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PEACE CHILD for Rio + 20 - a musical adventure about how young people bring peace, prosperity and a Green Economy to our world Original Script by David Woollcombe

Songs & Lyrics by David Gordon

Adapted from "The Peace Book" by Bernard S. Benson

Time: Summer 2050 Place: Somewhere in the World Copyright Š Peace Child International, July 1981 & March 2011 IF YOU WANT TO PERFORM THIS SCRIPT, PLEASE CONTACT: david@peacechild.org - for the scores, production notes, lesson plans etc. These will be mounted on the site later. The White House, Buntingford, U.K. SG9 9AH 1


SCENE

AND

SONG BREAKDOWN: ACT

Scene ONE:

ONE

Peace Day 2050 [click here for Script Development Notes (ScriptDev. Notes) ONE – An Introduction to Climate Change]

SONG 1:

Scene TWO:

Peace Day [click here for Score] [click here for Song - with vocals] [click here for Song - instrumental]

The History of the World [click here for ScriptDev. Notes TWO – Creation Stories and World History]

SONG 2: SONG 3:

Scene THREE:

I Who am I ? [click here for Score] [click here for Song with vocals] [click here for instrumental] War [click here for Score] [click here for Song - with vocals] [click here for Song - instrumental]

2011: The Demonstration [click here for ScriptDev. Notes FOUR – An Introduction to Protest Movements] [click here for Score] [click here for Song - with vocals]

SONG 4:

I want to live in a Wigwam

SONG 5:

I Want to Live – up tempo [click here for Score] [click here for Song with vocals] [click here for instrumental]

Scene FOUR: SONG 5:

Scene FIVE: SONG 5:

Scene SIX: SONG 6: SONG 7:

Scene SEVEN: SONG 8: SONG 9:

Post-Demo Party World! [click here for Score] [click here for Song with vocals] [click here for instrumental]

Getting the Ink I gotta Story [click here for Score] [click here for Song with vocals] [click here for instrumental]

The 3-way Conversation

[click here for ScriptDev. Notes FOUR – The Problem with Coal]

Mr President [click here for Score] [click here for Song - with vocals] [click here for Song - instrumental] I’m Sorry [click here for Score] [click here for Song - with vocals] [click here for Song - instrumental]

The Chinese Way [click here for ScriptDev. Notes SEVEN - An Introduction to Contemporary China] Chinese Dance Music [click here for Song - with vocals] [click here for Song - instrumental] Super-Power [click here for Score] [click here for Song - with vocals] [click here for Song - instrumental]

- INTERMISSION ACT Scene EIGHT: SONG 10: SONG 11:

Scene NINE: SONG 12:

Scene TEN: SONG 13:

Scene ELEVEN: SONG 14:

Scene TWELVE: SONG 15:

Scene THIRTEEN:

TWO

Peace and Faith

[click here for ScriptDev. Notes EIGHT – The role of Faith in the modern world] Father in the Sky [click here for Score] [click here for Song - with vocals] [click here for Song - instrumental] I believe [click here for Score] [click here for Song - with vocals] [click here for Song - instrumental]

Democracy and Sustainability [click here for ScriptDev. Notes NINE – The Post-carbon City – and how to construct it] Dance Music of the Arab world [click here for Song - with vocals] [click here for Song - instrumental]

Poverty and Corruption Dance Music of Africa

[click here for ScriptDev. Notes TEN – The Post-carbon City – and how to construct it] [click here for Song - with vocals] [click here for Song - instrumental]

The Model UN Rio+20 Earth Summit [click here for ScriptDev. Notes ELEVEN – The Model UN + the UN / Rio process] Inventions [click here for Score] [click here for Song - with vocals] [click here for Song - instrumental]

The Global Mobilisation [click here for ScriptDev. Notes TWO – An Introduction to Protest Movements] I gotta Story - reprise [click here for Score] [click here for Song with vocals] [click here for instrumental]

The United Nations Security Council

[click here for ScriptDev. Notes TWELVE – Where do we go from here?? – The challenge of Copenhagen and the post-Kyoto agreement] SONG 16:

We want this world to survive for ever

SONG 17:

Petroleum Energy Complex

SONG 18:

Reach Out [click here for Score] [click here for Song - with vocals] [click here for Song - instrumental]

SONG 19:

Child for a Day [click here for Score] [click here for Song - with vocals] [click here for Song - instrumental]

Scene FOURTEEN: SONG 20:

Back to the Future - 2050! Sing! [click here for Score] [click here for Song - with vocals] [click here for Song - instrumental]

2


ACT

ONE

Scene ONE: Welcome to Peace Day, 2050 Silence - Bare stage with tiered risers at the back; a note sounds; a spotlight splits the darkness – picking out the figure of a young female singer downstage right. She sings: Girl:

Come into my joy!

Second spotlight picks out the figure of a young male singer downstage left. He sings: Boy:

Come into my pain!

Girl:

Come – you be a friend of mine!

Boy:

I’ll be the same! (repeat x 2)

Boy:

As I go through my years I've never seen my guiding light, The clouds in front of me won't ever let me see And I'm so weary of the night

Girl:

I've tried so many times to read between the lines But the words keep turning round And a thousand fears are ringing in my ears And 'm so weary of the sound -

Boy & Girl:

So give me Peace enough, Peace enough, peace enough! So give me peace enough for peace of mind, Everything coming up sunshine. (Repeat x 1)

Chorus: (enter down the aisles – dressed in white, Peace Child T-shirts clapping, waving streamers) Come into my joy, Come into my pain Come - you be a friend of mine I'll be the same. (Repeat x 1) Part of the chorus moves on stage forming a tableau with the soloists. Together they create a space into which the dancers process, streamers poised. The Chorus & soloists sing majestically: Chorus:

PEACE DAY PEACE DAY WE ALL SAY ! HAPPY WORLD, HAPPY DAY ! WEAR A LEAF AND SHOW THE WAY CELEBRATING THIS PEACE DAY!

The music switches back into fast tempo: the dancers start a fast, festive dance and the whole cast sways in rhythm with the music as they sing: 3


Chorus:

Peace Day Peace Day we all say Happy world, holiday, Wear a leaf and show the way Celebrating this Peace Day! Peace Day, Peace Day - sing and dance It will be a big romance People of the world as one Peace Day, Peace Day has begun. Celebrations, jubilations Laughter, shouting - lots of fun. Singing dancing - take your partner Celebrations have begun. Celebrations, jubilations Laughter shouting - join the fun! Smiling dancing - grab a partner Happiness for everyone! Peace Enough for all mankind Healthy body, happy mind Faith and love, the world as one Peace Day, Peace Day has begun. Come into my joy, Come into my pain Come - you be a friend of mine I'll be the same! (Repeat x 2)

During the song, the magical figure of the Story Teller comes on – the Master/Mistress of Ceremonies – the key figure in our show. S/he is dressed in a flowing robe – with a crown of flowers on his/her head. S/he stands on the side of the stage with a wry smile as the young people finish their celebratory dance. As the song ends, one of the children notice him/her: Child 1:

Hey Look! – it’s the storyteller! Happy Peace Day, Story-teller!!

Children:

Happy Peace Day – Happy Peace Day!

ST

Happy Peace Day – one and all! And welcome to our Annual Celebration! Now – who’s got the first piece of important news about this year!?

Child 2:

Caroline’s mum’s gonna have another baby!

ST

Very important news, Dougy – but today, we’re thinking about World News. Remember – I explained it all to you?

Child 2:

Oh yeah – well: the price of gas went up again 4


Child 3:

It now costs over $1000 to fill the tank of one of those old-fashioned smoking car things…

Child 4:

I don’t know any one who still has one? – we’re all electric now, aren’t we?

Child 5:

‘cept for a few classic car freaks!

ST

Yes – well we don’t have to worry about them, do we? What else has happened this year: there must have been something really important?

Child 6:

The last case of AIDS was cured in Russia.

ST

Excellent! Well done – that was good news wasn’t it?!

Child 7:

And the acreage of Rain Forest grew for another year!

ST

Well done

Child 8:

And the number of animal families dying out dropped again

ST

Yes – that was the Red List I was talking about: it’s getting

Child 9

- shorter! And there are tigers again in Suma - ? Summo - ? Sumwhere…

ST

Sumatra! Yes – isn’t that exciting! But some bad things still happen, don’t they?

Child 2:

Yeah – that guy shot up his grandma in Idaho – and his sister or summat?

