Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Every Sunday, from 1:30 pm to 5 pm, in a local park, I am setting up an informal advice table for people and passersby who might want to know more about cli-fi and its usefulness as a literary genre and a movie genre for future Hollywood movies.

Every Sunday, from 1:30 pm to 5 pm, in a local park, I am setting up an informal advice table for people and passersby who might want to know more about cli-fi and its usefulness as a literary genre and a movie genre for future Hollywood movies. Like the earlier term of ''sci-fi,'' which is pronounced with two hard i's (as in high, eye, sigh, guy,, shy, lie, try) the newer term of "cli-fi" is also said out loud with two hard i's, as in ''Klai-Fai'' (klye fye), just like sci-fi but this time it is cli-fi. And just as sci-fi is a shortened form of science fiction, so to is cli-fi a shortened version of climate fiction. So every Sunday I am the local park, sitting down at my foldable wooden table with few seats scattered around it for passersby -- teenagagers, college students, writers, poets, anybody with an interest in cli-fi, and while I am not an expert in the field, I have done some research about cli-fi and am ready to answer any questions that come my way. And any questions that I cannot readily answer, I know how to use Google and other search platforms to try to find the answers that those people who ask me questions. So welcome everyone, young and old, outgoing and shy, whatever floats your boat and whatever makes you tick, I am here every Sunday to try to answer your questions. If you cannot make it to the park, then please feel free to use the comment section at the bottom of this blog post to pose your questions to me and I will do my best to answer them. I am here for you. 24/7. But on Sundays, every Sunday, I'm in the park for you. Welcome! Free Cli-Fi Advice! -- Every Sunday in the Park -- 1:30 pm to 5 pm -- MARGARET ATWOOD MEGAN HUNTER KIM STANLEY ROBINSON PAOLO BACIGALUPI AMY BRADY novels movies Cli-Fi Rising (curated by Danny Bloom) ‏ @do_you_cli_fi_

Free Cli-Fi Advice! -- Every Sunday in the Park with Danny. -- 1:30 pm to 5 pm. -- MARGARET ATWOOD MEGAN HUNTER KIM STANLEY ROBINSON PAOLO BACIGALUPI AMY BRADY novels movies #burningworlds -- CLICK TO ENLARGE SIGN / see also my website

Terrific to have Dr GhoshAmitav as the CDWPUCalgary Distinguished Visiting Lecturer in November 2018, reading from the #CliFi text of his soon to be published (mid-2019 in India, Italy, USA and the UK) cli-fi novel, ''Gun Island.''

Terrific to have Dr as the Distinguished Visiting Lecturer in November 2018, reading from the #CliFi text of his soon to be published (mid-2019 in India, Italy, USA and the UK) cli-fi novel, ''Gun Island.''

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Steve Asselin‏ on Twitter has offered a 1-2 note into the ongoing cli-fi discussion started a few days ago online by author William Gibson

Steve Asselin @DisasterScholar   on Twitter has offered a 1-2 note into the ongoing cli-fi discussion started a few days ago online by author William Gibson @GreatDismal.

Dr Asselin wrote first: "It's really a matter of definition. If you define 'cli-fi' as a movement, a quantifiable upswing in climate change fiction arising out of a moment of ecological crisis at the turn of the 21st century, then sure. A little tautological, but what definitions of movements aren't? " [1/2]
Followed by: ''If you define 'cli-fi' as a subject, then you have notable precedents, other numerically significant aggregations of literature/film after WWII, during the pulp age, and as we are finding out, in the late Victorian/Edwardian and possibly even one during the Romantic period.'' [2/2]

James Downson Twitter then noted to Dr Asselin: James Downs @James_AL_Downs                     
''That's a really good point, actually, and a helpful distinction to make.''
William Gibson had written in 3 tweets earlier in the month, with over 700 "likes" following the discussion:

William GibsonVerified account @GreatDismal Nov 12 / 2018 TWEETED 1-3 below: 
1. Re the cli-fi discussion, I think it should be kept in mind that very little 20th Century sf anticipated anything even remotely like what we must now recognize as the greatest single unanticipated effect of human technology.
2. This single vast predictive fail will only become more evident with time. What we've caused to happen to our planet's climate is literally the biggest thing we've done, as a species, and all unknowingly.
3.  So the urge to distinguish a science fiction of the Anthropocene, which consciously doesn't partake of that extraordinarily massive genre-wide failure of predictive imagination, actually seems quite natural to me.

The blog post, ''The Tattooist of Auschwitz' novel faces fuzzy future after reporter's expose'

The blog post, ''The Tattooist of Auschwitz' novel faces fuzzy future after reporter's expose', is now published and can be found at

