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Climate Change Story: The Court of Time

Stories and News No.1243

A short story about Climate Change:

The Court of Time

The courtroom of the Time is packed. Everybody is here. Those that count, not in the sense of money weight. They are the ones who are dedicated to counting what really matters. How many animals are at risk of extinction this year, how many days we anticipated the exhaustion of the earth's resources, how many atoms of excess carbon dioxide are in this instant in the fragile mantle of breathable air that stoically covers our poor planet. Silence now, the Judge is coming. All up, here he is. Indeed, the judge, to be honest, is a she and she is the Time. Because Time is a woman, you know? She is the sublime mother of everything and everyone, with fair affection she welcomes us into her womb and once we come into the world she accompanies us marking every step, gesture, heartbeat without ever getting distracted for a single fraction of a second until the end of the journey. "We are here to celebrate once againg this trial, which we never wanted to face", she exclaims in a calm and deep voice, unable, however, to betray a hint of inevitable sadness. "The prosecution may speak." Which means Future. And the future is a child, you know? This is easy. Even if it was once said that even children know it. Now it seems that only they know. Could it be the reason why we are here today? "I, the Future," begins the little one, without any hesitation due to his young age and immediately going to the point with extreme urgency for the same reason, "I am here to ask for the maximum penalty for the Present, guilty of the worst of the crimes according to the Time Code." "The accused may speak", says the judge, also called Your Timer, "who will defend himself. Because this is how it is done in the Court of Time: each one has the duty to answer in the first person for every action. How do you declare yourself?" The Present stands up too quickly, anxious to speak, but he has to sit back and try again more calmly, given his age. Because the Present is an old man, you know? Well, I understand that it shouldn't be like that, far from it, but it is humanity we are talking about, not marsupials or rodents. Everything goes haphazardly and is rarely an improvement on the big picture. "I, the Present ..." mutters the accused before letting go to a hoarse cough, moreover due to the pollution for which he is himself responsible. "I said, I, the Present, am pleading innocent." "Well," says Time. “Actually, bad. Let the prosecution call his witness. " The child who looks after the interests of the people of tomorrow does not waste a moment, because the survival of his customers literally depends on it. "I, the Future, call to the Past to the stand." “No, the Past no...” the Present screams with terror. "Silence," Time rebukes him, "otherwise I condemn you for outrage, as well as for cowardice." Even if the judge is afraid of the guy who is now reaching his seat. Because the Past is a ghost, you know? He is elusive and hides in the shadows, feared by everyone as the worst nightmare or evoked with burning nostalgia. But when he speaks to you directly, you have an obligation to listen to him carefully. If there is anyone who can help you uncover the deceptions of today, it is the one who paid the price with his own life. Ask the well-known Danish prince for confirmation. "Swear to tell the whole truth", begins to recite the Time, "the whole truth... oops, with you is not needed. Future, the witness is yours." Because the Past never lies. When this happens someone is cheating and the culprit is alive and well. "Past, where were you during every single year, month, day until the most negligible second ago?" "In my place." "And what would your place be?" "Behind the accused." "I object, Your Watch," the Present tries in vain, "behind me there is only my shadow." "And that's where I've always been," explains the main witness of the ancient trial. "Trying with every effort to attract the attention of the Present, screaming as only a ghost ignored for his entire life can scream." "And what are you shouting at the accused?" "What the Past desires from every Present." "What?" “To finally raise his head from himself and start taking care of the one who follows, just like now, only now, I desperately trying to do myself. Because there was a time when I was the Present too, but I committed the same crime..." "What do you think I can do now?" complains the accused with a tired voice, also violating the legal protocol. "It's too late and I will die soon." "In that case, in your place there will be a new Present," explains the Future, "and we will have to start all over again..." "But not while the accused is still alive," declares Time. "And as long as he is with us he has a remote chance to redeem himself." "Which one?" asks the Present. "That’s simple," replies the Past. "Take a step back and sit next to me. Let the Future take your place. "Exactly," rules the Time. "Because this is the only way we can stop repeating this absurd trial against ourselves once and for all..."

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My recent novel: A morte i razzisti (Death to racists)