Child 4:

And that earthquake in the Solomon Islands

Child 5:

Where are the Solomon Islands?

Child 6:

And who was Solomon?

Child 7:

Who cares?!

ST

The Solomons are those very poor islands in the Pacific – and we all care about them very much: we had a collection for them in the town, didn’t we?! And there’s a civil war going on in West Africa: Equatorial Guinea, remember?! So – yes, there are still some bad things happening. Human Beings are not going to turn into angels over night: but most of us go to bed at night with food in our tummies, don’t we?!

Children

Yes!

ST

And most of us have a doctor we can go see when we’re sick?

Children

Yes - !

ST

And all of us have a school to go to learn to read and write and be clever, don’t we?

Children

(less enthusiastically) Yes.

ST

So – how lucky are we!? Because, when I was your age, millions – more than a Billion of us were not so lucky. And we were all facing threats that would have wiped out all human life for ever. So - we’ve come a long way, haven’t we?

Child 9:

How did we do it?

Child 8:

It was the children what did it – weren’t it?

ST

– who did it: yes – it was. And that’s the story we’re going to hear today, aren’t we?

Child 5:

And we’re all going to join in?

ST

That’s the point: we ALL have to join in. There’s the costume trunk, over there

[Some of the older young people – the dancers etc. – come on with a large old Trunk. They throw it open. The children rush up to it, hauling out face masks, gorilla and polar bear suits. They put them on, laughing and shouting at each other.] Children

(Severally, improvising) I want that one – I had it first – look! Does my bum look 5


big in this? - etc. ST

(taking control, quietly) Later – later: I’ll tell you when you can join in. Remember I told you how the story starts?

Child 1

The History of the World?

ST

Before that: what came before that?

Child 3

Something about – who are we? Why are we here at all?

ST

Yes – why are we here? Did you ask to be born?

Child 4

No – I never had a choice

Child 5

I was never asked if I wanted a little sister, either. She ‘just happened’ – according to Dad.

Child 6

Nobody asks us anything….

ST

Ssshh! We will now: that’s what Peace Day’s all about!

Scene TWO: The History of the World The Story teller comes forward: ST

Once upon a time, a long time ago When our Universe was young Our world was a paradise made of love According to a heavenly plan

A Bright Light shines straight at the audience from the back of stage – through which a Man or a Woman walks. S/he is the singer ST

Soon there came a light from the universe As bright as bright could be Making Man out of dust and earth And leaving him to Destiny.

The Singer comes forward – and sings: Soloist:

I, who am I? What is this world? Why am I here? I, what am I? What is my cause? What must I be? Is there a reason for living? And having a place of our own? What power conceived me? Abandoned me to the unknown?

Chorus:

We, who are we? What is this place? Why are we here? We, who are we to be so lost And all alone?

6


Is there a reason for living And having a place of our own? What power conceived me Abandoned me to the unknown? Soloist:

I, who am I? What is this world? Why am I here?

Another person (of the opposite sex to the singer) walks up to the singer and surprises him/her by kissing them. They smile at each other and run off together. A Man comes on – looks after her jealously. He walks off, purposefully after them: ST

A pattern soon emerged of things to come, And problems Man would face: Tribes of men - not quite the same Would compete for food And the best bit of land Starting off the game called "War"

The Second Man returns with a club: when the First Man returns with the singer, he clubs him over the head – and drags away the singer. A Third Man appears with a spear – the Second Man flails helplessly as the spear, with its longer reach, keeps him at a distance. The Third Man thrusts fiercely, tosses the Second Man aside, and takes the woman. He stands proudly with his woman and his spear – but a Fourth Man appears and fells him with an Arrow. It began with a stone, then came a stick Soon there was an axe and a spear Then came a club, then an arrow then a gun! And bullets were the food of everyone! The Archer goes down in a hail of bullets: he is joined by a group of youth – so is the other gunmen; gunfire rages across the stage as they shoot at each other. Then a (cardboard cut-out) tank comes on – and the gunmen all retire, cowering in the face of the new technology. Conflict raged all over the world Hatred and envy everywhere! Tribe against tribe, man against man! Nobody seemed to care! The tank prances around like a pantomime horse – greatly enjoying his domination. He waves his barrel – scattering all the fearful soldiers. Then – out of the light at the back of the stage, a new weapon emerges, carried by a scientist in a white coat: it is a nuclear missile. As the Storyteller’s narrative draws to a close, the tank and the missile freeze – facing each other. With each generation passing by Men found new skills of war 7


Hydrogen and cluster bombs, Mercenaries and terrorists; Cold wars, dirty wars, Underground - overground In the air - out in space! ST

By the time I was born - the leaders of our world’s governments were spending over a trillion dollars a year preparing to kill each other! Considerably more than they were spending on trying to feed our poor and conserve our environment. Were they crazy?

Children: Yes! ST

Well – no they weren’t: they were just on a treadmill which made them think that war and hatred was somehow expected of them. [MUSIC starts]

The Older youth discard their tank – and pick up nuclear missiles. They march as they sing – with broad smiles on their faces. One carries a flag. Chorus:

We'll fight our way to distant hills, a bloody battle have We'll raise our sword and kill them all] We'll raise our countries flag! We'll kill our brothers, kill our friends, Kill each other till the end! We'll kill our women, children too, Kill them all until we're through Kill them all until we're through.

They turn – and face each other. Their smiles turn to solemn, pity. God save our land, long live our flag, On to the war we go - praise to our dead But who says we're right, who says we're wrong Honour and pride - to this we belong! They fling their missiles at each other – there is a SOUND of massive explosion – the light strobes at the back of stage – and then goes black. SILENCE. Note Chorus:

Oh come and save us! Oh come and save us! Oh come and save us from what we do! Our world is through!

The chorus rise up, looking to the audience, moving down stage slowly, appealing: Chorus:

But who can save us! But who can save us? But who can save us from what we do?

Soloist:

God - where are you?

A gunshot. The Soloist falls. The chorus hold their look a moment. Then another nuclear blast flattens them all. One of the "dead" looks up as the lights Fade to Black. 8


Lights come up on the Story-teller and his/her small group of children: Child 7:

But nuclear bombs were never used, were they?

ST

They were once – in Japan: hundreds of thousands of people died. And they carried on testing them long after I was born, and at one point, they had enough nuclear bombs to blow up the world 75 times!

Child 8:

What was the point of that? Once you’ve blown it up once – what’s left to blow up?!

ST

Exactly: and why would any world leader want to make the whole world commit suicide anyway.

Child 5:

Those leaders must have been pretty dumb.

ST

Confused, perhaps. They didn’t know how to get out of the situation they found themselves in – you understand the history: this hatred just crept up on them – making them think that they needed ever bigger weapons.

Child 2:

Why couldn’t they just be friends?

ST

Why indeed. But – there’s lots of things that people do that make it difficult to just be friends. This is where our story starts – watch….

Scene THREE: The Demonstration Drums – crazy scene of a really wild, hippy Youth Demo, riffing off the Cat Stevens song to use new lines, new ideas – some eco-related (eg. “I want to live in a clean world!” / “I don’t want to drive in a big car!” etc.) most just wacky, funny ideas (“I want to live in an egg-cup!” / “Ginger cats give me a head-ache!” etc.) The chorus come on in groups of three/four wearing polar bear, gorilla, and other face-masks, waving placards and singing as they march round the auditorium. Chorus:

I’d like to live in a Wigwam, yes I’d like to live in a Wigwam, I’d like to live in a Wigwam, And dance around the Totem pole I’d like to live in an igloo, yes I’d like to live in an igloo I’d like to live in an igloo - And fish round an ice-hole I’d like to ride on a caravan, I’d like to take a ride on a caravan Yes - I’d like to ride on a caravan, And sit with the gypsies I’d like to live on commune, yes I’d like to live on a commune I’d like to live on a commune And people would call me a hippy

The music and the chorus continue softly as a Young Asian girl comes on, watching the people – who seem to her completely crazy. She taps the boy who calls himself a ‘hippy’ – on the shoulder. He turns to look at her, smiling in a goofy way: Lian

What’s this all about? What are you doing here?

Luke

It’s a demo – Green Warriors: climate change!

Lian

But why the stoopid song?!

Luke

It’s not a ‘stoopid song’! It’s a great song! It’s fun! You’re not from here, are you?