In a blog post that ran in the October 20 issue of Times of Israel, headlined "Truth Behind Bestseller Holocaust Romance Novel Called into Question by Some," I had no idea that the New York Times would spot this post and then, after some gentle prodding, assign a top reporter for the New York Times Australia bureu to look into the truthiness of Heather Morris' bestselling romance novel. And yet, less than a month later, Christine Kenneally, based in Melbourne, where the novel itself was written and published, delivered a one-two punch to the book, leaving a huge hole in the novel's future popularity.
The Times of Israel blog post can be found here, and The New York Times article published worldwide on November 8 can be found here.
Kenneally's name might ring a bell for some readers here. Born in Australia, she is a relative of Thomas Kenneally, the famous author of the book titled "Schindler's List" which was later made into the Hollywood movie by Steven Spielberg.
Meanwhile, with the New York Times article making waves in literary and publishing circles around the world, the fallout from the news story is sure to put the chances of a movie being made of Morris' "novel" in limbo. There are too many questions now surrounding the authenticity of Morris' book and she is feeling the pressure.
Morris initially wrote the story as a movie screenplay, but later turned it into a romance novel. That's where her troubles began. She took liberties with an elderly Holocaust survivor's memories that she never should have taken, and now the criticism over the novel's truthiness is going to point the finger at both Morris and the publisher Angela Meyer. They have a lot of explaining to do now in the wake of the New York Times expose. It's not going to be a pretty picture, either.
I tried to warn both Morris and Meyer of the trouble they were heading in, but neither of them responded to my emails, Facebook messages or tweets. Stonewalling gets you nowhere, as the two have now learned.
"In the 'Additional Information' section of the book, Morris writes that 34902 was in fact Furman’s number," Kenneally reported. "But as it turns out, it’s not. In a 1996 interview with the USC Shoah Foundation, Furman said her number was 4562. Other evidence from her own account and from the archives at the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum supports her claim."
There's more daming evidence.
"Likewise Furman’s arrival date is said to be April 13, 1942. But it’s not possible for a woman assigned the number 34902 to have arrived at Auschwitz on that date or even in that year. A woman entering Auschwitz at that time would have had a four-digit number," Kenneally reported.
Most damning perhaps is the New York Times assertion that while much of the interest in, and marketing of, the bestselling and heavily promoted book -- over 650,000 copies in print worldwide -- focused on the so-called ''true story'' the cover and PR material says it was  based on, there is confusion about which stories in the ''novel'' are true and which are not.
"Morris said that the tattoo scene where Sokolov so momentously saw Furman for the first time really occurred. But interviews with Sokolov and Furman from the 1990s, and with their son Gary recently, provide no support for that claim," the New York Times reported.
Morris' book is in trouble now. It might be recalled, with no future editions printed or sold. The movie option for the book might very well be cancelled now. Telling a big fat white lie, even if it is to turn an elderly Holocaust survivor's manipulated memories into a bestseller with the best of intentions, is to spit on the graves and memories of the 6 million Jews who died in the Nazi Holocaust. The New York Times has spoken.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Sci-fi website in New York TOR.COM refuses to allow Taiwanese sci-fi fans to register at site as citizens of Taiwan and forces them to join as citizens of communist China: Orwellian nonsense?

Yes, a top Sci-fi website in New York TOR.COM/register refuses to allow Taiwanese sci-fi fans and sci-fi readers to register at site as citizens of Taiwan and forces them to join as citizens of communist China: Orwellian nonsense?
See the drop down menu above and see if you can find a country called Taiwan on the menu. No. Only China is there and Taiwanese sci-fi fans must sign in as being nationals of Communist China when Tor editors know very well that Taiwanese are not citizens of Communist China. Yet Tor refuses to change the drop down menu.

There's more: A Taiwanese e-sports team was  recently denied entry to a competition next year after the German body overseeing it argued that Taiwan does not exist on any UN list of countries or regions
Although a declaration of independence would probably not see Taiwanese sovereignty recognized in the short term, it would legally protect the nation from annexation and afford it international recognition, while putting it on the path toward sovereignty in the long term. It would also protect the democratic rights and the will of the nation’s 23.5 million people.
While there is no set definition for what constitutes sovereignty, legal experts around the world largely agree on a few key requirements and generally concur that UN recognition is the standard for a successful determination of the requirements.
A BBC article on Oct. 10 last year delineated four components that comprise a state: a people, a territory, a government and the ability to conduct relations with other states on a sovereign basis.
The definition of “a people” is disputed, the article said, but added that some argue it means a permanent population with a concept of and belief in their own nationality.
Despite having these components, Taiwan remains in limbo — neither under the control of another nation nor recognized as sovereign. This is largely due to international laws being somewhat contradictory. They call for the protection of self-determination, as outlined in the UN Charter and clarified in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, but disallow the fragmentation of existing sovereign states.
An article on says that these laws were mostly written during the period of decolonization, while self-determination in today’s world is typically done by working within the confines of a pre-existing state, such as the establishment of autonomous areas.
Areas claimed by the Republic of China are recognized by the UN as part of the sovereign territory of the People’s Republic of China, whose sovereignty is protected by the 1971 UN General Assembly Resolution 2758.
Then-UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon in 2007 cited this resolution when he rejected then-president Chen Shui-bian’s (陳水扁) bid for full UN membership for Taiwan.
Three of the world’s newest countries — East Timor, South Sudan and Eritrea — gained sovereignty because the nations from which they separated relinquished territory as part of internationally negotiated peace agreements.
For Taiwan, such a possibility simply does not exist in the short term. The relinquishment of claims over Taiwan by Beijing would give impetus to independence movements in Hong Kong, Tibet and Xinjiang, which would seriously weaken the Chinese Communist Party.
However, even without recognized sovereignty, there is value in declaring independence, as Kosovo’s independence from Serbia in 2008 showed. Although Kosovo is still claimed by Serbia, its independence is recognized by more than half of the UN member states and its de facto statehood also means that Serbia cannot use force to reclaim it.
Citing Oxford University professor of public international law Stefan Talmon, an article on the Web site of Foreign Policy magazine says that the UN Charter prohibits the use of force against an established state as part of Cold War-era rules that protect new states not yet recognized by some governments.

So what say you, TOR? 

