Yes. At the very least, they can make an impact on themselves, and in choosing to live with care for others, they make an impact on them. Groups of people dedicated to change don’t just come about – they originate with individuals who want to make an impact.
And youth makes little difference – young people have less power, but we have more energy, and often more passion. Young people can speak, they can listen, they can give what time or money or goods they have spare. We can be forces of change for the better.
In your current world, there are many commonplace practices in place to adapt to the environmental conditions—humanure composting, roof gardens, timed showers, water rations, fossil fuel taxes, underwater buildings, and gray water systems, for example. While some of these things are around now (2013), none of them are widely used. (save perhaps fuel taxes) What kinds of environmentally savvy inventions or processes do you think will be the first to garner widespread use?
Roof gardens, I’d hope. I like gardens. They’re pretty, and they give you shade, and they feed you, and they soak up carbon dioxide and release oxygen back into the atmosphere. I mean, we can only have roof gardens because we use humanure for fertilizer and water rationing to make sure there’s water for them. It’s all connected. That’s how everything works.
The people in Australia in your time are very pro-vegetarian and put off by those who eat meat. Do you think we have a moral or ethical obligation to alter the way we eat to preserve some aspect/s of the environment?
Oh, the meat thing. Well, I don’t know, does it taste nice? I don’t really miss something I’ve never had. And a vegetarian life is much better for the environment – raising food animals takes a lot of water and energy in comparison. I think it’s wrong to say how other people should eat, though. Maybe you should think about it? And decide what’s best for you?
Tegan is in a particularly interesting position, having experienced the world in two different centuries, but I’m sure you’ve learned a lot about Earth’s history in school. (plus, your being a genius helps!) What surprises you most about our past environmental choices? Are there any historical environmental disasters or events that you find particularly appalling or interesting?
Bethi’s much more your history girl, but let’s see, what can I remember? Oh, flying. We did this project on commercial flight, and how much fuel it took, and how much carbon it emitted. The numbers were shocking, and Bethi was really angry. She walked around for a week saying, “Couldn’t they sail? They had electricity! Why didn’t more people use electric cars and just drive to where they wanted to go?”
I didn’t want to tell her that lots of the electricity came from burning coal anyway, because she was already so upset. So I pretended that I’d taken some color and forgotten to do that part of the project and instead she got angry because she thought I was getting high too often.
It’s sometimes hard to do the right thing by Bethi, but she makes life interesting.
The Iroquois Native Americans originated the “seventh generation sustainability concept,” which basically means that when making important decisions we should analyze the impact that decision will have seven generations, or 140 years, from now. Yet it is very hard to get people to care about issues that are more abstract. What do you believe about the way we should handle our inherited Earth? Are you optimistic about our current trajectory?
The Iroquois are some smart people. Looking seven generations ahead would have done us a lot of good – seven generations ago. Now, no, I’m not optimistic.
I try to be. I hope there will be a solution. I work to help.
But I’m not sure if our species has seven generations left.
Here's the official blurb for the book:
Sixteen-year-old Tegan is just like every other girl living in 2027--she's happiest when playing the guitar, she's falling in love for the first time, and she's joining her friends to protest the wrongs of the world: environmental collapse, social discrimination, and political injustice.
But on what should have been the best day of Tegan's life, she dies--and wakes up a hundred years in the future, locked in a government facility with no idea what happened.
Tegan is the first government guinea pig to be cryonically frozen and successfully revived, which makes her an instant celebrity--even though all she wants to do is try to rebuild some semblance of a normal life. But the future isn't all she hoped it would be, and when appalling secrets come to light, Tegan must make a choice: Does she keep her head down and survive, or fight for a better future?
And the trailer:
3/4 - Novel Novice interviews Bethari about media/communications
3/5 - The Book Smugglers interviews Abdi about immigration
3/6 - 365 Days of Reading interviews Dr. Marie about scientific/medical research
3/7 - Forever Young Adult interviews Tegan about music
3/8 - The Readventurer (you're already here!), interviews Joph about the environment
A Reader of Fictions
Vegan YA Nerds
Have a wonderful weekend, everyone! Since probably no one is reading this paragraph, I will take this time to say that I was just perusing Karen Healey's FAQs on her site and this former child chess champion was giddy to find out that her favorite musical is Chess. I'm going to kick my Friday off right by prancing around the house singing Nobody's Side.