Lian

No – 9


Luke

Well - come along! Find out what it’s all about! It’s important…

Lian

OK – (she goes with him nervously as the next group comes on and sings!) I don’t want to live in a Palace, No I don’t want to live in no Palace Oh I don’t want to live in a Palace There’s too many empty rooms And I don’t want to live in a barracks, don’t want to live in the barracks Oh I don’t want to live in the barracks And wake up to the bugle tune I just like to live in a tree-hut, Yes I just like to live on a tree-hut, I just like to live in a tree-hut, And listen to the sound of the birds I don’t want to live in a jail-house, Don’t want to bide my time in no jail-house No - I don’t want to live in no jail-house, And be fed bread through the bars

When they are fully spread around the theatre, they clap & sing the chorus, waving placards: I am glad I’m alive am I – I’m glad I’m alive I’m glad I’m alive - I’m glad I’m alive I’m glad I’m alive am ! We’ve got to get our heads up in the sky, We’ve got to get our heads up in the sky, We gotta get our heads up, gotta get our heads up We’ve got to get our heads up in the sky We’ve gotta get a heaven – to the sky We’ve gotta get a heaven - get a guy We’ve gotta get a heaven – gotta have a guy We’ve got to get our heads up to the sky I am glad I’m alive am I – I’m glad I’m alive I’m glad I’m alive - I’m glad I’m alive The audience are encouraged to join in this happy, wacky demonstration – dancing in the aisles! Then Jake – a wild, hippy-looking young guy quiets the crowd and speaks: Jake:

It’s good to be alive, isn’t it?! Sunshine – summer day – but we are here today because we know this cannot last. Climate change, my friends, is upon us. Just this morning, a boat left the island of Tuvalu carrying the last of the islanders away as their homes disappeared under the waters of the Pacific – a direct result of sea-level rise caused by man-created climate change. Today – Tuvalu; Tomorrow – Mumbai – London – Liverpool – New York! It’s happening folks! Dangerous Climate Change! 10


And we are here today to tell our politicians: “WE WILL NOT VOTE FOR ANYONE WHO DOES NOT HAVE A SERIOUS STRATEGY FOR COMBATTING IT.” You have the petition forms – you know what to do: the demo is the fun part. Now get out and get those signatures. Two million to the White House by the end of next week. Let’s Do It!! The Crowd cheer and march back on stage singing: Chorus:

I want to live, I want to live The right to live my life I want to search far and wide Have the chance to wonder why I want to learn all the secrets the world has to give I want the chance to live my life I want to live – I want to live! I want to be, I want to see A world that's good and free I want a home, someone to love To share their life with me I want to have and to hold A child of my own I want to live, I want to love I want to live – I WANT TO LIVE!

The Chorus march back on stage, back to their seats on the risers at the back of the stage – their place through much of the action.. The boy and the girl come on last, talking: Luke

So – what do you think?! Great group of people, aren’t they?

Lian

Sure! Weird – but kinda cool!

Luke

So are you gonna fill in some petition forms?

Lian

Maybe – but I’d like to find out a bit more about it first.

Luke

So – come along and meet the team: we have a post-demo party in Jake’s flat – you can give us a whole new perspective on the issue from… ?? Where are you from??

Lian

China!

Luke

China! Ooof! Great – terrific!! I’m sure that you’ll be a… a - ? A great talking point! They EXIT.

Scene FOUR: The Post-Demo Party Bare stage. Silence. Luke comes down stage centre. Looks up – thinks – sings, softly to himself: Luke:

I want this world to survive for ever And all the people join their hands together 11


In a bond of love, kindness and friendship We’ll make peace here with the earth…. Lian comes in just behind him – listening. She smiles. Luke:

(He turns, embarrassed to see her) There you have it. That’s me! That’s who I am – what I do! Working for the survival of the earth and all that lives upon it….

Lian

That’s nice. My father said to me that the only purpose of a life is to leave the world a better place than you found it.

Luke

I love your father already. That’s what this is all about. That – and the fact that, the way we’re going, we’re going to leave it in a far, far worse state than we found it.

Lian

You’re a very serious guy, aren’t you - ?

Luke

Luke! Luke Gifford!

Lian

Lian. Lian Zukang!

Luke

Good to meet you, Lian!

Then there is laughing and guffaws – and a rabble of the demonstrators come on. Luke and Lian come on at the back – and go to sit on the risers at the back. The demonstrators fling their placards into a corner – and look towards Jake who emerges from the crowd, thinking, smoking a cigarette. Alexa:

So what do you think, Jake? Are we winning?

Jake:

You’re kidding, aren’t you? What was it? – two thousand eight hundred –

Boffin:

- and twenty two…

Jake:

28-22: at this rate, it will take another 70 years to get all the people to be even aware that there’s a problem and by that time, the world will be well fried!

On the other side of the stage, a group is forming around another man – maybe an African, wearing traditional dress. We’ll call him Alexa: Alexa:

Come on, Jake: do the math – 2822 getting a hundred signatures each: that’s over a quarter of a million signatures. That’s impressive.

Jake

You know that won’t happen! I’d be amazed if we get more than 10,000 by the end of the week.

Hassan:

(from Alexa’s side) This is such a downer, Jake! Why do you bother if you feel it’s all so hopeless

Jake

‘Cos one day soon, the public are going to get it! Then there’s going to be a breakthrough! Look – 2 degrees of Global Warming is now only a matter of weeks, at most months, away. Dangerous Climate Change is upon us – and we are doing NOT ONE THING about it, seriously. None of us! And we’re the ones who are going to suffer: ask the Boff?!

Boffin

Right – if we go on as we are, by the end of our lives, we’ll have 5.5 degrees of global warming at which point, every one agrees humanity and 90% of the land species are toast! Dead! Gone – finida la comedia.

Jake

Now are you just gonna sit back and let that happen?! Course not!

Lian

(quietly) What’s a ‘Boff’?

Luke

Boffo Boffin!? He’s our resident genius: scientist – numbers guy.

Jake

(Looking round, noticing her) Who’s she?

Luke

(getting up) She’s new – she just joined the march and she’s going to help. She’s an exchange student. From China…. 12


Jake

China, eh? Well –

Luke

Don’t go there, Jake! Just stop, right there! She’s just joined us, and I’m trying to get her interested in…

Jake

In your wicked romantic prowess! Ha! Good luck to you, young man! But some day, you will have to discuss with her why her great nation has become the world’s biggest polluter, the most careless consumer of carbon resources, and the most reckless capitalist economy on the planet.

Hassan

Not to mention the Chinese rape of Africa -

Boffin

- and the fact that China executes more prisoners than the rest of the world put together

Lian

(getting up) So – you don’t like China, eh? Well – if you’re the one who knows everything, you must have read our 5-year plan with its comprehensive shift to a lowcarbon economy within five years! 17 Eco-cities; three-quarters of the world’s wind, and 80% of the world’s photo-voltaic panel production. We’re building the Green Economy while you’re prancing up and down the streets dressed as polar bears!?!

Boffin

She’s right – I was going to mention…. ?!

Jake

But what about the brown coal power stations – a new one every week making the air so bad you can hardly breathe!?

Lian

If you’re so concerned about pollution, why are you smoking? Why pollute your body?!

Alexa

Right, Jake: you’ve been saying you’d stop since Christmas…

Luke

So – what you have us do?

Lian

Prepare an intelligent strategy: set up a 3-way conversation between yourselves, the policy makers and the private sector. Agree a common plan and implement it.

Jake

Is that the Chinese Way?

Lian

Yes! The Chinese way is to get all the best thinkers and scientists around a table – review all possible policies – and then choose the best one: the one that creates the most jobs – raises the most people out of poverty, and is best for the natural environment.

Jake

That’s how you got to open a new, brown coal Power Station every week?!

Boffin

Part of their 5-year plan is to phase them out using environmental taxes.

Lian

Exactly: you talk a lot about eco-taxes – but you are still subsidising your fossil fuel industry with $600 billion dollars a year!

Jake

Perverse subsidies, right: killing our earth with public funds. I agree with you there.

Alexa

Anyway - we can’t just ‘sit down with policy makers,”

Hassan

None of them give a shit about what a bunch of young people think….

Jake

We have to get their attention: and that’s what our ‘prancey’ demonstrations and petitions are about.

Alexa

But they don’t work, do they Jake.

Luke

We’ve got to find a better way – a way that attracts media.

Alexa

But how? How?