You are a top Sci-fi website in New York TOR.COM/register and you still refuse to allow Taiwanese sci-fi fans and sci-fi readers to register at site as citizens of Taiwan and forces them to join as citizens of communist China: Orwellian nonsense?
See the drop down menu above and see if you can find a country called Taiwan on the menu. No. Only China is there and Taiwanese sci-fi fans must sign in as being nationals of Communist China when Tor editors know very well that Taiwanese are not citizens of Communist China. Yet Tor refuses to change the drop down menu.


As readers who follow the news know,  China has sent a threatening letter to a large number of international airlines demanding that they change the country code for Taiwan (TW) on their schedules to China (CN), as dictated by Beijing’s “one China” principle.
However, standing up for Taiwan’s international space and presence, on May 5 US President Donald Trump’s administration issued a statement condemning China’s science fictional “demand” as “Orwellian nonsense” through which China was trying to impose its own political claims on private companies around the world.
It’s like the British novels Nighteen Eighty-four and Animal Farm have come to life in 2018.
Believe it or not, a major sci-fi publishing company in New York, the most prestigious science fiction publisher in the world, Tor Books, whose editors know all about the Nighteen Eighty-four and Animal Farm, also kowtows to Beijing’s “one China” nonsense by asking Taiwanese sci-fi fans who want to sign up at the Tor Web site ( to list their country on the site’s drop-down menu as either “China” or “Taiwan, province of China.”
Yes, the world-famous sci-fi Web site run by Tor Books does not allow Taiwanese sci-fi fans to list their country as “Taiwan.”
Yet as readers know, Taiwan is a free and independent democracy, which abides by international law and has never been a part of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). The Chinese claim that Taiwan is part of the PRC is a silly nationalistic sci-fi illusion, with no basis in international law.
By forcing Taiwanese sci-fi fans to register on the Web site as being from either “China” or “Taiwan, province of China,” Tor’s editors and Web site managers are showing a terrible and naive bias to Taiwanese fans.
Tor’s editors are probably not even aware of this oversight on their registration form, thus this letter, and hopefully a change in the Web site’s current Orwellian nonsense.
I hope that Tor Books, once its editors read this letter, will do the right thing and stand up for Taiwan on its online registration form and show science fiction fans around the world that US sci-fi Web sites do not kowtow to China.
Name withheld
This story has been viewed 3928 times.

An interview with Ilana Strauss on the rise of the cli-fi genre worldwide over the last ten years or so

Ilana: (by email) -- Thanks! Can you tell me a bit more about cli-fi? I don't know much about it. How many cli-fi books/movies/etc are there? Is it a growing artistic movement?

Dan Bloom: (by email) -- Cli-fi is my coinage, as a climate activist of the literary pr kind. I wanted a new genre as a wake up call, a warning flare, a PR tool. It really got started in a big way first with an NPR segment by freelance radio reporter Angela Evancie on April 20, 2013. Margaret Atwood tweeted about me using the term in 2011. I've been blogging nonstop 24/7 ever since, from my home office in Taiwan. Tufts 1971 lit major. Created the cli-fi term in Taiwan on my blog as a trial balloon in 2008. After the NPR pick-up, the New York Times picked it up in two major articles in 2014 after NPR story went viral in both text and podcast.  Cli-fi promotion is now my life's work as a PR gadfly. I hope to inspire novelists, headline writers, lit critics, readers. I'm a dreamer, 70 now, penniless, childless. Cli-fi is my child.

PS: There are over 200 cli-fi novels listed at goodreads in cli-fi list there. And yes, there is a huge intl artistic movement now. But still 99 percent of Americans have never heard or seen the word yet. There's work to do. Maybe 25 more years, even more.  

Google the term in both Google News and regular Google. The AFP wire service in France just did big story on  it. See the AFP link at

Story idea for you?

Ilana: This is all pretty interesting! Are you free for an interview sometime next week?

Dan: Sure.

Ilana (the next week as interview continues by email:)--  So, could you just tell me your story? How you got involved in all this, any exciting moments, what you hope to accomplish?

Dan: Most exciting moments:

In 2011 when Margaret Atwood retweeted a cli-fi tweet I sent her, and her tweet travelled far via her 1 million Twitter followers and media interest in her.

2013 April when NPR did a 5 minute segment on a hot new genre called cli-fi on air and in transcript form in npr website

2014 April 1 when New York Times staff reporter Richard Perez-Pena reported on Univ of Oregon professor Stephanie LeMenager who was teaching the first ever cli-fi class to her graduate and PhD students

July 2014 when the NYT Room for Debate section online asked 5 cli-fi experts to weigh in on the prospects for cli-fi to catch on in the future
2018 October when lit hub book marks in a post said "cli-fi is perhaps the most important literary genre of our era"

What I hope to accomplish?

I'm just a cheerleader egging on novelists world-wide to write cli-fi novels, so I hope to inspire more novelists and YA writers to take the plunge with cli-fi.

I'm looking for someone in the 2020s or 2030s to write the "On the Beach" of climate change novels as a major global wake up call.

Ilana: Oh, and one thing I want to check on: what are some of your biggest successes, in terms of promoting these books? I want to check in with the authors.

