Value Chain Emissions. Assisted dying. Resettlement.


The War Against Climate Change.

Light rail. Pensions. Eco-Guardians.

Read-through version.
Press Conference #2
Euthanasia, assisted dying, ecosystem science, economics, climate change, managed retreat.

Placard: 65 years earlier. A press conference room and podium, with a lectern or music stand facing the audience, and a flag as backdrop. Use microphones and tele-prompters if available.

FOGEY and LIEUTENANT, both in civilian attire, are preferably sitting in front stalls or aisle seats where venue permits. Use (boom) microphones if available. Armed security personnel also evident.

(From wings of the stage left, PRESIDENT, enters from off, walks to lectern. SOPHIE follows, wearing quasi-military camouflage, and a cap. The longer speeches can be read in the same way as at a press conference in real life, looking up and pausing naturally; alternatively, if possible, SOPHIE and PRESIDENT move around the stage, using a microphone.)

Good morning, everyone. With me today is Sophie, our Secretary for the Environment.

Our first topic today is Value Chain Emissions. There will apply to all manufacturers, importers, distributors, retailers and suppliers. Each individual product (except fresh fruit and vegetables) will be labelled with the total greenhouse gas emissions incurred in production, stated as carbon dioxide equivalents.

(FOGEY raises hand)


What exactly do you mean by emissions, Mister President? Vehicle emissions, or what?

Greenhouse gas emissions.

And which gases are they, Mister President?

(PRESIDENT and SOPHIE exchange looks, SOPHIE nods.)

Colonel, you can easily fact-check this on the internet. The greenhouse gases are carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and sulphur hexafluoride.

In this context, the Coalition is moving our homeland from an open democracy toward a democratic noocracy; that is, toward government by the wise. In our lifeboat situation, as a refuge, our homeland, our people cannot be governed by unqualified, ignorant clowns. So, to this end, the Coalition will introduce a professional qualification for elected members of government, and the same will apply to accredited journalists.

What does that qualification entail, Mister President?

The qualification will consist of a shortened diploma in science and technology, and it will provide the technical background to ecological issues and the natural world.

(FOGEY raises hand)

Journalists and those standing for public office will have three years to comply with the new requirements. Colonel?

What happens if a journalist is just too busy with reporting, Ma'am?

(Amused smile but crisply.)

You will lose your press pass, Colonel, and your media accreditation. The same will apply to radio and TV hosts, newsreaders, and presenters, and commentators. Disinformation on public media will not be tolerated.

(SOPHIE looks at PRESIDENT, who nods and takes over.)

The next topic is called the Refuge initiative. This initiative is grounded on the idea that there are some areas which offer better survival prospects as a refuge from climate chaos.

Prospects in our biggest city are not good. The climate there will become tropical, and farming in the port hinterland will become increasingly difficult.

Our best chance of survival is to relocate to the Refuge zone, and this means some form of managed retreat over a period.

The relocation program is called the NADIZ program. It stands for New Alternative De-Industrialised Zones. (Colonel raises hand.) At heart, it is about setting up new business parks in the Refuge area, and encouraging people to move there.


Objection. Forced resettlement is a fascist tool.

Overruled. This resettlement is voluntary. You may choose to remain behind, if you wish, Colonel.


Why was only one specific refuge area chosen?

Look at the climate projections produced by Meteorological Institute, Lieutenant. Our biggest city will become tropical, and vulnerable to tropical cyclones. (LIEUTENANT raises hand) The refuge zone will be sub-tropical, it is close to hydro-electric power sources, and includes good farmland.


What type of settlements will be built?

A string of smaller settlements connected by light rail, Lieutenant. All the settlements will need to be inland, at least eighty meters above mean high-water sea-level. They will need to have reliable, local water sources. Also, each house will need its own garden so that an element of self-sufficiency and resilience is introduced, in the event of flooding, power outages, or drought. These settlements are to be designed and built for survival.

Overall, the NADIZ program is intended to support a well-planned, well-managed retreat from vulnerable areas. Our biggest coastal city will become more of a winter holiday resort.

(FOGEY raises a hand)
The international airport there is vulnerable to rising sea levels and will eventually need to be closed, and rail links to the nearest inland airport are tenuous at best.


Surely all these issues are decades into the future? It is none of our business.

(PRESIDENT looks at SOPHIE, who nods.)

