Moving home — a climate vision

A few years ago, I grew alarmed (and continue to be alarmed) about the increasing risks we face due to climate change disruption. In response, I called for short stories describing how we might (not) adapt to climate disruption. I released 60+ of these CliFi stories in two volumes of Life Plus 2 Meters (free to download).

This year, I asked my environmental economics students to write their own CliFi visions. They did a great job, and I asked if they wanted their stories “published.” Here’s the second, from Marieke.

Moving home

Dear Lorenzo,

You have no idea how happy I am with your letter! It scared me – your plan to walk to Tadzhikistan. I started hearing stories from the news (yes, there are newspapers again – they are delivered per boat, once a month). I realized how fucked up the world is right now. And the idea that my son is out there… But I know you did it for us, thank you so much for that, thank you for being courageous. And for the map (with all the warnings – for both water and political tensions), it’s very useful. It makes me sad to hear that Turkey has closed its borders, but the route via Russia indeed seems doable (luckily it is not that cold anymore). I think we will walk like this (see map), I hope we will make it within a year.

I will talk to the council asap and we will make the final arrangements to come your way. We don’t want to take too much with us, but we have made some old-style covered wagons, we have tents and even some horses. We are taking as much food as possible, and dad is very excited about taking the portable garden wagons.

Life here is quite good actually, I am happy (although I miss you a lot). Right now, we have 272 members (a few babies are coming). We have created such a beautiful place. I know everyone complains about life being so much better before the flood, but I honestly don’t think it is. We have gone back to living with nature again. Dad and Jan-Thijs are managing the gardens, we have built houses from driftwood and earthships from all kind of waste that has stranded on our island. We have over 50 students in our school, I teach them about life before the flood, we make art together and they learn to work on the land. Almost every week another refugee arrives, they all integrate in the community very quickly, we have the kids teaching them.

I am sad to leave, but we really can’t stay. The weather is getting more extreme, last year the drought had destroyed almost all dad’s crops. And I am worried about the diseases. We’ve only had a few minor issues, but Janna has been taking care of the patients with herbal medicine. I don’t want to risk staying here though.

And honestly, the best thing about our community is the people right now. They are amazing. We sing together every morning, there is a fire in the night (helps in keeping away the mosquitoes). We make art, we learn so much from each other, there is love again and so much hope! The place you describe sounds perfect to continue our work.

The journey will be challenging, but worth it. I love you, see you soon,


p.s. I’ll try to get hold of a telegram machine – but they are extremely expensive, so don’t count on it.

Author: David Zetland

I'm a political-economist from California who now lives in Amsterdam.

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