Dan: Some authors I have worked with on this:
"Polar City Red," a novel by Jim Laughter  about 60 yrs old, a retired Navy career guy in Tulsa Oklahoma. I asked him to write the novel for me, after he was recommended by another Texas novelist. So I commissioned him to write the novel with the entire story his own words his own characters all royalties to him. No money to me. The only thing I asked for was to set the story in a domed polar city in Alaska in the distant future . And I asked the title be "polar city red" and Jim agreed and write the book. Published April 2012, the first ever purposefully consciously published cli-fi novel calling itself in promo material "a cli-fi thriller". It served as pr guy for the novel. Jim has info on his website about it. His email contact is

Also a  novel titled "Finitude" by Hamish MacDonald, then in Scotland now moved back to native Canada. I encouraged him in writing process and helped with getting it called a cli-fi novel by book reviews in media. Book available free online now on his website. I loved his book. Great writing. Great story. Set in a UK in near future but nation never named as UK. His novel is noteworthy because first ever cli-fi novel with gay main character. But treated as normal main character without making big deal he is gay. Hamish is gay and married to his Scottish partner in Canada.

Former Wiki Editor ''LynnS79'' blogs about YA cli-fi novels

Category Archives: Cli-Fi, Climate Fiction

Former Wiki Editor ''LynnS79'' blogs: "RE: Authors who explore global warming in cli-fi fiction. They are recognizing various genres, voices, and storytelling styles which cover the subject of climate change found in fiction. Generally speaking, climate change may be a strong character, a motivator of plot, the crux of dramatic tension, or a very strong backdrop in a story. It can also encompass the cli-fi genre or literary fiction.

LynnS79 recently read Ms. Edan Lepucki’s cli-fi short story in the new Amazon Original Fiction cli-fi collection of 7 cli-fi stories and her story was titled  “There’s No Place Like Home,” which was told from the perspective of a 14-year-old girl in a much-climate-changed future.

Friday, November 9, 2018

How Climate-Change Fiction, or “Cli-Fi,” Forces Us to Confront the Incipient Death of the Planet

A nice essay by Katy Waldman at The New Yorker on "Warmer," a new collection of 7 short ''cli-fi'' stories about climate change. Stories include one by Jane Smiley about a horse who "befriends one of the last surviving humans in a lush equinocracy bounded by wasteland."

Link to New York magazine:

How Climate-Change Fiction, or “Cli-Fi,” Forces Us to Confront the Incipient Death of the Planet

by Katy Waldman

As part of its ongoing “Original Stories” series, Amazon has assembled a collection of climate-change fiction, or cli-fi, bringing a literary biodiversity to bear on the defining crisis of the era. This online compilation of seven short stories, called “Warmer”—containing work from a Pulitzer Prize winner (Jane Smiley) and two National Book Award finalists (Lauren Groff and Jess Walter), among others—offers ways of thinking about something we desperately do not want to think about: the incipient death of the planet.

There is something counterintuitive about cli-fi, about the fictional representation of scientifically substantiated predictions that too many people discount as fictions. The genre, elsewhere exemplified by Margaret Atwood’s MaddAddam Trilogy and Nathaniel Rich’s “Odds Against Tomorrow,” brings disaster forcefully to life. But it is a shadowy mirror. Literature has always been a humanist endeavor: it intrinsically and helplessly affirms the value of the species; its intimations of meaning energize and comfort. But what if there is scant succor to be had, and our true natures are not noble but necrotic, pestilential? We have ''un-earthed'' ourselves. Yet we claim the right to gaze at our irresponsibility and greed through fiction’s tonic filter. The stories in “Warmer,” which possess the urgency of a last resort and the sorrow of an elegy, inhabit this contradiction. They both confront and gently transfigure the incomprehensible realities of climate change.


Thursday, November 8, 2018

''A Climate Carol'' -- a short story for Christmas 2018

[A climate-themed short story for the Christmas season of 2018]
(Copyright) 2018 - All Rights Reserved

[[Written by an American novelist Richard Friedman who was trained in 2017 at an Al Gore climate leader workshop in his region of the USA Midwest, and who can be contacted at this blog for forwarding to him.]]


TEXT of story
[Note to readers: If this story touches you the way it touched this blogger, please share this link with those you love, friends, co-workers, relatives and others who you think might enjoy this short story. It might change your life, in its own quiet way. But one thing is for sure, it will surely re-charge your life.]

“Mr. Drummond, I’m getting to ready to head out. Do you need anything else before I

“Leaving? It’s only three-thirty! Did you finish those reports you promised to have on
my desk before five o’clock?”

Jericho Reese bowed his head, and mumbled, “No boss. There’s an air quality alert, and
the mayor is encouraging everyone to leave town as early as possible. I’ll get them to you on

Drummond shouted, “Monday? What’s wrong with tomorrow?”

“Tomorrow is Earth Day. I’m taking the wife and kids out of the city for a picnic.”

Drummond seethed with the sound of that phrase....Earth Day. Just thinking of those two
words angered him. He looked out the window of his huge suite in Drummond Tower and gaped
at his tanker, steaming up the Hudson River to offload its filthy cargo. The incoming ship would
bring millions in revenue to one of Drummond’s many companies. In good health for a man
sixty years of age, his exercise regimen consisted of riding in a golf cart at one his exclusive
country club golf courses.

“Earth Day is a joke. Look at those losers carrying signs. Get those reports on my desk
by five o’clock...Sunday afternoon, and I’ll let it go.”

Reese protested, a hint of pleading in his reply, “Sunday my kids have a soccer game. I’m
the assistant coach. I have to be there.”

Drummond, coldly, without hesitation, replied, “It’s a game of soccer. They run, they
kick the ball. They chase it and kick it again. When the game’s over, they get a juice box and a
cookie. Do they need an assistant coach for that? Besides, doesn’t your kid have a respiratory
thing that keeps him on the bench? When I was his age, I was the best baseball player on my

Reese ignored Drummond’s braggadocio. “My son has asthma. The severe air pollution
in New York City exacerbates it. We’ve talked about moving to a country with cleaner air, but
you refused my transfer request to Iceland. Have you had a chance to reconsider?”