Jake

I don’t know! It was different with the seals – show a picture of a cutesy seal with blood pouring from its head and everyone empties their wallets. Show a picture of politicians smashing the planet with a hammer and nobody gives a hot-damn! We all know where it’s going, don’t we Boff?

Boffin

Yep! The Mountain ice fields melt, rivers dry up – billions of people will die or be moved on;

Hassan

The Antarctic and Greenland ice fields melt: 7 meters of sea level rise – bye-bye 13


London, Bye to a billion people’s coastal homes: Hallo extreme weather everywhere! – more hurricanes, more droughts, less food – more deaths! Jake

So everyone knows this, but we’d all prefer to commit collective suicide than give up our beloved cars, our foreign vacations and our meat and two veg dinners. (music starts sinister) Look at her! Her government thinks it’s pulling its people out of poverty – when in fact, it’s condemning most of them, and their descendants to a slow, painful death. It’s over, guys. Face it!

Hassan

You’re so wrong, Jake

Jake (sings)

World – look at the way we are

Look at the things we do Look at the words we say Life! – look at the way we live Look at the love we had Look at the things we’ve made Gone, gone are all those lovely days Gone are all the peaceful ways All that’s left is old and grey And our world is fading Our world is dying – today! Alexa, Luke & Hassan:

Can’t you see the tide is changing?

Don’t you see that truth is rising? People coming out from under Wildly making noise and thunder! Listen to the shouting people Broken churches, broken steeple They’re seeking one for all to follow The one who’ll be their God tomorrow Jake

No! - can’t you see the world is dying? Repentant people all are crying Law and order has been drowned Chaos rules and has been crowned!

ALL

World – look at the way we are Look at the things we do Look at the games we play Life! – look at the way we live Look at the things we build 14


Look at the love we’ve killed Jake

Gone, gone are all those lovely days Gone are all the peaceful ways All that’s left is old and grey And our world is fading Our world is dying – today!

Lian watches as they sing – and emote their passion. She likes that Luke sides with Alexa in presenting the other point of view – she thinks, intently: Lian

So – we agree: there is problem, right? And it is our generational task to solve it, Yes? So – we must get business and government to agree with us on new strategy. To build a green, non-polluting economy that will avoid catastrophic climate change.

Jake

You got it.

Lian

And – the problem is: the business and government leaders will not talk to you because you are young. And so – you have to get their attention. Through the media?

Alexa

Right.

Lian

So – let’s do it. (She makes to leave)

Luke

Wait a minute: How?

Lian

We need 6 cars and a flash mob of a thousand plus. Next Saturday – and we shall, how you say: “Get their attention.” (She leaves – Luke chases after her) EXIT.

Scene FIVE: Getting the Ink ST

(to her little group of children) And so began six weeks of the most high profile lobbying the world has ever seen. Back and forth across the country, these two young people went – setting up a very simple stunt that involved stopping the traffic on key motorways. Their cars would fill every lane – and slow down together to a stop – on both carriageways: and then the protesters would come and sit on the black top until the media came. First time – they were too late: the police had already dragged them away. The second – third – fourth and fifth time: the media were all over them:

The crew come on stage, stretching out a banner which says: “STOP Intergenerational Murder! Green Economy NOW!” They sit and start a drumming session – louder and faster, with an image of a massive traffic jam on a motorway on the screen behind them. And then the Press Arrive. The first one comes on wearing a pork-pie hat with a Press Tag in it, carrying a camera Pressman It’s a story! (he winks at the audience) Then another comes on – then another – and another – until the young people are surrounded by the media singing: Press

It's a story! – it may be a story! Unusual story! – maybe even front page news!

Press (individually – sing) - Who are you ? - Where you from ? - Were you paid ? 15


- Who's the gang ? - Where’s the power ? - What's the name ? - Are you friends ? Press (together – sing)

- What's the game ? - What's the game ??! - What's the game ??!!

Press 1

(pushing through) Outta my way, guys! What’s the deal here? (He looks at Luke and Lian who have linked arms with all the protesters) Is this some kind of love affair?

Luke

Print what you like – but be sure to print our demands!

Lian

Read the Press Release!!

Press 2

That’s a great picture, sir: the two love birds with a 14 mile tailback behind them!

He elaborately sets up a camera and takes a photograph. The rest dig out their cameras, singing: Press (together – sing) The Photograph, the Photograph We've got to have the Photograph! The photo! The Photo! We gotta have the photo! They pause – there is a big flash – and the press, except one, run off with their story. Exit Press A Policeman comes on looking at the kids sourly. The pressman lurks in the background, listening Policeman Back to the slammer, then? Lian

Your call: I wish you guys would join us one day?

Boffin

There’s loads of examples where soldiers and policemen come in on the side of youth!

Policeman I’d lose my job – and I’ve got a wife and three kids to feed. Alexa

But they’d be so proud of you for taking a stand!

Policeman Not if that ‘stand’ didn’t put food on the table and pay the rent. Luke

Don’t you care about Intergenerational murder?

Lian

Doesn’t it worry you that your precious kids might find it impossible to live if we do NOT build a Green Economy?

Hassan

The old brown polluting economy has no jobs for them, no future for them – except one in which catastrophic climate change kills them in their billions!

Policeman My Superintendent doesn’t care about that stuff: he wants you off this motorway now Press 1

(coming forward) What is this Green Economy? I thought you guys were all about stopping climate change? What exactly is it you’re after?

Luke

Can we talk?

Policeman Just clear the road – and then you can have as long as you want. They roll up the banner and exit the stage as Luke, Lian and the Boffin talk to the Pressman – who takes notes feverishly. He shakes them by the hand and leaves excitedly. 16


ST

So – one pressman got it – and then the rest of them did: Intergenerational murder – you see? The idea that by living high on the hog, the older generation were denying the basic necessities of life to future generations: that got the media attention.

Child 1

At what point had oil run out?

ST

Well that was the problem: It would have been so simple if we’d run out of oil and been forced to change to the Green renewable fuel economy. But it wasn’t: the problem was that, if we burned all the oil, gas and coal in the ground – we’d have had catastrophic global warming: so we had to persuade people to transition to the Green Economy BEFORE oil ran out. And that was very hard….

Press (Running on, singing) It's a story! – we really gotta story! Headline story! – Definitely front page news! The Press cross their legs, and mime typing up the story(singing) A-tic-a-tac-a-shoo-ee! A-tic-a-tac-a-shoo-ee! A-tic-a-tac-a-tic-a-tac-a-tic-a-tac-a-shoo-ee! A-tic-a-tac-a-shoo-ee! A-tic-a-tac-a-shoo-ee! A-tic-a-tac-a-tic-a-tac-a-tic-a-tac-a-shoo-ee! The Press rip the story out of their typewriters and rush down the aisles, selling their newspapers Extra, extra, read all about it! Headlines Headlines no doubt about it! Extra, extra - read all about it! Headlines, Headlines - take it home and shout it!

(repeat x 2)

Luke, Lian, Jake, Hassan, Alexa and the rest of the team come on looking at the newspapers Alexa

“Kids launch the Green Economy with Road Blocks!” – how cute is that?!

Hassan

“Don’t murder our future!” Kids cry!

Boffin

But look at our interview: he’s put it all in – the need for the 3-way dialogue, the benefits of the Green Economy – the death of the old Brown Economy. It’s all there!

Luke

And this – my friends – is where we stage our next battle: The Brixton Mining Corporation has been given permission to strip mine 10,000 acres of God’s good Green Mountains to get coal which – when it is burned – will cause catastrophic global warming which will destroy the lives of those who buy the energy.

Lian

So – what do we do?

Jake

Our media friend has set up a 3-way with us, the local congressman and the President of the Brixton Mining Corporation.

Alexa

Should be interesting, huh?!

Two older looking men in suits come forward, nervously. Very reluctantly, they agree to shake the hands of Luke, Lian, Jake and the crew. The Press men push forward, singing: The photo! The Photo! 17


We gotta have the photo! The President and the Congressman pose with the youth – a big flash! The Press break out, singing: It's a story! We really gotta story! Headline Story, definitely front page news Newsnight satellite, print it right, Broad side, nationwide, any side! Front page, centre-fold, get it sold! Extra, extra - read all about it! Headlines, headlines! - no doubt about it! Extra extra don't go home without it! Front Page!

Build it high!

Print it bold!

Reach the sky!

Make 'em shout!

Make 'em cry!

Children meet the President!