The Coalition IS the next generation, Colonel. And this is how the Coalition is dealing with it. If the post-war generation wishes to stay behind and fry, they are more than welcome to do so, in fact, for they will be encouraged to stay. The NADIZ program is for young workers, young mothers and children to move to a more survivable microclimate.

The Coalition will also be gradually relocating most central government functions to the Refuge zone, as part of the future-proofing and refuge strategy. However, at the same time, central government services will be decentralised, so that they are more resilient in the event of an earthquake.

That's just all another grandiose scheme, another waste of taxpayer's money.

That's just your own private opinion, Colonel.

(Very short pause.)

There are several Coalition initiatives which address demographic issues. Like many countries across the world, our homeland faces an ageing population, and, under our present voting system, older voters dominate the political landscape, whereas it is the younger age cohorts that will actually have to deal with the consequences of climate chaos.

Senior voters will therefore be placed on a separate, senior, electoral roll and have their own representatives, called senators, who will have the power to review legislation.

Voters will automatically migrate to the senior voting roll at age fifty.

(FOGEY raises hand)


What if I don't want to vote on the senior electoral roll, Ma'am?
You still have the option not to vote at all, Colonel.
(Loudly, interrupting)

It's just not democratic!

Democracy is not necessarily the best option in a lifeboat. Would you choose, Colonel, to put elite twats in charge of a lifeboat? Or trained crew?
People have rights!

Oh yes, Colonel. That means that younger people have the right to do whatever is necessary for their own survival. That is all. The Coalition is not taking away your right to vote. We are merely putting you, Colonel, on a separate roll to elect representatives in a senate or Council of the Elders.

Moving on to the next item, the Coalition will appoint a panel of seven Guardians of Nature world to the Legislative Council; and every single piece of legislation will need to be signed off by one of them. These Guardians may also issue directives to Government, and force the government of the day to comply by going to the Supreme Court. These constitutional changes are needed to prevent backtracking on existing and future promises to protect nature.

The seven Guardians of Nature will be appointed by an Electoral College, made up of sixty-three members with appropriate professorial qualifications, appointed for a period of thirty years. The quorum will be twenty-one members.

(FOGEY and LIEUTENANT raise hands simultaneously.)

The idea here is to forestall any attempt to bias the Electoral College with members who favour business interests.


Why's all this extra bureaucracy necessary, Ma'am? What's the rationale behind it?

Very simply to protect the natural world in the future, Lieutenant, and prevent business interests watering down the protections as time goes by.

Also, the age-threshold for state pension will be put back to seventy-seven, and the state pension will become means-tested.

(FOGEY waves a hand)

For many years, it has been common knowledge that the present pension scheme is unsustainable and unaffordable. The post-war generation will no longer have their nose in the funding trough, to the detriment of younger people and their children.


Why seventy-seven, Ma'am?

We could alter it to eighty-seven, if you wish, Colonel. We simply cannot afford to leave it as is.

Another aspect is assisted dying. The government will introduce legislation to make assisted dying legal for anyone aged fifty or over. This is part of the lifeboat concept, where the Coalition need to focus first on the welfare of younger generations, and allow older people to make their own decisions about their future.

At the same time, immigration rules will be adjusted to give more weight to issues of social cohesion and integration, rather than simply giving priority to economic criteria.

(FOGEY waves a hand)

Yes, Colonel.

Does this not amount to war on the elderly?

No, Colonel, not at all. Giving people options does not amount to war at all. But yes, the Coalition is looking to the future, and the welfare of future generations, not just our own.

In their time, the post-war generation did it all their way: now the young are doing it our way instead. The roles are reversed.

But Ma'am, the Coalition've stolen my time in retirement, my pension payments, my future.

(Security guards put hand to earpiece: one steps forward and whispers to PRESIDENT.)

(While PRESIDENT is being escorted toward stage left.)

Just like the post-war generation took away my own future, Colonel. And the post-war generation ruined my future, my children's future, and my grandchildren's future, the same for generations to come.

(An alarm sounds repeatedly.)

You have no grounds for complaint.

(Over shoulder while SOPHIE is being hurried by security toward stage left.)

It's karma.

(A mob of protesters burst through rear doors to the auditorium. There are shouts of "Freedom!", "Democracy". Protesters are confronted with line of armed security personnel. FOGEY and LIEUTENANT retreat to stage. Pause in stand-off.)



The story, all names, characters, and incidents portrayed here are fictitious. No identification with actual persons (living or deceased), places, buildings, and products is intended or should be inferred.