“No, I need you here with me! Get me those damn reports this weekend or don’t show up
for work on Monday! Is that clear?”

Reese slunk out of the office and down the hall. Drummond’s icy stare burnt a hole
through the back of his shirt.

Drummond called his limousine driver Sammie Johnson.

“I’ll be downstairs shortly. Have a cold bottle of Diet Coke and a Snickers bar waiting for

“Yes, boss. Are we going to the Whale?”

Drummond named his Long Island weekend get-a-way “The Whale” after the famous
white cetacean from Herman Melville’s literary classic, Moby Dick. Drummond filled the house
with memorabilia from the epic story. Visitors entering the house walked past a 90-foot replica
of the famed white whale, complete with life-like scars from harpoon injuries.
Drummond said, “I’ll be right there. I just bought a company that sells Alaskan King
Salmon steaks in Juneau, Alaska.”

Johnson said, “I’m sure it will be a tremendous success.”

Drummond tried to call his stockbroker. The screen went blank, and he slammed the
phone on the desk in anger. The battery flew ten feet to the left, the guts of the device hit the ice
bucket, and then Drummond’s forehead, temporarily knocking him cold.

When he awoke a moment later, he caught the faintest smell of pineapple. Fog filled the
room. Drummond swatted at the air, sending swirling clouds in a spinning pattern, revealing a
ghostly figure standing by the door.

“Hello, Wilson,” said the voice.

Drummond couldn’t distinguish any facial features, but he recognized the voice.


“Constance Rock, in person, at your disposal. Well, not exactly in person. You’ll catch
on in a minute.”

Drummond wasn’t buying it. “Constance Rock has been dead for ten years! I saw her die
at Mt. Sinai Hospital with my own eyes.”

“I lost all my money because of you. However, that’s not why I’m here. Come closer.
Take a good look at me.”

Drummond inched closer.

Rock said, “Quite a sight, eh?”

“What’s wrong with your skin?”

“I won’t be chosen as Miss Universe with this face, right?”

Drummond went to touch her face. His fingers went right through the dirty skin that
loosely covered her chalky bones, leaving no mark or blood.

“What the hell?” Drummond asked. “I bet that bastard Reese drugged my coffee. He’ll be
going straight to court! I have the best lawyers!”

Constance stopped him cold. “He did no such thing. I ruined my life in hopes of attaining
great wealth making reckless environmental choices. Look at me now! A freak destined to spend
one thousand years in purgatory, covered in coal dust. An ironic twist of fate based on my stock
portfolio while I was alive. However, it’s not too late for you. Three ghosts will take you on a
journey to alter your path. Heed their words Wilson, or you will suffer the same fate as I!”

Drummond scoffed at the suggestion, “You’re not real. You were a loser in life, and now
you’re a loser in death! Be gone, Constance Rock!”

The ghost and the fog vanished into the air vent.

Drummond assembled the pieces of his mobile phone and called his chauffeur, “Johnson,
are you there?”

“I’m blocking traffic. What’s taking so long?”

Drummond said, “An old business associate dropped by unexpectedly. She’s gone now.
I’m on my way.”

Drummond walked to the sink and splashed cold water on his face. I can’t tell anyone
about that!

Johnson pulled the limo onto Drummond Lane, past the long line of weeping willows
towards ‘The Whale’.

Before Drummond stepped out of the vehicle, a bounding, energetic child, Lily
Drummond, aged 6, ran to her beloved grandfather.

Drummond savored every minute of it. Taking the child in his arms, he beamed with
pride. He gave her the attention he never received as a child.

“I have a surprise for you. Reach into my coat pocket.”

Lily removed a candy bar.

Drummond said, “Cut it in half. You have to share the wealth with your mother.”

“Share the wealth? That doesn’t sound like the Wilson Drummond I raised!” said Gurtie
Drummond, entering the conversation from the front porch.

Drummond held his mother’s arm as they entered “The Whale” to a round of applause.
“Why are all you people in my house?” asked Wilson.

His wife, Marina, bedazzled in jewels, and twenty years his junior, greeted him with a
soft kiss on the cheek.

“Welcome home, darling. I hope you don’t mind. I hired ‘Ribs with Bibs” to cater

Drummond frowned, “I’m not in the mood for company or ribs. I wanted salmon and
some peace. I had an interesting experience as I prepared to leave the office.”

“What happened?”

“I’d rather not discuss it. I’ll chock it up to stress, or one of my employees poisoned

Marina grinned, “I’m sure it’s not the first time one of them wanted to kill you.”

Drummond said, “I’m going to take a nap. I’m bushed.” He showered and plopped into

Twenty minutes later, he woke to the smell of pineapple.

Drummond called for his assistant, “Bartlett! Get in here!”

Bartlett wasn’t there. A fine mist of clouds shrouded a ghostly figure hovering at the end
of the bed.

Drummond yelled, “Bartlett, there’s smoke in here!”

A voice said, “It’s not smoke, and I’m not Bartlett. However, I am here to serve you.”

As he had done earlier in the day, Drummond frantically waved his arms to clear his
view. “Who are you?”

“I installed the windows in this house many years ago. I’m waiting for my final payment.
You owe me twenty grand.”

Drummond looked at the ghost, “You’re Frankie Kaseda. You didn’t get paid because the
windows leaked.”

“That’s a lie.”

“You had a chance to take me to court. You backed down. What do you want from me?”

“I am the Ghost of Climate Past. We’re going on a trip.”

“I have dinner plans! Go away!”

