The Glass Earth- Part One

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Earth_with_two_moons.jpg
“Class, if you look out the starboard window, we’re coming up on our place of origin; planet Earth,” Galatia Station college Professor Mark Anson announced, “we’re going to swing very close so you’ll be able to observe the swirls of hot wind storms that cover the planet. Once a beautiful blue color from the abundance of water, Earth is what you see now; a hot, uninhabitable planet. It’s because of Earth’s demise we live on Galatia, LifeStation 54. I’m sure there’s more than one of you who have descendants who perished in the Great Burn, am I right?”

“Professor Mark, what was the main reason for Earth’s loss of water and green life?” Jasha asked, “I mean, I just can’t imagine having so much water and green life just to let it disappear. What happened down there?”

The class of twelve students, all in their last learning year, looked at their teacher for his answer. After viewing slides of what Earth used to look like, it was hard to imagine a world of people so unbelievably stupid. As Professor Mark showed them slide after slide of wondrous wildlife; animals they couldn’t even imagine ever existed, beautiful ocean shores, acres upon acres of steamy rain forests and fields of wildflowers, they found it hard to fathom losing it all. Jasha felt anger. If they had only listened! If they had, Jasha’s generation would be enjoying the wonders they could now only view on microfilm.

“How many of you, thinking back to your history lessons, have heard of the Kyoto Protocol treaty?” Professor Mark asked.

Simone Drake raised her hand. “I think it was an agreement by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in 1992 that basically committed State Parties to reduce greenhouse gas emissions based on theorem that they exist and that human beings caused it.”

“Yes!” Professor Mark exclaimed, “You did your homework, Simone! Green house gasses, which the people of Earth were continuously warned about for generations, ultimately destroyed the once bountiful planet. Without its ozone layer protecting it from the sun’s ultra violet rays, the biggest coronal mass ejection in the sun’s history wiped out eighty percent of all life on Earth. The planet, over a short period, became a hot, desolate ember.”

“Earthlings were so dumb,”Jasha stated, “I sure wish we could have been there. Do you think we could have made a difference, Prof?”

“Absolutely!” Professor Mark said enthusiastically, “with what we know now, I just know we never would have let such a wonderful, unique planet, the only one in the viewable universe that was habitable, burn up the way it did. Lifestation 54 has traveled for over eighty years now in deep space searching for a planet with all of Earth’s likenesses and so far, none can compare. Unfortunately, Earth was the only planet, it seems, that was capable of sustaining life. It was created for the sole purpose of sustaining life. Tonight when you go home to your pods, I want you all to write an essay based on all you’ve learned about the people of Earth and how you could have made a difference. Use your imaginations!”

 
Professor Andrea Selbert stopped the film and motioned for the lights to be switched on. She noticed the class abnormally quiet and subdued and knew that the film packed quite a wallop. Exactly the reaction she’d hoped to create. Just last week the president announced that the last glacier in the polar ice cap had crumbled into the rising sea. So far, they’d lost most of Florida, New York City and almost every shoreline across the globe was underwater. Summers were hotter than they’d ever been in recorded history and even though the Earth was serious trouble, wars continued to break out putting the global warming issue on the back burner. The Global Teacher’s Union had a world wide web conference yesterday after the President’s announcement and came to a conclusion. Since world leaders were doing nothing about the depletion of the ozone layer, it was time the world’s most precious commodities took a stand and did something about it. It was time for the children who would be inheriting Earth to fight for it. The film she just showed her 11th grade class had been mass produced around the globe to get children more involved with the future of the Earth.

`”Mrs. Selbert,”

Nova Duwahoyoema, one of Andrea’s best students, was the granddaughter of Lewis Tewanima, who won a Silver Medal in the 1912 summer Olympics. Her family took great pride in their heritage by playing a part in protecting Native American archaeological and historic sites in North America by raising funds. Nova, herself, was a dancer in the Hopi yearly Harvest Ceremony. According to Hopi Legend, in exchange for enjoying all Mother earth had to offer, they would be the Guardians. Andrea wasn’t surprised the film piqued Nova’s interest.

“Not so much insight as curiosity,” she answered, “If methane gas is one of main contributors of ozone depletion, than why are allowing anything that produces methane on the planet?”

“Get real, Nova!” James answered from the back of the room, “that would mean drying up oceans, and getting rid of landfills, killing all livestock, cause we all know about cow farts, as well as the production, transportation and use of fossil fuels. The human population is too spoiled to even think about the Earth. In other words, Nova, the world is screwed.”

“Now wait a minute,” Andrea argued, “Let’s talk about this. James says that saving the Earth is impossible and Nova counters that with the removal of all things methane. We obviously can’t get rid of livestock when we depend so heavily on them, right? We also need landfills for the amount of waste we generate. As far as transportation goes, well, the electric car didn’t really go over so good, did it? So what’s the solution here?”

After an hour of debate, Andrea looked up at the clock seeing how close it was to the last bell. “Okay, class, your weekend assignment; I want you all to come up with one solution you think would save and possibly repair our ozone layer. Have a great weekend!”

Andrea turned to gather her purse and jacket curious to know what types of solutions her kids were going to come up. It was going to be an interesting Monday next week.


Author Notes

5 Comments for “The Glass Earth- Part One”

says:

I love the story and the premise of the demise of earth and the damage humans have done to their planet. I had the same confusion as Craig. The story opens with them looking out the starboard window, indicating they are in a space ship. When the professor talks about Lifestation 54, I think it is the ship they are traveling on, but it is on the film? So, Earth is still livable, they are on earth, but earth is failing fast?

Love the science-fiction futuristic platform you have set here. 🙂

Write On!
Becky

Lisa Doesburg

says:

yes, the classroom is watching a film, which i open up with. In the film, Lifestation 54 is just one of the ships that humans are forced to live on after ruining the planet.

Tim Hillebrant

says:

Hi Lisa,

A good, and timely, story you’ve written here. If the earth is to be saved, then it will be up to not just the people of today, but those of tomorrow too, to do the job. Unfortunately, I think the job is so overwhelming, not many people know where to start.

I liked how you presented this as a story to share your message. You did a lot of good writing here.

A nit: “… than why are allowing anything that…” th(e)n why are (we) allowing anything that… (the corrections are in parenthesis.)

Nicely done.

Tim

This is going to be an entry into a contest, so I'm looking for some good feedback and suggestions..thanks you guys..