Scene SIX: The 3-way Conversation A large desk is set up with a Managing Director’s chair and a chair alongside for the Congressman. Low light illuminates the rest of the stage. The President of the Corporation strides in followed by the Congressman and the young people. The President is extremely angry: President

You think you’re pretty darn smart, don’t you?! - barrelling round the country with your own personal press corps wreaking havoc on a legitimate business like mine. I don’t know why you get off on this kind of thing but I am calling you in here to tell you to stop – ‘cos you are costing me MONEY!!

Boy

Ha! – money!

President

Yes – M-O-N-E-Y. And if you don’t back off – I’m going to get my legal department to sue you all so deep for defamation, you’ll be dodging lawsuits for the rest of your lives. (He points his finger menacingly:) We can destroy you!

Jake

Just like you are destroying our earth!

Lian

Look – we didn’t come here to threaten you –

President

Yes you did! You want to stop me opening up the Green Mountain Strip Mine!

Luke

Yes – but much more than that: we want you to embrace the Green Economy – and shift your business into non-carbon, renewable energy operations.

President

A few windmills pissing in the wind!? You’re kidding me, right? I can make more money out of one day’s coal mining than a whole year of putting up windmills.

Boffin

I don’t think that’s true: the Danish and German wind industries have consistently been posting higher returns on investment than comparable coal companies.

President

I’m not German or Danish: with the tax system we have in this great country – I can 18


make more money mining coal than covering the scenery with hideous windmills. Lian

Mr Congressman: why is that? Why do your tax laws make it more profitable to mine coal which is leading directly to global warming – than to invest in renewables.

Congressman: I’d have to take advice on that. Luke

You mean you don’t know?!

Congressman: I mean I’d have to take advice to get you the correct answer. Boffin

Jeez! – these bozos don’t even know what they’re doing!

Congressman: We do! (standing up) We know exactly what we’re doing: The Brixton Mining Corporation has brought prosperity and jobs to thousands of people in this County. It keeps the lights on in thousands of homes and factories across this state. But I don’t think you have a clue what you’re doing with your stupid, dumb protests? A few headlines about a ‘Green Economy’! Green Bull Shit’s what I’d say. President

Get real kids – you’ve got lives to lead, families to bring up. You need to get out of your jeans, wash your hair and get yourselves jobs!

Alexa

We are real, sir! And it’s not bullshit! It’s our future – your children’s future – your future too if you live long enough. Tell ‘em Boff:

Boffin

Oil and coal are running out – but long before they do, burning it will cause catastrophic climate change. So we’re here to ask you, as nicely as possible: “Please don’t destroy our chance to live comfortable, productive lives: transition to a Green Economy NOW!”

President

How you gonna make me?!

Alexa

By talking to you – by asking you nicely.

President

But he’s the lawmaker – and he’s saying No too.

Congressman: I don’t think this is going anywhere, Chuck. Do you mind if I duck out now – I’ve got a ton of work back in Washington. President

I can handle it

Congressman: I know you can. Nice to meet you kids. (He makes to leave. Jake stops him) Jake

So – you don’t care! We ask you nicely to protect our future with your laws – and you’re happy for the Press to report that YOU don’t CARE!! You’re Bullshit!

Lian

No Jake: let him go. He’ll do whatever the Mining company tells him to do….

Luke

Yeah Right! Because the Mining Company paid for his election campaign!

President

That’s LIBELLOUS! Any contribution we gave the congressman was well within the terms of the law!

The Congressman leaves. The President looks like he’s about to punch Luke in the face! Lian

Let’s try this another way - [Music – she sings]

Lian

Mr President – does the press write the truth? You are killing the world with the things that you do?

Luke

Mr President, can it be what it seems, You care nothing for love, You care nothing for dreams. 19


Both

Mr President, is it true what I hear Your profits are huge But you still live in fear?

All

Oh No! (Oh No) It's plain to see (It's plain to see) But so hard to understand, That this life we all love You are taking away, with all that you make! Oh No! (oh no) It's not fair! (it's not fair) That you should have the right For the sake of your pride, You can make the world die Without asking why Oh NO!

Jake

Mr President, is it true what I read, This world will be dead Because of your greed?

Hassan

Mr President, can it be what it seems You care nothing for children, Nor for love, nor for dreams?

Alexa

Mr President, won't you hear our small plea? For the millions of children, Make your industry Green!

All

Oh No! (Oh No) It's plain to see (It's plain to see) But so hard to understand, That this life we all love You are taking away, with all that you do! Oh No! (oh no) It's not fair! (it's not fair) That you should have the right 20


For the sake of your pride, You can make the world die Without asking why Oh NO! Lian

Mr President, it's a time to be brave!

Boffin

Announce to us all

Both

You are changing your ways -

All

To save our world!

Boffin

You see, sir – we didn’t come here today to attack you, to drive you into a corner. But you read the newspapers: you know that the ice fields are shrinking – in the Rockies, the Alps, the Himalayas, the Andes. And when they disappear in the Rockies, the Colorado river will dry up: Los Angeles will disappear. And when the Himalayan ice fields melt, the Indus, the Ganges, the Mekong, the Brahmaputra – all will disappear: the entire population of South Asia – TWO BILLION PEOPLE – will have to move or die. That’s not a future you should be proud to work for: and you don’t need to! You can be a pioneer of the Green Economy – and be a hero.

Jake

Not a dinosaur…

President

And what steps do I have to take to change magically from dinosaur to hero?

Luke

Come to Washington. Sit down with the Energy Committee and work out a tax and subsidy regime that makes it more profitable to invest in the green economy than in the old, brown polluting economy.

President

You mean I should ask Congressmen to impose taxes on my industry that will cost us billions and double the electricity bills of everyone who might vote for them?!

Lian

Yes – that’s precisely what we want you to do!

President

You’re Mad!

Lian

No. Extremely sane. My country, China, is hard at work creating the Green Economy because they realise that is where future profits lie. If you’d said, a century ago, we’re not going to invest in roads and cars – because Railways are what we’ve always done, you would be bankrupt now. Same with energy: smart people are already investing in renewables – building windmills, investing in solar voltaics. That’s where the profits are going to be made this century. Coal is a dinosaur!

President

You don’t know what you’re talking about: there’s three hundred years worth of coal in these mountains – and that’ll keep me and my family in business for generations.

Hassan

- and almost certainly destroy the planet.

Boff

Don’t you understand?? If we burn all the coal and oil in the ground today – it will shoot global warming way beyond the 2 degree threshold for dangerous climate change, and fry everything.

Luke

Is that how you want to be remembered: the man who fried the planet?!

Alexa

Do you have children, sir?

President

I have two fine boys who are shaping up well to take over the business! And I have a baby daughter. Flossie! Ah, Flossie – she’ll be the death of me!

Lian

No, sir! You’ll be the death of Flossie unless you take on board what you’re doing 21


here. Jake

It’s starting already – people being driven off their islands because of rising sea levels; pretty soon, low-lying countries like Bangladesh are going to be uninhabitable.

Boffin

Our Southern States are going to be intolerably hot – and people are going to be moving North in droves. If you were smart, you would stop tearing up these mountains for open cast mining – and start preparing real estate for the environmental refugees.

Alexa

It is happening now, sir! You have to join with us and take a stand.

Luke

For Flossie’s sake – and for all the sons and daughters of your shareholders.

Lian

Can’t you see?! You would become a national Hero! An international hero! “Coalman sees the light – helps to save the planet!”

Hassan

Instead of being the bad guy in all this – demonized and vilified in the press all over the world – you would be the new American Hero, leading the way to a bright, sustainable future!

Alexa

Clean, sustainable energy – warming the homes in this valley and around the world for generations.

Luke

Bringing prosperity we can live with – not profits that will kill us all.

Jake

That’s a dream worth investing in, isn’t it?!

Lian

Come on, sir. You can do it!

President

(whispers) I can’t!

Luke

Yes you can - come to Washington!

President

I’m sorry - (sings) I'm sorry - I wish I could But I can't, it's too late I've gone too far to change my ways To undo what I have done! Forgive me, you may be right It all may happen some future time But I am helpless on my own To undo what has been said It's an impossible dream One I'd love to share! An impossible dream If only I could dare I'm sorry, what can I do? If only I was young – young like you It seems so simple, it could be done 22


To close a coalmine, to catch the sun! Powerless though I am To change my world that's locked in chains I have a heart, I am a man I want to live – to live like you The Impossible Dream! It’s one I long to share! An Impossible Dream (spoken) If only I could dare… President

(firmly) But I can’t! And I won’t! I wish you well, kids. I’m not the man you’re looking for. There are plenty of other mining companies – you can go bother them. They may have the kind of conscience I lack. I know my share-holders – the big ones anyway: they’re going to think I’ve gone soft in the head if I start talking to them about this climate change shit and renewables…. It’s a ‘No!’ I’m afraid.