Drummond collapsed on the bed, and the ghost returned them to his childhood home in
Cleveland Heights, Ohio.

Drummond stood at the top of the second-floor staircase. “I remember a party my parents
had one night, and I had a terrible dream. I went to the top of these steps, right where I’m
standing and started crying. My mother told me that crying was for babies. I was six years old.”

The ghost said, “That might explain why you can’t properly express your emotions.”

The duo darted in and out of clouds and time. When they landed at Taylor Road
Elementary School, Drummond saw a younger version of himself sitting on the bench of the
baseball diamond. He watched his teammates struggle to complete a routine defensive play. The
third baseman fumbled the ball, and two runners scored.

The younger Drummond yelled, “You suck Buccirelli!”

When the inning ended, the berated and error-prone fielder confronted Drummond, and
they exchanged punches. Drummond found himself on the ground, his pants torn, and his shirt
stained with the blood from his split lip.

Buccirelli yelled, “We hate your guts for being a rich, snobby asshole that wrecked Cain

The ghost asked, “What happened that drew their ire?”

Drummond spoke quietly. “We lived near a big park. Cain Park. It had a basketball court,
a set of swings, tennis courts, swimming pool, and a giant hill for sledding in the winter. One
summer day I went there to play basketball. I brought the only ball we had. I missed the game-
winning shot, but I swear to God, Mickey Shore fouled me. He called me a liar. We argued for
ten minutes. I took my ball and went home. The other kids were mad I ended the game.”

The ghost said, “That’s it?”

Drummond said, “When I told my mother what happened she said I showed weakness
and the other boys needed to learn a lesson about money and power. My father bought the park
and the land adjacent to it. He received a special permit to dig for oil. Right in the middle of the
neighborhood! Everyone hated me for the being the kid that ruined Cain Park. I didn’t care. I
was far superior to my peers intellectually, and I achieved great success as an adult.”

“You had the benefit of a nice head start from your father,” said the ghost.

Drummond angered, “I took his small advance and turned it into an empire! How many
other people do you know that own a reproduction of a giant whale in their foyer?”

The ghost asked, “It that is the measure of your success?”

“The whale keeps me focused on conquering my enemies, just like Captain Ahab.”
“Does the whale bring you happiness?”

Drummond exploded in anger, “Take me back to my house!”

“Consider this a warning, Wilson Drummond. Change your ways!”

As quickly as it appeared, the ghost vanished

The new work week began with a shout, “Reese! Where are my reports?”

Jericho rushed in holding a stack of papers ten inches thick. “Here you go, as I

Drummond pressed the intercom button. His secretary answered, “Yes, Mr. Drummond?”

“Allison, what day is it?”


‘It’s a simple request, sweetheart. What day of the week is it?”

“It’s Monday.”

“Thank you, my dear.”

Drummond said to Reese, “I was very clear about the deadline.”

“Yes, sir, you were clear. The rain delayed the game.”

“I don’t give a damn about the stupid game.” Drummond pointed his finger at Reese and
shouted, “You’re fired!”

He pressed the intercom a second time, “Allison, Mr. Reese is leaving. He’s got ten
minutes to clear out his office. Have security escort him out of the building.”

Reese and Drummond locked eyes. “I’ll be gone in five. You’re a sad, shallow excuse for
a man.”

He turned and stormed out.

The rest of the morning required Drummond to sit in on boring corporate meetings. He
preferred charts and graphs to written reports. He grabbed an early lunch, consisting of well-done
steak, a side of fries, and two scoops of ice cream for dessert. Drummond fell ill and decided to
go home to rest.

His sickness wasn’t due to firing a valuable employee. Drummond never admitted an
error in judgment. That showed extreme weakness. Industry insiders knew that if Wilson
Drummond terminated your employment, it was due to his inability to handle bad news and
looked to cast blame on others while accepting all the credit if the business went well.
Drummond’s belly ached, and his fever soared above 100 degrees. He popped a couple of Advil
and headed to bed.
Drummond shouted for his assistant, “Bartlett, I have an important teleconference at five
o’clock. Make sure I’m awake by three.”
As he slept, his reoccurring dream returned. He was the captain of a whaling ship,
searching the ocean for the elusive white whale. He stood on the deck of the HHS Drummond.
One of the spotters at the top of the mast yelled, “Two hundred meters, straight ahead! There’s
the beast that torments you, Captain!”
The water sprayed on the deck, drenching him. The vessel rocked side to side.
Drummond clung to the railing.
“Spotter, where is the creature now?”
The enormous white whale surfaced close to Drummond, absorbing the futile efforts of
the hapless harpoons. As it returned to the sea, it crushed the boat into pieces.
“Dammit!” yelled Drummond, waking from his nightmare.

