FutureFlash! 2050:  Sage and the Climate Challenge


It was June 2050, the day before the global celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Earth Charter.

Sage’s whole family was at the Sustainable Living Center.  The four generations were having a quiet week together before the Big Day. Today most of the family was out on Hampton Lake. Sally's family was taking their turn at Great-Gramma Sage's house. It was just the way Sally remembered it the day they helped her grandmother move in, back in 2015..

Little Willow marched across the room in her grand three-year-old style. “Priority One - Done!  Priority One - Done!” she sang out.

“Priority One IS done,” Sally laughed.  “Pretty amazing, isn’t it?  I remember when we first started playing the Climate Challenge, right here at the Sustainable Living Center.  Aspen, I’ll bet if you ask Great-Gramma Sage, she’ll tell you all about it.”

Aspen, who was eight, loved to hear stories from their great-grandmother's younger days.  He never knew which generation her story would be about.  

"Great-Gramma Sage, will you tell us a FlashBack?" he asked.

Sage smiled and patted the couch beside her.  Aspen and Willow climbed up and snuggled in, one on each side.  

"Once upon a time," Sage said, "back in the year 2016, your mother Emma and her brother Ben were just little kids like you.  They sat with me right over there by my old computer.  Your grandparents were there too, and your silly dog Lolly.”

Sally laughed.  “That day we imagined the 2050 celebration that you are going to see tonight.”

Gramma Sage nodded to the children. “We figured out that Sally and Ben would be about the age they are now, and they would have children of our own.”

“That’s us!” said Aspen to his little sister.

Gramma Sage got that look she always got when she was going into storytelling mode.  “I remember it like it was yesterday …”


FlashBack August 2016:  Sage and the Climate Challenge

It was August 2016.  Gramma Sage asked Emma, “Do you remember the Global Warming Express birthday party a few months ago?”

“Sure,” said five-year-old Emma, “that’s when Cousin Elica and I both turned five.”

“Twin cousins!” chimed in three-year-old Ben.

“That was a fun day,” said Gramma Sage.  “You colored lots of butterflies and tied them to tall wand fronds.  The butterflies and bubbles helped the Global Warming Express train get from my house that we call Eco2 to President Obama at the White House -- we imagined that was at the Peace Education Center.”  

“The train was funny -- a cardboard cutout in a little red wagon. Along the way we rescued lots of stuffed animals. We found cardboard dolls by the Cracker house that looked like Elica and me,” said Emma.

“You remember!” said Gramma Sage.  “We hurried the Global Warming Express to the White House to ask President Obama to help change climate change.  But when the children and animals asked President Obama (who was really your Uncle Joe) if he could stop global warming, he said, “Not by myself!”  

So we all went to the Paris France, which we recognized by the cardboard Eiffel Tower.  The leaders of the world (played by your parents) were there to talk about what to do about climate change.  They talked and argued and struggled to come to an agreement.  And they finally did it and cheered.”

“They told us that we had to keep the world from getting too warm,” Emma told her little brother.  “Cousin Elica had an idea of how to do that.  She said we could put some snow on it to cool things off.”

“That was a good Seed Idea, don’t you think?” asked Gramma Sage.  “You children came up with lots of good ideas that day.  We played some games and ate a good dinner and I read you the first chapter of the 2050 story.  

And now I want to show you what I imagined then that the celebration will look like in 2050.”

Gramma Sage turned to her computer, and brought up a video and paused it before it began.  She turned to her granddaughter.  “When you were first born, Emma, I told your Mom and Dad that I was writing a story in the future.  It would be about a time when you were all grown up, with children of your own, in the year 2050.  The world would be celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Earth Charter.  People would be at stadiums all over the world, watching the same display with stories of people who helped to make the vision of the Earth Charter a reality.  I wanted to include something amazing and wonderful in my story, but I couldn’t imagine what the technology of that time might look like.”

“So I asked your Dad, who loved to tinker with electronics.  He dreamed up the technology that would project a hologram of the Earth that would sprout a tree that would grow taller and fuller until the branches overarched the whole stadium.  It would be alive with pictures of people telling their own stories from the past, present and future.”

She looked at Reed, who said, “I remember that conversation. It sure was fun to imagine it."

"That was one Seed Idea that took lots of people and many years to complete. And soon we'll get to see it!" said Sally.

Gramma Sage said, “I loved the idea of the holographic Human Family Tree. It made it easy for me to imagine what the Celebration might look like in 2050.  So I want to show you what I wanted to see when the human family wins the Climate Challenge -- Priority One in the Sustainable World Game.”

She looked at her grandchildren and tapped her finger near her eye.  “I spy with my Earth Charter eye … a global celebration in cities all over the world“”  She started the video of the opening ceremony at the Beijing Olympics of 2008.   

“Every city will celebrate the talents and contributions of people from that part of the world.  Pacha and the Earthman will host the Sustainable World Game Show, as they have from the beginning.  The ceremony will feature a huge choreographed production with local children, youth, adults and elders -- like the drummers and martial artists and historic figures in China at the 2008 Olympics.

“And a holographic image of the Earth will appear in the center of the field.  It will sprout a leaf which will grow into a seedling, and a sapling, and a flowering tree as tall as the stadium, and a fruiting Human Family Tree that reaches out into the night sky.  The tree is alive with images of individual Climate Collaborators, each telling their own story of how they helped in the transition to a sustainable future.  And people in the stadiums and at home in every part of the world can search for the people who are working on similar problems.  They can join each others’ Teams to grow Seed Ideas from Vision to Reality.”

Gramma Sage concluded, “And that’s my best vision of what the global celebration will look like, when we win the Climate Challenge -- Priority One of the Sustainable World Game.  But I imagine that it will be even grander than that, if you children have anything to do with it.”

“Tell us about the Sustainable World Game Show,” said Emma.

“Ah, that will be a sight to see, won’t it?  It hasn’t been invented yet.  But Pacha and Earthman are getting ready.”


“And we need to get ready for the Celebration, kiddoes,” said Sally.

Gramma Sage smiled and patted Willow’s knee. “Now you get to see the rest of our story!”

Willow and Aspen slid off the couch.  Aspen turned and looked up at his great-grandmother.  “I love you all the way to the Celebration and back, Gramma Sage,” he said.

Sage took his two little hands in hers.  “And I love you way more than that, little man.”



Learn how YOU can help to win the Climate Challenge -- Priority One of the Sustainable World Game!






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