Lian

So that’s it? The end – no further discussion?

President

Correct! Which part of ‘No!’ did you not understand?

Jake

And what if we refuse to go?!

President

Law enforcement will come and remove you. And you can sit outside our gates for a thousand years and nothing will change.

Luke

Except the planet, sir! Except the planet.

Alexa

Look into your daughter’s eyes when you get home tonight – and tell me tomorrow, you made the wrong decision.

He laughs and Exits. Lights fade on the President’s office behind them and his desk and chair are moved off behind him. The Boy and the Girl come forward downstage, bewildered. Lian

I can’t believe it. We failed.

Luke

What are we going to tell the press?!

Lian

The hell with the press! What we gonna do – our strategy is shot. All these months and weeks of protest, risking our lives, and what do we have: nothing. NOTHING!

Boffin

A fair few headlines.

Alexa

Hot air – titillation for the masses. Nothing concrete.

Hassan

There are other companies we can try – like he said.

Lian

His was the most likely: he’s facing a lot of local protest. No – face it! It’s over. We failed.

Luke

Well – I’m not giving up. We’ve had a setback, that’s all. Everyone has setbacks!

Lian

I don’t do setbacks. I don’t do failure!

The Press are waiting for them, eager, smiling: they rush forward, singing: Press

Have you gotta story? – We bet you gotta story! Front Page story! – definitely headline news! 23


Luke

Sorry guys – no story!

Press

(Aghast!) – No story – what’s the deal? What’s the news?

Lian

No news. The guy said no. End of story!

Press

You’re not … giving up?!

Alexa

Of course not! That’s just one asshole!

Hassan

We’ll be back – watch us!

Lian

The guy’s not an asshole: it’s just we’re stuck in a system that forces him to do what I think he knows to be wrong. We have to change the system – then it will be easy for him to change.

Jake

But we need time to reflect – to plan our next step. That’s all for now. Thank you!

The Press shuffle off – disappointed. The kids look equally disappointed. Jake

You wrong, girl – that guy is a serious asshole. You shoudda kicked his butt more to the press. He certainly kicked your’s –

Lian

I know – and I hate it: this back and forth – confrontation – battling, fighting. I don’t think I can do this any more, Jake! I am about done with protest.

Jake

Done with protest! That’s the dumbest thing I ever heard! You’re good, gal – very good. One of the best I’ve seen – and your friend here is not too shabby either! You make a great team – and the press loves you. You have to keep going!

Luke

We’ll see – I think she needs some time on her own, now. We’ll come see you in a day or so, OK?

Lian

No. I’m going home. My visa’s about to run out – so I have to go. I’m sorry, Jake: maybe prancing up and down the streets was a better way.

Alexa

No!! We’ve achieved more in six weeks with you than we did in six years before you came along.

Hassan

You’re the best, Lian! You have to come back.

Lian

Or you have to come see me! Why don’t you do that? Why don’t we set up a 3-way in China and see where that leads us.

Jake

That would cost us a fortune!

Lian

Not that much – and with your Press profile, you could raise it in a heartbeat. Let me know when you’re coming – and I’ll set up everything.

Boffin

That sounds like a plan! (They see Luke wants to be alone with Lian and talk as they leave the stage)

Jake

Well – if it keeps her from giving up

Hassan

It could work out well

Alexa

I’m in – (waves to them as she leaves) See you in Beijing!

EXIT

(Luke and Lian are left on their own standing far apart on either side of the stage. They move towards each other as they speak) Luke

What about us?

Lian

There is no ‘Us’ – you know as well as I do: it’s a media fabrication!

Luke

Not for me –

Lian

Oh come on, Luke! That’s what got us all the ink! OF COURSE we played along. But you can’t fall in love in front of ten million people… 24


Luke

I did. For you, it was all just for the cameras, yeah?

Lian

No! – you’re my best friend, my buddy! – my partner in crime! I’m very fond of you, Luke – but please: I told you at the start. We don’t date in China like you do here. I thought you got that?

Luke

I did! Doesn’t mean to say I like it -

Lian

Come to China! – it’s not all bad. I’d like you to meet my friends, my parents.

Luke

I’d like that too.

Lian

So – friends?

Luke

Friends! BLACK OUT

Scene SEVEN: The Chinese Way A large Chinese Dragon bounds across the stage – accompanied by the Chinese anthem that heralds the start of the Chinese New Year celebrations. Alexa, Hassan, Luke and the Boff walk in stage Left – to meet Lian and a group of her friends (several of whom are western) who come in from Stage Right. Luke doesn’t know how to greet her – so puts out his hand to shake Lian’s. Laughing, she gives him a warm hug – his friends clap. Luke:

What are you guys doing here?

Youth 1

Learning Chinese – there are over 60,000 Europeans and Americans over here on educational exchanges.

Lian

More westerners coming here to learn our ways than Chinese going to you!

Alexa

I didn’t know that!

Youth 2

This is where the money is being made, you see! It’s where we need to be!

Hassan

So – what’s the plan?

Lian

Today is Chinese New Year –

Youth 3

The year of the Rabbit!

Lian

So – very good food. A big feast to welcome you all to China! And then, tomorrow, we have a 3-way at the University!

She speaks swiftly to her friends in Chinese: Luke looks bemused and asks the westerner: Luke

You actually think you can learn that?

Alexa

Doesn’t sound like a language to me!

Youth 1

Oh – it makes perfect sense. Very logical language!

Youth 2

Just don’t try to write it down….

They dance off behind the Dragon which opens up to reveal two men in suits. The students bring on chairs, and they all sit in a circle for the discussion. The older professor starts off in Chinese. Luke leans to Lian: Luke:

What’s he saying?

Lian

He’s just introducing us and explaining why it’s going to be in English. For your benefit!

Luke

Thanks!

Professor So – welcome to China. I am professor Qi – of the Dept. of Energy Studies. This is my friend, Sha Tuu of the State Planning Committee for Energy. This is Mr Lo – director of the Solex Power company, representing the Private Sector. And the 25


rest are some of my very wonderful students. Boffin / Alexa / Luke / Hassan:

Thank you!

Mr Sha

So – what did you want to know?

Boffin

We’ve read your 5-year plan and are impressed by it. But we want to know how you think you can transition your economy to a totally Green Economy so quickly?

Mr Sha

It’s very simple: we can see that oil and coal are running out and that the future is in renewable energy, so we are focussing all our Research, and our government investment in renewable solutions. And Mr Lo is building the factories to deliver it.

Mr Lo

I was very lucky: I studied in Harvard University – very clever people. And one of my friends there is Shai Agassi – from Israel. You know him, right? So – he’s a very clever man with electric car business. And now – in China – we are working with him to introduce electric cars all over China.

Hassan

Who’s Shai Agassi?

Boffin

He’s the dude who invented the quick way to change car batteries so that you can drive an electric car long distance.

Luke

He says its quicker to change his batteries than fill a tank of gas.

Hassan

Cute!

Boffin

It is – very!

Alexa

But they’re putting his idea into practice here in China – and not in the USA.

Mr Lo

Also in Israel. We work closely with our friends in Israel. It is Green Economy, Yes!? For all the electricity we use to charge the batteries is solar-generated.

Hassan

So Jake didn’t make it, but he insisted we ask? – what’s the deal with the brown coal power stations? Why do you go on building them?

Mr Sha

You understand we have a problem here in China: very developed coastal region – very undeveloped interior, Western region. We have to work very hard to end the poverty in our Western regions. And we are – through traditional power stations.

Prof Li

But – as I am sure you know, we are introducing the first Carbon Capture and Storage systems in the world. And that will cut carbon emissions from these power stations by more than 80%.

Mr Sha

And – as we introduce more solar electric power stations, we shall phase out these old Brown Coal stations. There will be none left by 2050.

Luke

So China will not stand in the way of a legally binding deal to limit carbon emissions which is currently being negotiated in Copenhagen?

Pause – the Chinese look at each other Mr Sha

We are no part of that negotiation.

