By Neha Chollangi
This is a satire piece from our Fun Issue, The Darkest Timeline. Life has become such a clusterfuck that it’s hard to tell the difference between reality and satire. While this is a made up story, it’s rooted in truth and research to provide social commentary. Have fun reading!
A team of researchers at Ryerson have recently found an alternate reality in which the Earth is not burning and the climate crisis simply does not exist in their vocabulary.
The search for a new home has been ongoing but accelerated ever since climate scientists started screaming about rising sea levels and the rapid demise of our planet.
A few of the researchers travelled through a portal created inside the men’s washroom in their lab building to observe the alternate reality. After nine full days of chanting spells, the portal blossomed open and immediately sucked in the group of five researchers.
“We didn’t expect the portal to open so quickly at all,” said Julio Henderson, captain of the research expedition team. “In fact, we were actually prepared to keep chanting for another three weeks until we even got the smallest results but I reckon there is a powerful source on the other side that really wanted us to see this alternate reality.”
The team has dedicated their lives to running away from their real life problems. They found their calling in exploring the magical worlds hidden from our sight. Their past discoveries include Universe 27 where dinosaurs are alive and thriving, and Universe 56 where plants can talk. As for their latest exploration, Universe 95 gives us a peek into a world where the climate crisis isn’t threatening the Earth’s very existence.
“We wanted to see what our world would look like if we didn’t screw up everything so badly,” said Henderson.
One of the first things the team noticed was that the people of this world were significantly happier and didn’t have the deep look of despair lingering in their eyes. Instead, they were skipping around the streets, holding hands and whistling songs.
“I do admit that it is a privilege to have luxuries like clean water, fresh air and robust landscapes for all of our people to enjoy,” said local resident Gladys Fin, before she rode her bike into the sunset.
“It was really alarming at first,” said Henderson, who experienced serious culture shock. “I’m so used to seeing everyone looking drained of all hope. I honestly couldn’t believe they weren’t all on ecstasy. It was just a sober joy for life.”
Despite the initial confusion from the unfamiliar culture, the team spent a total of five days in Universe 95 to make crucial observations on what our world has yet to achieve.
On their brief helicopter ride over the Arctic, team member Linus Vasel said he passed out when he actually saw glaciers for the first time in his life, as well as arctic animals like polar bears and seals. “They were living their best lives,” said Vasel, which is unlike how he last saw them sitting on an iceberg the size of a donut on his cruise to Alaska.
In fact, many ecosystems were actually completely undamaged and thriving to the point where the planet was slowly expanding with an abundance of land and natural resources. The team reported an overwhelming prosperity of species in both the Amazon rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef.
But, while Universe 95 has a handful of positives, the team felt homesick for Earth’s grimey and edgy vibes.
“It obviously doesn’t have the same charm without sparkling plastic decorating the oceans, mountains of food waste and the beaming light of forest fires,” said Vasel, who was nostalgic for Earth’s homely landscapes during his expedition. “I have to admit that there is a kind of exciting thrill to being on the brink of a mass extinction.”
Nevertheless, the inevitable question has been raised on whether it’s possible to relocate our people to Universe 95. However, it seems to be very unlikely. Alternate reality experts say it is practically impossible to even attempt to transfer over our population. “We would probably burn that world too,” said Denny Turner, a random student who tagged along on the expedition.
“The most we can do for now is to live vicariously through the alternate world and admire their sustainable lifestyles. But, we truly hope that, perhaps through prolonged exposure, our population can adapt the same habits and see this reality as something Earth can become, ” said Turner.
The team also had a short meeting with the monarchy of Universe 95 and met the Queen to question her about how they achieved the impossible task of keeping their world in a livable condition. However, the Queen being quite cryptic in nature, told them that we are “absolute morons” who need to do more than avoid plastic straws and turn off lights for an hour once a year. She also firmly said “There is no way in goddamn hell that you lot are bringing your destructive people onto my land.”
The team installed close to 30,000 cameras in Universe 95. They plan to use the footage to document the eco-conscious world and make a movie once we save Earth, entitled: “We’re Going To Reverse The Crisis If It’s The Last Thing We Fucking Do.”