Writers draw inspiration from the world around them, and this couldn’t be truer for myself when I wrote Lost Frequencies. I wrote a sci-fi/fantasy book with many parallels to modern day Earth in the hopes of highlighting the problems we face, in a new way. It's easy to shrug off the blame in today’s world and point fingers. It’s also easy to feel complete hopelessness when it comes to large problems and therefore turn off to them and say; well, there’s nothing I can do about it anyway. As much as this may be true, and there isn’t anything wrong with feeling this way, it doesn’t help anybody, including yourself and future children.
There are many problems that humans face today, but I decided to focus on three areas that I consider to be major global issues; climate change, knowledge and wealth. At first glance some of these may be obvious and others you might not see any problems with, but I will explain my thoughts and reasoning by comparing my fictional world, Iyeeka, to Earth.
It’s the big elephant in the room that everyone either talks about, or ignores completely, either way it seems no forward-thinking legal decisions ever seem to be made. Iyeeka has a similar climate change problem to Earth, brought on by a number of different reasons. Their oceans are toxic and more acidic compared to those on Earth, historically making travel by boat difficult. There are also many dangerous and large creatures living in Iyeeka’s oceans. Iyeekans didn’t burn fuel to pollute their atmosphere, but they did channel all their waste into their oceans, increasing the toxicity of their oceans and killing off all the ocean flora and fauna. This heated up the climate and changed the migration and rainfall patterns across Iyeeka, leading to fresh water shortages and crop failure. Hundreds of thousands of Iyeekan’s were forced to move from the South to the North. Many died due to water and food shortages and overpopulation in certain areas became an issue. Iyeekans' biggest downfall was that they didn’t realise the damage they were doing to their planet before it was too late. They were completely unprepared for the catastrophes coming their way, and had they known differently, they would have definitely changed the way they lived.
Despite this, a few Iyeekans did realise the damage that was being done to their planet and did make steps forwards in dealing with climate change. They made freshwater by building machines to detoxify their seawater, and they changed the way they disposed of their waste. Climate change is a big problem with no simple solutions here today on Earth, but there are things we can do and unlike the Iyeekans, we have the technology to help our planet.
A key problem for Iyeekans is their knowledge, or rather, lack of. Iyeeka is a much bigger planet than Earth and its continents are much larger. This means that each individual Iyeekan has much more space than each individual human does on Earth today. Iyeekans also share their continents with many dangerous creatures, including the carnivorous Bokhanya. Early on in their evolution, Iyeekans decided to work together in order to survive and fence out all the dangerous creatures that threatened them. Resources and land were plentiful so there were no wars and very few disagreements. As a result, Iyeekans were just not curious about their world or how it worked, and there was little drive to create better technology. In contrast, most of the technology we humans have today is a result of the industrial revolution, WW1 and WW2. Iyeekans were ignorant and life was relatively easy, when their climate issues began to surface, they really didn’t know what was going on or how to deal with it.
Humans on the other hand do have the knowledge of climate change and we do have the technology to fix it. It is just a matter of if we will do it or not. The other problem we will face way into the future, if we make it that far, is finding a new home planet. Earth will not last forever and humans will have to find a way to survive in space, and for that to happen we must continue to push our own technology forwards.
Iyeekans don’t have money or any monetary based system, and hoarding resources is frowned upon and seen as a mental illness. Iyeekans lived in districts similar to the towns and cities of Earth. Each family had their own home and equal sized plot of land. Iyeekans grow their own food and make their clothes and tools. Anything extra they make or produce, they take to a communal warehouse where they leave their extras and take other things that they need. In this way Iyeekans shared their skills and resources with each other and their communities thrived. Everyone was equal and worked hard to contribute to their communities. Iyeekans are very different to humans in this way, they didn’t have the same economic problems, class divides and poverty that we do today.
Ultimately Iyeekans are not the same as humans but they aren’t too dissimilar either. Lack of knowledge caused most of their problems, yet humans have knowledge and seem to do nothing with it. There is power in education and learning, whatever you may or may not believe outside of that. Both humans and Iyeekans have their strengths and weaknesses, but I personally think that there is much humans could learn and benefit from by copying a society similar to that of the Iyeekans. I know economically it is probably unlikely, but even a fictional comparison is food for thought.