Mr Lo

It is being led by our Foreign Ministry.

Prof. Li

I think there is a very good chance that China will sign up to a Climate Change deal in Copenhagen. We certainly shall not block it – for China understands: climate change is a very big problem.

Alexa

So you want to work with the rest of the world?

Mr Sha

Of course! Almost all our energy projects are being done in partnerships – with the United States, the European Union, Canada, Japan, Australia.

Prof Li

And we invite you: join us! Help us! You have much good technologies 26


Mr Lo

Many good Shai Agassis…

Alexa

You take our technologies, and make China the biggest economy in the world.

Prof Li

Not take! Buy – profit-share! The Green Economy is a collaboration, no?

Hassan

Yes – but not if you keep printing up pirate copies of our CDs and movies,

Mr Lo

That is happening much less now. We are member of WTO!

Mr Sha

Look - we’re building a green economy as quickly as possible to escape from the old, polluting brown economy. It is business to business – people to people collaboration and, yes - competition!

Boffin

But it is the government that sets the regulations and tax systems: if you want a green economy – you must tax the brown economy and subsidise / give tax breaks to the green. That’s how it works – and only government can set those taxes – and give those subsidies. Is your government going to do that?

Mr Sha

I think so – yes! That’s what we have proposed for the next 5-year plan: environmental taxes.

Luke

So – they’re doing it here! Everything we wanted – green taxes, investment in the green economy, winding down the fossil fuel economy – everything we ever campaigned for in the USA! So – what do we do?! Roll over and say: “You won the battle to create the green economy” – and follow your lead. Or what?!

Youth 1 and Youth 2 who met them the previous day, enter – excited by their news: Youth 1

Excuse me, Professor – sorry for being late: we were watching a live news feed from Copenhagen:

Prof Li

What happened?

Youth 2

Well – it’s over. And there’s some really crappy ‘Copenhagen Declaration’ –

Youth 1

Which is very far from a legally binding deal.

Youth 2

And all the press are saying: it was the Chinese that stopped it.

Prof Li

(Looking at the press print-out) This is very bad news: - nothing on the Chinese news wire?

Youth 2

Not yet

Youth 1

But this is what the reporter from the Guardian says – and he was in the negotiation.

Hassan

(reading) – this is awful! It says that President Hu Jintao didn’t even turn up! He left President Obama to negotiate with an official from the Foreign Ministry – who kept having to run out to “take instruction from his superiors!”

Alexa

That’s a heck of a snub. Looks like your government really didn’t want a deal!

Mr Sha

I don’t know….

Lian

(reading) Hassan’s right: this is awful! How can China have done this when a deal was so close? (Silence – the Chinese adults look bashful and confused)

Luke

We have a lot of friends who were there.

Hassan

The world is going to be very, very disappointed, my friends.

Boffin

We won’t have another chance to sign a deal like this for many years.

Lian

What are we going to do now?

Alexa

Ask your government: they must have a plan?!

The music starts – and the kids stand – and face the faceless Chinese government as they sing. Mr 27


Sha, the Professor and Mr Lo - quietly slip away. The chorus come down and sing as visuals of China appear on the screen – big factories of Guangzhou manufacturing recognisable goods for the West; a shengzen bullet train; the great wall; the bird’s nest Olympic Stadium – skyscrapers of Beijing and Shanghai – the Gobi desert – the impoverished western farm villages etc. Chorus:

Where you gonna run to, Superpower?! Where you gonna hide, where will be your land? What you gonna say now, Superman?! Who’ll be the fool in your masterplan? What you gonna do now, Superpower?! What have you done to God’s promised land? What have you done with this beautiful world? Where is your guiding star? What have you done with this God-given Grace? Who do you think you are? Yes – who do you think you are? Where you gonna run to, Superman?! Where you gonna hide? Where will be your land? We’ll wake up one morning and the world will be gone With all of our beautiful dreams We had so many chances but we threw them away And now we’ve sold our souls to the Devil’s cause How did we lose control? And how we gonna pay the toll? What you gonna say now, Superpower?! Who’ll be the fool in your masterplan? What you gonna do now, Superpower?! What have you done to God’s promised land? Where you gonna run to… - Super Power?! Super Power!

OUT

BLACK

I N T E R M I S S I O N ACT

TWO

Scene EIGHT: Peace and Faith Black Out. Silence – thin note: shaft of light fades up in centre stage. Lian walks into it and sings: Lian

Father in the sky Won’t you tell us who you are? Won’t you say a word to me – that I can understand You have me in your hands

28


Father in the sky Have you forgotten where we are? The clouds grow darker every day And I am so afraid I never was so brave…. How can I carry on And still believe in you When every hope has vanished Long ago - in spite of you

Hassan comes on, silently - watching. The chorus sits, singing the harmonies quietly: How can we carry on How can we face you now? When everything we tried so hard To do was lost somehow How can we face you now? Father in the sky Have you forgotten where we are? The clouds grow darker every day And we are so afraid We never were so brave….

Hassan comes forward: the circle of light expands to include him: Hassan

Sorry to burst in – the door was open!

Lian

No – I was - I was just -

Hassan

Praying?

Lian

Yes

Hassan

I didn’t know you were a Christian

Lian

Convent educated! I’m not a very good Christian – more of a lapsed Catholic!

Hassan

But a believer, none the less?

Lian

I guess. What are we going to do, Hass?! It’s such a mess! Since Copenhagen, - since we came back from China - nothing makes sense any more!

Hassan

How’s Luke?

Lian

He’s fine! But that makes even less sense now …

Hassan

He’s a truly good man, Lian: he’ll not let you down.

Lian

I know – it’s just I’m not ready …

Hassan

Don’t even think about it. Remember Prince Hamlet: “There is a divinity that shapes our ends rough hew them as we will….” Or, as John Lennon put it: “Turn off your mind, relax and float down stream…” (She laughs) I find it very comforting not to think too much about any of this stuff. I just have faith: I don’t believe our Father in the Sky plans to wipe humanity off the face of the planet. I have faith that, in all this chaos we see around us, he – or she – is working things out. And I sure hope she is 29


because I don’t see a single politician alive today who has a clue how to sort it out. Lian

I’d like to believe, Hass - but I just don’t think God’s doing a very good job right now. I mean, why has he set us up in this whole conflict with the Muslims?

Hassan

There’s no conflict! I’m a Muslim and I love Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus: all the major religions teach us the same thing – to love, forgive, heal the sick, care for each other – love each other. Religion doesn’t divide us: it connects us all.

Lian

I’d love to believe that – but where is God in - ? - in all this?

Noise of laughing and chatting off stage, and Jake, Luke, Alexa and the Boffin come on. Lights fill the stage: Jake

Oh my lord – he’s got her talking about God!

Alexa

Now there’s a surprise!

Jake

Here were we hoping you’d come up with a cunning plan to blow away our PostCopenhagen blues ….

Hassan

- and some of us have the humility to pray? What’s your problem, Jake?! You think you have all the answers?! Recent history should show you pretty convincingly that we just don’t!

Jake

And you believe that God can help us out!? You really think He’s going to pop down one afternoon and get everything sorted?! Ain’t never going to happen, Hass! Your faith wraps you up in a warm blanket, pats you on the head and says: “Don’t worry, kid! God’s here! Everything’s going to be just fine! He’ll think of something!” – But He doesn’t exist – and if He did, he wouldn’t do anything because the point is: this is our mess! We are going to have to sort it out.

Boffin

But we’re not – and we can’t. Because, as we’ve found out – governments haven’t got the guts to take the decisions they know they have to make to save life on earth.

Alexa

So – we’re toast!

Jake

Seems like it! Nobody cares – the sun comes up in the morning: the sky hasn’t fallen in. Everything’s just fine –

Luke

Until it isn’t –

Boffin

And by then it’s too late!

Hassan

So – what are you going to do? You mock me – getting on my knees five times a day – going off on the Hajj! But at least I believe things can change: if you don’t, why bother to get up in the morning?!

Boffin

Recently – I haven’t been bothering…

Luke

I just put it all to the back of my mind –

Alexa

- get on with the studies.

Lian

We had a good time in China, didn’t we?!

All

Yeah!

Luke

It was amazing, Lian – we’ve got to get used to the fact that other countries can lead this change.

Boff

Some one’s got to – ‘cos the USA sure as hell ain’t!

