate-change strikes homes with retribution.

When indications of apocalyptic tremors are worthy to record, they’re acted upon by authority in silence, who enshrine laws without public declaration. The suntans so desired by all are encouraged through mystical duplicitous enchanted mirrors made of paper bearing the words ‘Kardashian’ throughout.

Only when trees spontaneously combust, and ice begins to crack and dissolve will we not take notice. We the people and our primal urges desire nothing more than the next five seconds, craving for elements of toxicity and mental and sexual gratification, lacking even the slightest ambivalence and empathy regarding the cost of human and biological systems.

The cost of it all came at the ambition of a few, who’s gluttony absorbed the earth to spit it out on the plates of their heirs, choosing amnesic interpretations of the world’s population. We became wretched, vain and intolerant – choosing five-to-six-inch squared pacifiers over gravitas of the earth’s affliction. Burning, boiling, sizzling becoming infertile. 

Brick kilns of Pakistan. Photograph: Ty Faruki

Those who prepared, long victimised by their peers are looked to for wisdom and solace. They reject those who approach shooting at any advancing on their camps, with marginal lamentation. In Europe, thousands migrate to Asia searching for safety from unpredictable weather patterns and scorching summer temperatures. The ASEAN bloc resists, causing widespread panic and the establishment of shanty towns along the borders of countries facilitating exports of vitamin-rich foods.

Later, we stand over each other arguing, pointing fingers, disembowelling logic and discourse in favour of blame and to conquer. Following reduction in soil moisture, each nation begins to polish its weapons in anticipation of controlling its people and other lands, and soil fertility presides over oil and energy as unrest spreads across each border. The new currency: plenteous lands fit for yielding masses of crop are fought over as new conflicts rage between nations and later between people.

Receding forests collapse under our watch, turning invertebrates to refugees. The last flower is preserved along with the few remaining pollinating species of bee, kept underground within controlled habitats. The price of honey inflates and is supplied to the rich as the new lobster.

The earth defrosts exposing her secrets and her history causing alarm through the exhibition of her permafrost wounds. All the while we remain tolerant. Saying nothing. Doing nothing. As usual. Until regret sinks in upon our rafts of refuge.