Solving Hadrian’s Energy Needs By Patricia Marie Budd - November 3, 2019

After the last meeting with Gerard Hunter Destiny realized she had been lapse in her questioning. She had inquired about how the company planned to ensure the health of its workers and that question got overlooked in lieu of Ester’s query regarding the disposal of toxic waste. This was not to suggest that Ester’s enquiry wasn’t necessary, it was, but Destiny really wanted assurances that Hunter Fisheries employees would be well looked after. It is too late for her to demand such guarantees now that the credits had been transferred from Hadrian’s National to the Hunter Fisheries account. She will continue to remind Gerard Hunter of his responsibility to his employees, but she knew she would obtain an agreement in the form of lip service only. Observation of her parent’s frustrations when dealing with business taught Destiny that wealth and power come before all other considerations, which is why Destiny believes humanity is in the fix it is in, in the first place. This next meeting, though, will be different. Once she asks a question, Destiny is determined not to let go of the topic until she is assured of an appropriate response. This proves most unfortunate for Sulieman Nasser, Iskander Nasser’s youngest son, as he is next on the hot seat to discuss how he hopes to meet Hadrian’s energy needs with his business, Clean Air Energy.
Iskander Nasser’s ire was reaching its peak as Destiny, like she always did, had managed to navigate the discussion towards environmental concerns refuting all possible means. Granted, such navigation is obvious and inevitable, it’s just that Destiny has the uncanny ability to find the potential for environmental damage in every single energy option his son, Sulieman is presenting to the Founders. What is even more annoying is that he can’t defend his boy as such would be seen as showing deference to one company over another. He knows he is being tested as much as, if not more so, than his son.
“Sulieman,” Destiny’s query is curt, “There are places in the world where they are still mining coal. Worse yet, they ignite underwater coal seams to create gas for energy. This is highly toxic and has contaminated waters off the coast of England, Scotland, Australia, South Africa, and the US. (footnote) These gas companies have left nothing but destruction in their wake.”
“Destiny, please,” Iskander intercedes on behalf of his son, “no one here is suggesting anything of the sort, but the fact remains we have to figure out ways to heat our homes, and that requires energy and nearly every known method of creating energy has some sort of environmental impact.”
“Exactly, father, thank you.” Though annoyed that his father continues to speak for him, Sulieman is grateful for the intercession as Destiny Stuttgart refuses to budge an inch on even the most limited use of fossil fuels inside Hadrian. “Entire acreages are taken up with solar panelling, wind spats to are built-in naturally occurring wind patterns which birds use to fly. Hydropower reshapes the landscape with damning.”
“Yes, but…”
“But, nothing, Destiny,” Iskander cuts in again, “let the boy speak.”
Sulieman winces, why can’t father ever say ‘man’? Why must he always refer to me as a child? Regaining his composure, Suliman continues, “The fact is, we have to come to terms with the amount of environmental impact we will inevitably have and work towards limiting that as much as possible. Even our reclamation efforts will require energy output and our energy output has to come from somewhere.”
“Not from fossil fuels, no gas, no oil! We agreed.”
“Yes, yes,” Ester Stiles intercedes, “we agreed on no fossil fuels, so we must work with alternate forms of energy. How about limiting the number of solar panel fields and ensuring all rooftops are solar panel equipped. Yes, yes, – (Nasser) we will require the larger output of energy and storing stations for the build-up of energy captured during high sun seasons to be used when sun capture is limited or impossible but, with individual home solar panelling we can reduce our overall energy consumption substantially.”
“And, where will the profit for Energy Corp. be?”
“Profit? Is that all you care about is profit?”
“To motivate my company into powering your nation, we will need a way to make money. We simply cannot spend, spend, spend just to satisfy your ecumenical desires.”
“Ecumenical? I happen to be an atheist, dear man.”
Ester considers interceding but is far too amused at the moment by Destiny’s reaction to Nasser’s comment.
“I use the word in its broader sense, ‘general, universal’ your,” he flicks his hand in circles, “philanthropic approach to such topics.”
“This is more than just a topic, dear man, this is the planet earth.” Turning now to Ester, the unannounced leader of the five, “I thought we were done with rapping the earth.”
Before responding, Ester rubs her thumb and fingers over her forehead. “We are,” though not meaning to be curt, her words have an acerbic edge to them, “think of it more like making love to the planet.”
“Ester, please…”
“Destiny, hear me out!” Sighing to release the tension in her voice, Ester continues. “What we take from the earth will be replaced. All forms of energy use will be recorded, and reclamation projects will be given the highest priority. There will be major tax breaks for energy corporations who can provide our people with energy creating the least amount of damage possible as well as evidencing their success at reclaiming that land or body of water.”
“And, how exactly, is that going to happen?” Destiny is adamant that all details regarding environmental concerns be expressly stated.

*please note – this chapter is still being developed – more to come*

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Patricia Marie Budd

Patricia Marie Budd

I teach high school English in Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada. I have self-published four novels and am currently working on the fifth. My play, The Aging Philosopher" received honourable mention in the 2001 Alberta Playwright's Playwriting Competition. I am an avid lover of poetry and often try pen at composing verse.

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