The Greenhouse, by Rich Paschall

It was another hot February day in the nation’s capital.  Many people had flooded the city’s cooling centers to get away from the unusual heat, as well as the “rolling black-outs.”  Even some of these air-conditioned locations would go without power for a few hours a day. It was unavoidable.  Just a few structures, as well as most government buildings, were exempt from the power outages.  There were a variety of factors straining the power supply in many regions of the country.  Heat seemed to be the main one.


When the 21st Century was coming to a close, the President at that time had to admit the impact on the earth was caused by humans. Yet when elected, he continued to insist that climate change was a hoax as many Presidents had done before him.  The 45th President eliminated the Environmental Protection Agency  The 46th did his best, but it wasn’t nearly enough. The 47th president demanded the space agency stop commenting on the climate and cease posting pictures of the earth taken from space. Despite all these actions, it became inevitable the nation would ultimately have no choice and would face the truth.  Everyone was living in a greenhouse and heat was on the rise.

The average temperature of the earth had risen ten degrees in the 100 years leading up to the overheated dawn of the 22nd Century. Some areas of the world had seen an even higher increase and were suffering greatly from it. This caused a great migration away from the center of the earth and toward cooler climates.  This crowding of certain cities and towns lead to a crisis of jobs, housing, education and electrical power. The final president of the century had no answers. He had spent too many years denying the problem. Now his best advice to the nation was to “Conserve and Optimize. Preserve energy.”  The slogan failed to resonate.

Campaign 2100 brought a demand by people for action on all the problems caused by the weather. A rise in sea levels had flooded coastal cities. One city on the Gulf was a complete loss. Former President Tower had seen his beachfront home disappear, which many thought was poetic justice. Heat had made much of the southwest unlivable. Severe storms and tornadoes had destroyed much of the middle section of the country. While heat had dried up some areas while torrential rainfall flooded others.


A weary populace began to turn against traditional candidates, giving hope to independents. Green Party candidate Arthur Klima gathered the most interest in 2100. The former chief scientist of the space agency had been fired by a previous administration for his comments on global warming. His supporters counted on that to propel him forward in the presidential race.

Klima had little political experience and had never run for office. Green Party officials convinced the scientist the nation not only was ready for a drastic change, but desperately needed a climate expert in charge. So Arthur went on the long campaign trail that was — ironically — well-funded by billionaires hurt by the climate change and entertainment luminaries sick of “politics as usual.”

Arthur started in the southeast to explain how the melting of the polar ice caps so far away brought flooding to them. Then it was to the southwest where he stood in 110 degree temperatures to review how greenhouse gases radiated the heat of the sun back down to the earth rather than letting it escape. In the middle of the country, he told the followers how heating the planet caused a rise in water vapor, which meant more clouds and more storms. In the far north, Arthur was dressed in a short sleeve shirt and shorts when he told the crowd they should all be wearing winter wear at that time of year.  The wildlife they loved, he explained to deathly quiet crowds, was dying off due to climate change and habitat loss.

Klima won Campaign 2100 by what many would consider a landslide. The favored topics of the main party candidates were of little interest to those without power or water. Now the people were going to rely on a scientist rather than a politician to bring them answers. There was only one problem with that. While Klima could define the problem for them, he did not know how to solve it.

At 30 days into his administration, Klima was preparing to address the nation with an action plan as he had promised throughout the campaign.  It was just a few hours before he was to go live from the Presidential office when Vice President Colton was reading the final draft. She was a lifelong politician and she knew a smokescreen when she saw one. She told Klima as much.

72-BW-Lone Cactus-MAR-Superstition-011316_285

“What is this?” she asked in their private meeting.  “You call for increased use of wind power and solar energy, with less reliance on fossil fuels. Decreased emission from cars and factories! None of these will have any serious impact. It will take years for this to mean anything.”

“Yes, I know,” Arthur said quietly. “We should have been doing these things for the past 100 years. The reports and studies we have reviewed in the past month show we may not be able to save the planet. It’s quite possible we are well and truly cooked.”

“Then what are you saying to the people with this speech about water vapor and nitrous oxide, carbon dioxide and methane gases? What are you offering with more solar panels in the southwest?”

“Hope,” Arthur replied. “It’s last thing we have left to offer.”

Categories: #ClimateChange, Election, Fiction, Politics, Rich Paschall, Richard Paschall

Tags: , , , , , ,

8 replies

  1. I hope the time frame in this piece is truier than anything more accelerated!

    Liked by 1 person

Talk to me!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: