Peer Review by Greta, the writer :) (United States)

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How Things Used To Be

By: birdsarentreal


PROMPT: Cli-Fi

Mom liked to tell us stories, when we were little, about the way things used to be. Even then, she said, they knew things were headed towards catastrophe. But they continued to live their lives as normal, leaving the warnings unheeded. 

There were cars. I've seen cars, who hasn't? There are still ambulances and fire trucks and government vehicles. But in those days, everyone owned one. My mother even had a driver's license. She told us about how relaxing it could be to drive along scenic highways. Most of the time, though, they took it for granted. People complained about having to drive. Gas was too expensive, or traffic was too heavy. If I had a car, I would never complain about driving. 

She talked about growing up in California. It was beautiful there, she used to say. Forests full of majestic redwood trees, sandy beaches, tall mountains. San Francisco was one of the first places to go; the Bay Area was eaten away slowly by the rising sea until there was nothing left. And the fires - Mom remembered how they used to choke up the sky with ash for weeks on end. No one wants to live in California anymore aside from a stubborn few. Same with Florida. Hurricanes aren't easy to deal with in the best of circumstances but they've become catastrophically worse in the last decade.

If I could, I'd go back in time to tell them not to be so stupid. They knew that their self-destructive behaviors would ruin the world for their children. For me. How selfish of them. We've now seen a global increase of four degrees Celsius. There are still denyers, but they're a minority that can't possibly last. Although at this point, I wonder if any of us will last.


Peer Review

It was beyond interesting to see your perspective on climate change and I have to agree with what you said. I'm not sure I felt much different but I felt more at ease, knowing others feel just as I do.


One thing I think you could improve is to make the story a bit more personal to the character's perspective and maybe make it feel more like a story. The comments and persepctive were very interesting but you can add some detail about something that happened personally to the main character that affected their view on climate change.


Reviewer Comments

I loved your listing of words like how you said "forests full of majestic redwood trees, sandy beaches, tall mountains."