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Thoughts On the Environment

Hotdish: On Writing and Everything Else
This essay accompanies Chapter 01: Fujiwara Eika.
A. Sherman Karlsson

The climate is changing, and human activities are the cause. I can’t believe that’s a controversial statement in 2023, but here we are—at least, in the United States, where I’m writing this essay. Despite devastating fires, droughts, floods and other suffering happening the world over, we keep hearing from a certain Political Party Who Shall Remain Nameless (whoops, accidental hyperlink) that there’s little to worry about.

As a writer far better than I once noted, the Party demands that you “reject the evidence of your eyes and ears.”

Anyway, climate change definitely is the fault of humans, and while Terraforming Mars is among my favorite board games, I’m much more interested in keeping the planet we’ve already got. You know, the one that is already, uh, terraformed to be perfect for supporting human, plant, and animal life.

As will become clear as we release chapters of this book, a major theme of The Butterfly Koi is capitalism and the ways in which it makes life on earth worse for everyone. Ecological damage and a changing climate are only one facet of that, of course, and we feature it most prominently in Eika’s part of the story—though in a world with magic, it manifests a little differently.

I’m not sure what else to say about people who don’t believe anthropogenic climate change is real. Perhaps their plans include swimming and eating rocks? Personally, I swing wildly between despairing that humans will ever make the changes we need, and an unfounded, desperate hope that, as we stare down the greatest threat we’ve ever faced, we’ll manage to rise to the occasion. But if we do, it certainly won’t be capitalism that saves us.

Let’s Talk

What about you? Are we doomed? Or are there people and projects that give you hope? I know I could sorely use more stories about the latter.