Once Upon A Time – The Global Warming Story

Hello, my name is Michael. This is now the second time I’ve had the honour of appearing in this excellent blog and now I’d like to relate to you a story I’ve written. I plan to tell it to my grandchildren in 50 years. I hope you enjoy.

Are you sitting comfortably? Good, then I’ll begin…

Once upon a time, there was a very important man. He was so important, so famous, that everyone in the world knew who he was. “Who was he?” Settle down now; all in good time. First: the story.

The world was very different back then. Countries fought wars for oil, dug huge holes in the ground for coal, and drilled far below the seas and oceans for gas. They used the oil to power their cars, and the coal and gas to power their homes. I know how strange that sounds to you, but believe me; it’s true.

You know how we have those solar panels on the roof? And all your friends’ houses have them too, and the school? Well, we didn’t have that when I was your age. There are lots of things we’re fortunate to have now that we didn’t have then. You know, so many of us breathed dirty air from living in cities that we got ill? I’m lucky I don’t have a sickness called “asthma”; it’s something mostly older people have now. Hardly anyone has it any more.

Have you learned about “global warming” in school, yet? No? Ok, well it was this scare back at the beginning of this century where all that oil and coal and gas we burnt was actually warming the Earth. Why did we let that happen? I’ve thought about that a lot too, and basically it’s because people didn’t like the idea of change. Lots of people get very set in their ways, and something that’s new scares them.

We were scared of lots of things. You know we have nuclear power now? Well, we had a different kind back then. What we have now is “fusion”, but back then we had “fission”. I’ll explain the difference when you’re older! People were scared of our kind of nuclear power, but they didn’t need to be. It’s actually what helped make the world what it is today.

SAM! Stop kicking your brother! Listen!

Now, remember that important man I was telling you about? He ran one of the biggest countries in the world, which also happened to be one of those burning the most of all that oil, coal and gas. He was in a great position to make a difference to the situation, but he had a lot on his plate at first because, not only did he have all the problems I told you about earlier, but he had to fix all the mistakes the man before him made. He already had a great advantage though: he could form a coherent sentence.

This man set a great precedent: he started a process of change, which grew and grew. He told everyone we should start using clean, renewable sources of energy. Yes, like wind and solar power, exactly. He was in power for 8 whole years before he stepped down. That wasn’t enough time to “save the world”, but the changes he made, and the changes and attitudes of many, less influential, but still very important people all around the world made the world what it is today. You know, I was one of those people? Those were the days, but these are still better days. I did it all for you, you know, so that you and your children, and their children could live in a clean, peaceful world: a world without war, without fuel poverty, and without environmental refugees. A world like today.

So that’s the story! You’ll appreciate it more when you’re older. Yes, go on then, go and play in the park. Let your brother play on the anti-gravity swing this time, though!

I will tell a form of this story one day, I swear.