Climate change. Industrialization and technology have had an impact on the physical world, as it’s brought about climate change. It was probably coming anyway due to natural Earth cycles, but people haven’t helped. Unfortunately, our inventions to make day to day life easier are bringing these natural cycles around faster. When people tell me they don’t believe in climate change, I invite them to live in South Carolina for the summer. Not the June 21 – September 21 that the calendar defines. I invite them for our “real” summer of April 1 – October 31. We’re currently having yet another heat wave here, which was a thing unheard of in September when I was a kid in the 1980’s. I’ve lost count of how many we’ve had this summer. The first was Memorial Day weekend, and there’s been at least 2 every month since then. AC units in our area have been replaced at alarming rates this summer, including ours, which went out twice this summer.
Of course, you want facts and not my personal observations, so here it is: July 2019 was the hottest month on record for the planet. Is it any wonder that Hurricane Dorian became a Category 5 hurricane that just wouldn’t go away? Hot air means hot water, which fuels these storms. And there’s not enough space in this blog to go on about melting Artic and Antarctic ice (which leads to rising sea levels) and wild animals wandering into residential areas seeking food and shelter (I’ve seen a lot of social media posts of bears eating dog food and taking a swim in pools this summer). Like overpopulation, climate change is an issue with a domino effect that will sweep across the planet and change it forever, and human intervention is causing it to happen at an accelerated rate. Who knows what efforts, if any, will be taken to slow the dominos from falling? Writers can only guess, and give you their best guess as to what happens next in their own logic.
What will it take to address this “for real?” Positive action toward using clean energy. The issue right now is that it’s cost prohibitive. I pray our leaders both in government and in the industries who work in this field will make it accessible to all people so we can work together to do what’s right both by us, and by the planet.
Politics. My husband asked me once why politics were always a part of my novels, and my answer was “do you really think the government would let all of this happen and not stick their hands in it?” Of course they’ll get involved, because it’s their job to have their finger on the pulse of life. Unfortunately, it’s never just a finger as their campaigns promise – it’s whole hands, pushing things to whatever agenda works best to preserve the power structure. I’m currently taking a course on Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation, and I was floored by the lecture on the politics in Europe at that time. It’s no wonder that it happened in that hot mess of conflict between the church and the political powers! They led by fear, and that eventually leads to revolts. It’s a small wonder Martin Luther wound out starting a revolution. Power to the people! (Yes, I’m Lutheran.)
It’s been that way since there were enough people on the planet to form government systems, and it will be that way until the end of time. The government will always get involved in the affairs taking place, and they will always try to control and manipulate them in ways that benefit the right people, and keep the rest of us “in our place.” This means we can’t ignore the affect and impact of the government on everyday matters. We must consider where we fall on this spectrum, and if the government is a help (that really would be fiction for those “without connections!”) or a hindrance, whether it’s in a novel or a real-life situation.
Social issues. Another thing that’s always part of life is social issues. The problem is determining what will rise in the future, as there’s really no way to know what will give rise to what. Of course you can see trends: the issues of rights for minority groups has been an engaging issues since women got the vote 100 years ago. But how can you know what group will emerge next, and what it will be based on? People vary in so many ways. Who knows if the next social issue will be in regard to race, sex, socioeconomically, generationally, politically, intellectually – what will it be? There are rising issues and tensions between the “Baby Boomers” and “Millennials,” but they largely mimic the generational squabbles of the past (remember when Gen X was going to ruin the world? Yet, we’re quietly keeping it running now, bunch of wild grunge kids that we are --). Who can tell if this will become a bigger schism, or simply shift when the next generation comes of age? There’s no way to tell. Writers tend to project themselves in their stories in some way, and usually this is reflected best in the social issues they choose to address in their writing. Heck, we all tend to project ourselves on the world around us. I once heard a saying that reality doesn’t exist, because it’s dependent on varying individual perspectives. That’s eerily accurate in a way.
In reality, the best we can do is our part. Go vote when elections come around. Stand by your social issues, and support them the best you can. And most of all, just be authentic. I once heard it said that if everybody would dedicate themselves to one thing they believe in, then all of the worlds needs would be filled. I’m not sure if it’s true, but it would do a lot to close the gaps.
Of course, there are many other issues to consider for the future of the people and the planet. What are some issues you believe should be considered for our future? Are there others that you feel are important, but underrepresented in reality and modern commercial fiction?
That’s all today. Take care, and have a great rest of the week.