Page 8

A voice said, “Is there a problem?”
The room filled with mist. The odd smell returned. A ghost appeared and said, “I am the
Ghost of the Current Climate in the world.”
Drummond asked, “Do I know you?”
“Years ago you refused to rent an apartment to me because of the color of my skin. I had
to move my family to a bad neighborhood. A man shot and killed my wife as she walked home
from work. I found the bastard and got my revenge. Now I’m paying for my sins, spending
eternity in this ghostly form. Trust me; you don’t want this existence. You must change your
ways at once!”
Drummond mocked the accusation, “Nonsense! I’m sure I had a valid reason. Probably
bad credit, or a criminal record!”
The ghost said, “You are running out of time!”
Drummond responded angrily, “I’m making a living for my family! Is that a crime?”
The ghost snapped his skeletal fingers, and they arrived at a small island in the Pacific
Ocean. An outcropping of shacks lay near the shore. Four bare-chested men stood at the edge of
the water, spears in hand, occasionally tossing their weapons into the frothy water. The largest of
the men nailed his target and retrieved a Mackerel, barely large enough to feed his family of four
for the evening meal.
Drummond said, “Why can’t they do better? Even a novice could catch a few with those
long spears.”
The ghost said, “Overfishing from large corporations, like the companies you control,
diminished the fish population.”
A thousand yards offshore a buoy bobbed up and down. As the water crested and fell,
Drummond spotted the roof of a house next far out at sea.
“What in the blazes is that house doing in the water?”
The ghost explained, “Ten years ago that house sat on dry land. The water rises each
year, due to climate change. That house belonged to those men. At this rate, the ocean will claim
the entire island in two years.”
Drummond refuted the ghost’s claim. “The world needs energy. Global warming is fake
Disheartened by Drummond’s ignorance, the ghost said, “Let’s continue.”

Page 9

They stood in the middle of a busy street in Raipur, India.
Drummond asked the ghost, “Can’t you remove the clouds? What is that awful smell?”
The ghost said, “Those aren’t clouds, it’s pollution from the burning of fossil fuels.”
“Wave your magic bony fingers and clear the air! I can’t see anything! I can’t breathe.”
Drummond coughed and put his tiny hands over his mouth.
The ghost said, “Air pollution will kill millions of people this year. Children will develop
lung ailments that stunt their growth, both mentally and physically, and they’ll die prematurely.”
“This isn’t my problem. I have my worries, too.”
The ghost cautioned Drummond, “If the situation isn’t resolved soon, life as you know it
will end in a terrifying disaster that even Steven Spielberg couldn’t conceive of.”
They left the stench of urban India and found themselves in the middle of the Amazon
jungle. A thick shield of trees made it difficult to see more than ten feet in front of them.
A buzzing sound, like thousands of bees, vibrated through Drummond’s head. He
covered his ears and asked, “Where are we? What is that noise?”
Drummond followed the ghost to a clearing.
“We’re in South America. We’re at the location of your largest manufacturing plant in
this region. The sound you hear is the whirring of a hundred saws tearing into the barks of an
endless row of trees.”
Drummond saw the stumps of ten thousand trees. The ghost removed a metal sign from
behind his back and stuck it in the ground. The sign read, UNLESS.
Drummond tossed his hands in the air. “I don’t understand. What does that mean?”
The ghost said, “Didn’t you read Dr. Suess as a child?”
“My parents preferred the classics.”
The ghost shook his head in disgust. “Dr. Suess is a classic.”
Their next stop brought them to a glass-bottom boat in the middle of the ocean.
Drummond appeared confused.
“What are we doing here?”

Page 10

“That is the heart of the Great Barrier Reef. It used to be the jewel of Australia. Now,
Ocean acidification is killing it. The bright colors of the reef are fading, bleached away from the
poison you dump in the water. You treat the ocean like a gigantic sewer.”
Drummond countered, “I help create jobs. That means more money for people to go on
“Vacationers won’t come here! Nobody will visit Australia to see the Not-so-Great
Barrier Reef. What are you willing to do to make the Barrier Reef great again?”
Drummond awoke to the sound of a car horn. Outside he spotted his grandchild pressing
the horn of her father’s Land Rover.
Drummond yelled, “Lily, please stop that! It’s annoying and loud.” Drummond headed
back to work to complete his massive deal with a Chinese company.
Two hours of tough negotiation, and 45.3 billion dollars later, he concluded the single
most significant purchase of his life.
He buzzed his secretary, “Allison, to help me celebrate, let’s order Chinese food. Egg
rolls, sweet and sour chicken, and for God’s sake, make sure there’s no pineapple in my order!”
Allison beamed with excitement, “My husband is taking me to Hawaii next week. He
says the pineapple is amazing!”
Drummond frowned, “Ugh, pineapple. I can’t even stand the smell of it. Lately, it’s in my
head all the time. Please leave me alone to bask in my glory. You’re talking to the richest man in
New York. If this deal is successful, someday I might be the richest man in China, too!”
He ate his meal, opened the fortune cookie, and read it. “To attain personal tranquility,
you must resolve old transgressions.” He crumpled the paper and tossed it away. Drummond
kicked back in his chair, exhaling deeply as the gratification of another successful deal sunk in.
“There it is again, dammit Allison, couldn’t you be more careful?” Drummond bent
down, searching for chunks of pineapple. He saw a pair of boney feet instead.
Looking up, he said, “Not another one of you guys! What grievance do you have with
me? Did I forget to replace my divot on the golf course?”
The ghost shaped the fingers of his right hand into the “okay” sign, and then they were
They landed in a neglected cemetery. The ghost motioned Drummond closer to the grave
directly in front of them. Drummond saw the last name of on the stone and shuddered. He saw
the date of death and scrunched his eyebrows. “The date of death... it’s thirty years from now. I
didn’t think I’d live another thirty years. What you’ve shown me is good news!”

