We hear a lot about the future of New York, of San Francisco, of England. Ever wondered what the NORTH would look like in 50 years? What would be happening, what kinds of trends here in the Yukon? What kinds of possibilities? Is it all going to be dark from climate change, or will we adapt as we go? I think it’s going to be a good Future if we can take better care of the Now.
Three years ago I created a five part series called “Yukon 2058” for the 50th anniversary of CBC. They wanted something that celebrated their first 50 years, so I offered them a look at the next 50 years. My theme was to eventually come back to why CBC is important, why local programming trumps National programming, why having a large staff in a small place like the Yukon is important. I tried weave my opinions about what is good about CBC, and what is bad about the trends happening to CBC, into a narrative. Yukon 2058 is the result. 5 parts. The narrative of a CBC reporter wondering what his future will be, trying to find where he belongs in a rapidly competitive market.
You can go to the Radio Series page and look under YUKON 2058.
*image is Joyce Majiski’s “Racing Uphill.” See more of her work on her website.
What do you think will happen in 50 years?
Starting Monday, you can hear Yukon 2058 at 7:20 and 4:50, daily through Friday morning,I think. It will also be on the website for CBC North if you miss it. It’ll be there for 24 hours.
Yukon 2058 is my speculation on what the North will be like in 50 years, written in honour of the 50th Anniversary of CBC in the North.
You can read more about the series here. Hope you enjoy my vision of the future, and please tell CBC about your vision of the future. You can make it happen by imagining what you want first. Remember, we create the future.
Illustrations here and above by Shaun Tan. I like to think of this one as the pot we grow the future in. Look at all the things the kid is throwing in there.
Well, it’s official. Yukon 2058, my newest radio series premieres Dec. 8th on CBC. They’ll play it in the mornings, in the afternoons and have it available on their website for 24hrs. If you miss it, you can go to their CBC North website.
What is it? It’s a story about a man who is working for CBC in 2058. By then, CBC is small. Only a few employees. Our hero, Michael, is wondering if he’s making a difference in the north. And he’s tempted by the offer of a job to go down south. But to get the job at CBC in Toronto–he’ll need three big stories. Can he get them? In a world where everyone can interview anyone at any time by patching into their earbud, news stories travel faster than they can get finished happening. Reporters tumble over each other to get scoops. But CBC North doesn’t work in scoops–they play by other rules.
Come to 2058. You’ll find trade wars over the Northwest Passage, mammoth hunting in Vuntut National Park, the creation of West Canada, a growing population, Holland America trains everywhere on magnetic rails, and kids you know all grown up and become important in the Yukon. Come find out what may happen to you in 50 years, what may happen in the Yukon. It’s not all bad in the future–it’s just different, and the future starts Dec. 8th. Or at least my version. Hope you enjoy it!
Hey, right before you hear my new radio series, Yukon 2058, and get to hunt mammoths in Vuntut National Park on hoverdoos, read this editorial.
Bring Back the Woolly Mammoth?
I think one might find Vuntut National Park a logical place to put the mammoths and to grow the steppe grasses, some of which we still have. Beringia didn’t lose everything to an ice age–and I think we could create a huge area of this grass for the mammoths. Should we do it? It’ll probably be expensive, but it’s not Canada who’s funding it. Ethically? I hear the author of the editorial–who still has Jurassic Park on his mind. This is the equivalent of asking should you get a dog when you live in an apartment. Is it good for the dog? Who knows what dogs in apartments think? And who knows what birthing a mammoth will do. I don’t think it’s wrong to try. We’ve created Ligers before (lion and tiger mixes)–we breed purebred dogs and create breeds (this is NOT natural)–and we can learn a lot about mammoths by having a herd of them. I see nothing wrong in trying. But you decide.
I posit what we might do with mammoth in Yukon 2058, the radio series coming to CBC on December 1st. I think they could have a positive impact, and certainly science has learned a lot through many other experiments. Creating life is a much better idea than killing it. Would it be torture? Or would the apartment dweller adapt to the needs of the dog? Create the grasses from the DNA of the seeds in the mammoth stomach–do the habitat research ahead of bringing back the mammoth.
Bring back Steppe Grasses? Yes. And do it a long time before you bring back the mammoth. It’s always good if you can make the apartment livable for a big dog.
I’m excited to announce that there will be a new 5-part radio series beginning sometime in November, either next Monday, 17th, or the following Monday, lasting 5 days in a row, exploring life in the Yukon in 2058. In honour of CBC North’s 50th Anniversary, we take you flash-forward into a very positive look at the future.
Recently I read a column at Fantasy Magazine’s website entitled, Why We Need Scientist Heroes Again, and the author made a good case for thinking positive:
“Show of hands – who wants to retire to their grandchildren’s sub-prime one-room hovel in the decayed urban warzone that was once America?
Or perhaps roam the sweltering wasteland looking for gasoline while the mutants hunt you down?
Yeah, thought so.
Then let’s inspire some smart folks to get scientifical and create smart solutions to our stupid problems.”
So, in that spirit, I pitched Yukon 2058 to CBC North and they liked it. And I think things will get more and more interesting in the north over the next 50 years. Not every positive accomplishment will have positive consequences all the way round. And that too is a power science fiction has–to warn us. If everything turns out just hunky-dory we never have to change what we’re doing. But in the spirit of thinking positive– of actually dealing with climate change (cause it will happen), I hope you enjoy Yukon 2058, my own personal vision of the Yukon of the future. If you like some of the things, don’t wait 50 years to start them, or to think up things on your own. Create the place you want to live in, the place you want your kids to live in, the place you want to retire in. The world is going to turn its collective global head north very soon–let people know what you would like to see in fifty years.
Also, there’s a science fiction anthology in the works looking at optimistic near future science fiction, called Shine. Check out the website and submit your stories. I’ll write another post about Shine too.