Drabble is a fun word for a short work of fiction that’s precisely 100 words long.
The word comes from a joke in Monty Python’s Big Red Book — the drabble was a game where players competed to be the first to write a novel, hence the necessarily short length.
After dipping our toes into the world of climate fiction, the Fix team decided to make it a mainstay of our new solutions-focused newsletter, Looking Forward. Fiction can be a powerful tool to help us think outside the confines of today and imagine the future that we want. That’s why most issues of the newsletter start with a cli-fi drabble — to give a glimpse of the endgame for the solutions and ideas we cover. We’re collecting some of our favorites below.
Want to try writing your own drabble? Send it our way, and we’ll consider featuring it in a future newsletter!
Thank you, you whisper in your head as you sit comfortably on the floor of Ada’s attic, with your wife and kids and six neighbors.
Thank you for letting her borrow mint from the garden. Thank you for fixing that squeaky gate.
You don’t think about your own home flooding for the third time this year. You’re up here, dry and safe.
Thank you for those long sidewalk chats, even though you found her strange at first.
Ada offers you dried mangoes from her emergency supply bag — you shake your head, but squeeze her hand and smile.
— Community is a climate solution: October 28, 2021
The climate crisis can feel so big, but one of the best ways to be proactive in your own life is quite small — simply meeting your neighbors is a climate solution. In this newsletter, we talked to Christine Nieves about her work activating a Puerto Rican community to feed each other in the wake of Hurricane Maria, and about how community itself is a powerful tool in building climate resilience. Read more
Affordable homes border swaths of public green space.
An environmental justice organization, well funded and powered by community voices, advocates for residents’ needs and brings its expertise to local and national policymaking.
Health care, locally grown produce, and sustainable goods abound — easily accessible by bike or electric bus.
Those goods are the result of a global supply chain that has taken a holistic approach to sustainability, changing the lives of millions of workers.
What’s behind this picture? “Holistic, comprehensive development,” “a diversity of perspectives and backgrounds in all environmental policymaking,” an end to “the exploitative nature of market capitalism.”
— based on visions of the future from Robert Bullard, Charles Lee, Peggy Shepard, and Baldemar Velasquez
To achieve a just future, you’ve got to know its roots:
November 11, 2021
Sometimes in order to look forward, you need to look back. In this newsletter, we interviewed four leaders who were part of the first National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit in 1991 about the history of the environmental justice movement — and how it marches on today, and into the future. Read more
You sigh at the empty bottles forgotten on your kitchen counter. Your partner was supposed to stop by the refillery after work. You’re about to send a grumpy text when …
Ugh, is all they type.
DON’T buy more bottles, you write. You’ve got bottles galore, all you need is shampoo.
Let’s just go together tomorrow? We need to go food shopping too, we can hit both places. You’re annoyed, but at least now you get to go to the refillery — a favorite weekend stop. You start listing the other things that could use refilling: lotion, toothpaste, sunscreen …
— Refill, replace, upcycle: November 23, 2021
Plastic is an environmental scourge — emissions from the plastic industry are on track to surpass coal by the end of this decade. But the solutions to it are way more exciting than paper straws and canvas grocery bags. In this newsletter, we spotlight three paths to a less plasticky future. Read more
Stay tuned for more drabbles, and subscribe to the Looking Forward newsletter to receive them, plus the current-day solutions they stem from, in your inbox every other Thursday.