A Letter to 2499
by Dan Bloom
Note to readers: This text came in the mail the other day, and I am not sure whether to publish it here as fiction or nonfiction as the author of the piece did not tell me her wishes. It reads to me like fiction, like the beginning of a cli fi novel she has planned. She didn’t tell me much about the story or her plans for it, but here is the text as she sent it to me, with just some slight edits for clarity for those readers new to the cli-fi genre.
Dear Future World, Future Humanity, if you are even there then!
I’m writing these words to you from my home in Baffin Island in 2099, when climate change and man-made global warming (AGW) were already on our radar and causing deep concerns around the world. You are living 400 years later, if you are indeed there, and you are preparing to die, to lie down and die, knowing your time in the cosmos has come, humanity’s time, the end of the human species, as climate-related and AGW-related massive human die offs threaten the very extinction of our species.
I have no advice for you since I cannot see that far ahead into the future, but I do know this: you and your fellow Earthlings will die soon via unspeakable, indescribable, untimely deaths — billions of you in a series of massive human die offs! — die to AGW impact events beyond your control. They will not be easy deaths, they will not be comfortable deaths, they will not be acceptable deaths. God bless you, although I am not sure any of you believe in God anymore there.
Sadly, inexorably, we have left you and those survivors with you in 2499 with no future and no escape hatch, and you are all going to die, all of you, en masse, soon.
Blame us, not yourselves. And as you prepare to lay down and die, not just where you are but around the world as well, in Australia, Canada, Thailand, all of Africa, all of South and Central America, all of the Lower 48 states of the uninhabitable former United State of America, know that you die as all humans before you did, over the past 5000 years, over the past 100,000 years, over the past 3,000,000 years. Numbers. Years. Past generations of the once human species. All gone now or soon to be gone completely. You, too, dear readers of this letter from the past.
I have no more words to say to you, all ye who prepare now there in 2499 A.D. — year of what God? — all you who prepare now to lay down your lives and die with great sadness and regret, and may you find your ways to die with inner peace and grace, no matter which gods or goddesses you believe in then. I cry for thee, o future generations of 2499. There is no future after you. Time will stop.
Blame us, don’t blame yourselves. Blame those who came before you in the 1800s, in the 1900s, in the early centuries of the Third Millennium. We created AGW and once we became aware of the Climatestein monster we had created, we did little to stop it. Our leaders did nothing. Greed and convenience ruled our world and we left you with, with, with this.
There were voices of concern, but they fell on deaf ears. There were public mass demonstrations and marches, but they accomplished nothing. The United Nations said it wanted to act, but it did nothing.
I only hope that you find it in your hearts to die with inner peace and inner grace, and to die in quiet, soothing ways. It’s not going to be a pretty picture, but please be strong is my message from 2099. Be physically strong, be emotionally strong, be spiritually strong.
Go gently into this dark dark night that awaits you and the rest of humankind, the very remnants of humanity. Find your way. I pray for you.
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