Duurzame Student brings to you, a second fictional stories on what a day in 2050 might look like assuming that our climate goals are not achieved. In honor of Earth Day, writers from MESA are raising awareness through their stories on our possible future if the climate crisis isn’t taken seriously.
What Else did you Expect? | By: Jolanda Zweers
My sister has been sick for over a week already because of some stupid trend in her class. They dared each other to drink from the ocean water, the one who can drink the most wins. Morons. I hope my sister has learned her lesson, but it sucks that mom and I also suffer from the consequences.
I am walking towards the resource station to get more water for her. The wooden planks creak under me as I look around. Wooden houses everywhere, standing above the water, connected by even more wood. They stopped coloring the houses when the mainland increased the price of paint, so now almost everything is in the same musty brown color. My nose wrinkles as I sense the usual smell of the ocean. Between the walkboards I see the brown color of water, along with the usual pieces of trash floating in it.
I arrive at the market, only to see a huge line for the resource station. I look at the other people there, seeing several people getting back in line after receiving their handout. Yeah, why not hoard when there is already a limited amount of food? These damned people only think about themselves..
As I let out an exasperated sigh as the old man in front of me turns around.
“Hello, sir.” I smile at him.
“Oh please, call me Robert.” he chuckles. “I am not your teacher anymore.”
“Sorry… It is really busy here today, isn’t it?”
Robert sighs while a worried look spreads on his face. “The mainland isn’t supplying as much as they used to… The station can only hand out a few items, so people try to get as much for themselves as they can…”
Damn it. The mainland already gave us the bare minimum, and now they are giving us even less? My sister has perfect timing for getting sick… “Why though? Did they run out of water and food to give us?” I ask out of curiosity. Robert lets out a sarcastic laugh as he replies, “Oh no, dear, they have enough. Rumor is that they discovered that we found a new way to grow our own food. See, the mainland doesn’t like that because then we can become independent from them. So now they want to stop us from doing that by threatening us in ways like this.”
Independent? No more relying on the mainland? That sounds impossible.
“How are we even supposed to create food when there is no ground to grow it out of?” I ask in disbelief. “All we have is the wood we live on and the poisonous water.”
“Aha, well there is another way.” Robert says. “For the food, they will use something called hydroponics. That is when the plants grow in nutrient-enhanced water instead of soil. And for the water, they created a new filtering system that makes our water even better than that of the mainland.”
With only one bucket of water I return to my home, welcomed by a confused mom. “Where is the rest?” she asks with a puzzled expression. I set down the buckets in the kitchen while I explain what I heard from my old teacher. My mother sighs as she puts her hand through her hair.
“That sounds horrible, but we can’t afford to worry. If this is all they are going to give us, we need to focus on surviving first. Especially your sister…” While lost in thought, she grabs a cup and fills it with water.
I look at the water in the bucket and start to think about what Robert said earlier. The water the mainland gives us always has a weird color, nothing like I have seen before. It is so clear and blue-ish. And while our water makes people sick, their water makes people seem more healthy. Is it really possible? That we have found a way to make our water better than theirs? I don’t know why someone would not like that…
I’ve learned in school that after the flood many years ago, our water became polluted because of people dumping everything in it. Only the mainland could support us by supplying resources in exchange for money.. It was the perfect business deal for them, and now they do not want to lose that, whatever the cost it seems.
While lost in thought, I did not hear the sound of airplanes coming closer until I felt the vibration of them going through the entire house. My mom and I shared a confused look before rushing to the window. Dozens of airplanes carrying the colors of the mainland were flying above us.
Suddenly, the one closest to us opens its doors underneath it. With a flash of neon green, the plane’s cargo falls before making a splash in the ocean. My nose immediately fills with the most horrible stench and my eyes start to water as I hear my sister vomiting from the other room. I see the water turning from brown to the most unnatural green. The few fish that were able to live in it are now appearing on the surface.
So this is the mainland’s tactic. Dumping their waste containing God knows what to make our living even more unbearable than it was. I slump down to the floor and craddle my head in my hands. This cannot be real.
All this, just because we developed a way to grow food and make water that doesn’t make us sick. Why would they do that to us?!
I put down my hands as I realize why. They did this to prove a point. To show how strong they are so we would keep obeying them.
Human greed and power.
It’s always been about that, isn’t it?