The Ghost spoke for the first time. In a chilling voice reminiscent of Vincent Price, he
declared, “I am the Ghost of Climate Future! We are well past thirty years from now. We’re one
hundred years in the future. Look closer at the marker!”
Drummond peered at the name, and screamed, “NO!!!!!! It can’t be true! Tell me this is a
“It is true. The date of death is not a hoax!”
Drummond crumbled to the ground. “The name on the Lily Drummond! She
was only thirty-six years old! What happened to her?”
He rushed the ghost, hoping to shake the story out of him. The spirit moved effortlessly
out of the way, and Drummond lost his balance. He fell back towards the grave, landing inches
from his granddaughter. The ghost cackled hauntingly.
Drummond demanded to know the details of her death. “Don’t you understand? If I know
who did this to her, I can stop it from happening. I’ll kill the perpetrator when he or she is a
child, therefore eliminating the circumstances that caused her early death! I’m begging you,
please, tell me what happened to her!”
The ghost said, with a wry smile, “Wilson Drummond is begging for help. This
unexpected twist is most unusual. Your granddaughter died of respiratory failure, due to
complications of asthma.”
“Asthma?” Drummond’s eyebrows rose in recollection. “Jericho Reese’s kid had that!
It’s terrible news, but at least there’s nobody to blame.”
The ghost enjoyed his next statement a bit too much, “In this case, I can say with one-
hundred percent assurance there is someone to blame.”
Drummond’s anger returned two-fold, ‘Tell me goddammit! Who did this?”
The ghost spilled the beans, “You did!”
“What do you mean, I did? I would never harm her!”
The ghost grabbed Drummond, and they flew away from the cemetery and landed near
the Lincoln Memorial. Millions of people lined the streets, begging for government assistance.
Drummond asked, “What’s going on here?”

Page 12

“Food is scarce, and the water is undrinkable. You allowed the EPA to remove
safeguards that kept hazardous materials from entering the groundwater. You ignored the
meteoric rise in the levels of greenhouse gases that warmed the planet that caused dramatic
glacier melt that flooded cities throughout the world, including your fancy resort along the east
coast of Florida. You dug for oil in the last vestiges of pristine land. Your fracking company
caused a massive earthquake in Yellowstone National Park. Didn’t you think there would be a
price to pay for your short-sighted policies?”
Drummond answered, “What does any of this have to do with my Lily? Tell me what
happened to her!”
The ghost ignored him. “The Ghost of Climate Past took you to your childhood. The
Ghost of the Current Climate took you to witness the world you know. I’ve taken you to the
future. It’s the end of civilization.”
Drummond said, “You still haven’t told me why I’m responsible for Lily’s death!”
“For a billionaire, your IQ must be pretty low. When the Paris Climate Accord collapsed,
you hired Lily to run your Chinese portfolio. She moved to Beijing and her lungs filled with
toxins. The doctors performed a double lung transplant. She developed an infection and died a
slow and painful death. Even your family fortune couldn’t save your precious Lily! Shortly after
she passed, chaos followed, and this is what has become of the Earth. Historians blame your
“My leadership? I was just a businessman. I can’t be held responsible for the decline of
the entire world!”
The ghost laughed, “Oh, wait, this is the best part. I forgot to mention you became
President of the United States. You won twice! Your opponent won the popular vote each time,
but you received the higher amount of electoral votes. You should have seen the crowds at your
inauguration! Huuuuge! You prided yourself in being the greatest president since Abe Lincoln.
Unfortunately, history will judge you as the person responsible for killing more people than
anyone in the history of the world. People despise you more than Adolf Hitler!”
The ghost gave Drummond a minute to let this news sink in. Drummond replayed the
recent events in his mind. He shrunk to a mere shell of the man that formerly bragged about his
insignificant accomplishments.
“This is the future?” asked Drummond.
The ghost said, “This is how it ends.”
“Is there a way to change it? Is there time to save my Lily?”

Page 13

The ghost looked toward heaven. “There is time to alter the future. You must act now,
not in five or ten years. Dadum Tractum est.”
“I thought you said you were a genius? It’s Latin for “past the point of no return.”
“Take me back home at once!” said Drummond. A single tear fell from his right eye.
Drummond awoke gasping for breath, lying on the floor of his office. Allison and two
security guards stood above him.
“Mr. Drummond, are you okay? I thought you had a heart attack.”
“Thank you for your concern. I can assure you I’m perfectly fine. Please help me up.”
I saw you on the carpet, and you weren’t moving. It happened within seconds.”
“Seconds? I was gone longer than that.”
Allison asked, “Gone? Where could you have gone?”
“To the future, and it wasn’t pretty. I have a lot to do and not a lot of time to do it. Call
Jericho Reese. I need him back here, right away! Tell him I’m giving him a raise and purchasing
new uniforms for his kids’ soccer team. Don’t take no for an answer. I must call an associate in
China and give him some bad news. The deal is off. The three of you are witnessing the
transformation of the old Wilson Drummond, industrialist, narcissist, and self-aggrandizer into
Wilson Drummond, a friend of the Earth, always. Get Lily on the telephone. I want to hear her
sweet little voice.”
In the corner of the room, the ghosts of Constance Rock and her assistants gave each
other skeletal high-fives and left Drummond Tower for good, never to return.


Wilson Drummond did indeed change his ways. He donated his entire whale collection to
the Herman Melville House in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Drummond sponsored Earth Day
celebrations throughout the country for the next nine years. He became President of the United
States and represented all that was great in America. He was a beacon of goodness for all to
emulate, forming a coalition of governments to find solutions to clean the air, the water, and the
land, without causing hardship for the world’s economies. Under Drummond’s leadership, new
technologies spurred millions of new jobs in the clean energy sector. America considered him
the second most popular president ever, behind a man named Lincoln.

His granddaughter Lily, proud mother of three, grandmother of eight, and great-
grandmother of six, ran the “Wilson Drummond Cain Park Environmental Sanctuary” in
Cleveland, Heights, Ohio until the day she died, at the ripe old age of 93.