Jake

I read about this conference they’re holding in Dubai: “Avoid climate change: invest in the Green Economy!”

Luke

That’s a joke: talking about the green economy in one of the world’s biggest oil producers!

Boffin

Oil revenue is less than 10% of GDP in Dubai, I think! 30


Jake

Really? – I didn’t know that. Anyway, I was thinking of applying ‘cos they pay all the expenses!

Hassan

I could go on to it after the Haj

Lian

You think they’d want a bunch of students?!

Luke

“Youth Participation!” – it’s the new big thing!

Alexa

It’s worth a try.

Boffin

I don’t think so: we know what we need to do – we’ve known for decades now. It’s just that none of us are prepared to change our lifestyles to make those changes.

Jake

So – you’re giving up now, Boff?

Boffin

I guess!

Hassan

Well – I’m not! I’m going to Dubai! I like the sound of a Green Economy: it sounds suitably Pakistani!

Luke

Or Libyan!

Boffin

But we saw what happened when we tried to sell the Green Economy to the Congressman and the President of the Mining Company: they couldn’t have been less interested. And then – all that pressure – all those hopes raised around Copenhagen. And Nothing. Nothing, Nothing, Nothing! We’re going backwards, folks: we’re not even living up to the agreements we made back in the 1990s. We blew it. Sorry. For me, it’s over.

Lights fade. The others back away – and EXIT. Hassan is left in the shaft of light that Lian stood in at the start of the scene. He gets on his knees – and sings – softly, tentatively at first – but as the chorus joins in, building a powerful affirmation of his faith:

SONG 11:

I Believe

Hassan (Sings) If the sun lost its shine And the trees started to die Yes – I’d still be full of hope I guess I know the reason why If the wind grew too old And the seas started to dry Yes I would still be full of love Don’t ask – don’t ask me why! Yes I still believe in God I still believe in us – his people! And if you really want to know I still believe in this His land. ALL

(Sing) We believe in God 31


We still believe in us – his people! And if you really want to know We still believe in this His land. Hassan (Sings) So don’t turn your head away Don’t give up on who you are Just keep on loving more each day And the world will shine for you I guess it’s all in the mind What you feel is what you see So within your heart just sing these words Come sing! – come sing with me! ALL

(Sing) We believe in God We believe in us – his people! And if you really want to know We still believe in this His land. We believe in God We believe in us – his people! And if you really want to know I believe – yes I believe I believe – yes I believe I believe in this His land!

Lights fade to black. BLACK OUT

Scene NINE: Democracy and Sustainability Bright lights come up. Jake, Luke, Lian, Hassan and Alexa come on – and sit with the Chorus, listening to a Speaker who stands at the Podium, downstage left, looking across the stage. On the screen behind him/her, there are brilliant images of new buildings – and the city of Masdar: Speaker

Welcome to the City of Masdar! The world’s first genuinely Zero Carbon, food and energy self-sufficient city. We in the United Arab Emirates have built this city because we know we have to build a future without oil. Already, in Dubai, only 6% of the economy is now based on oil and gas revenue. Before our oil reserves run out – in 2020 to 2030 – we have to ensure that our entire economies are not dependent on oil. That’s why we are making bold plans here in the Gulf to build the Green Economy. 32


Now – what do we mean by a green Economy? That’s what we’re all here to discuss – so I would ask you to go to your small groups, and get some ideas back for the plenary at the end of the day. The Chorus all split up into separate small groups across the Stage; in each group, there is an actor/actress in Arab dress – dish-dash for the men; headscarf for the women; Jake

So what’s the deal here? How do you keep the lights on?

Luke

What’s running the air-conditioning?

Arab (1)

The air conditioning is all from ground-source cooling pumps: 20 metres down, the earth is very cool – so we pump water down, cool it, compress it, then use it to cool the air in the super-insulated buildings.

Jake

And the electricity is all solar –

Arab (2)

Yes – from the solar voltaics embedded in the windows and on the roof – and from large CSP plants in the desert.

Alexa

CSP?

Arab (1)

Concentrated Solar Power – looks like this! (An image of a large CSP Plant appears on the screen.) Energy is stored in large lithium batteries embedded in the foundations of the city.

Luke

Cool!

Lian

So – where does the food come from?

Arab (2)

Hydroponic vertical farms – mostly: we still buy imported food, I’m afraid: we’re not 100% locavores yet – but more than 60% is grown locally in Masdar.

Lian

‘Locavores’?

Luke

People who eat local-grown stuff! Carnivores – eat meat! Locavores – eat locally. Geddit?!

Lian

Can we see all this? –

Arab (1)

Sure – we have a tour round this afternoon.

Lian

You guys are way ahead of us.

Arab (2)

Ooh, I don’t know: we’re not a very democratic society yet…

Jake

Who needs democracy when your government is doing the right thing?!

Alexa

Our Democracy is all bought up by the fossil fuel companies anyway;

Hassan

And when the government is giving away hundreds of billions of dollars in fossil fuel subsidies every year – they can afford to buy the government!

Luke

That’s a bit cynical, Hass: I’d prefer democracy any day over a dictatorship, however benign.

Jake

You have to think about that: if a democracy is paid for by industrial interests, and the people vote for short-term prosperity – low taxes, good schools etc. – and that results in the world being sucked dry leaving nothing for future generations, you have to ask: is democracy the best way to deliver sustainability.

Arab (1)

That’s why Green Economy is such a good idea: you tax the unsustainable industry – and subsidise the renewables – like we have here in Masdar!

Alexa

Trouble is, in our country, we’re doing exactly the opposite!

Luke

You’re talking about Canada, of course!

Alexa

Don’t even get me started about Canada and the Tar sands… No – I was talking about 33


most of the industrialised world, actually. Lian

Even China.

Luke

Really? –

Lian

Oh yes: we still subsidise brown coal power plants: the government has to balance environmental concerns against the need to keep the people warm in winter, the lights on, the factories running and everything. It’s a difficult balance – but we do our best.

Jake

What do you guys do for fun around here?

Alexa

Yeah – no drink, no booze – and the women all covered head to toe in black!

Hassan

Alexa – you have no idea! You have to see the Arabs party!

Lights change : Arab dance MUSIC fires up; a group of Palestinian or Yemeni Arab dancers come to the centre of the stage and the chorus moves to the side as they dance a vigorous, loud, and riotously energetic Dance. The Chorus watch and clap, happily:

Scene TEN: Poverty and Corruption MUSIC and Lights change: African drumming fills the air. Images of African landscapes – rondevaal villages fill the screen. The Arab dancers melt away and EXIT – a group of Africans dressed in colourful African robes come on. Jake, Hassan, Alexa, Luke, Lian + Arabs (1) and (2) chat quietly to the Africans – as the Story-teller and her group come on downstage left into the spotlight. The rest of the stage lies in shadow; Child 1:

Why are they in Africa?

ST

Long story! You see – the Dubai meeting was a preparation meeting for a big summit that was happening in Rio de Janeiro on the Green Economy;

Child 2:

The Earth Summit?

ST

No – that was earlier. This was in 2012 and it was supposed to get everyone together to agree how to fight climate change and end poverty –

Child 3

By making a Green Economy?

ST

Right –

Child 4

But Rio de Januario is in - ? – in –

Child 5

Not Africa.

Child 1

Right – it’s in Brazil!

ST

Exactly! But Africa is on the way to Brazil – so, as the father of our team’s new Arab Friends were flying them to Rio in his private jet, they stopped off in a couple of African countries on the way to learn more about how to achieve that second, vital goal of the Green Economy, which was what?

Child 5

Ending poverty?

ST

Right!

Lights change – fading on the Story-teller’s group who EXIT – and coming up on the Chorus and principals who come forward, talking: Luke

So your Dad just bought the land?

Arab (1)

Yes – it’s a win-win situation: they get the investment they need to make the land productive – and we both get enough food to make our lives more comfortable.

Jake

But why did you have to buy the land? Couldn’t you just lease it?

Lian

I mean – because of the oil, Arab countries could probably buy up the whole 34


world? Alexa

And that wouldn’t be fair.

Arab (1)

But the Africans were starving: their fields had no irrigation and a lot of the food they produced rotted away because they had no proper storage.

Arab (2)

Arab money have brought them into the modern world – and made them happy. What’s wrong with that?

Luke

Not much, I guess: and everybody’s doing it. I heard the Chinese are buying up large tracts of land in New Zealand?

Jake

And the USA owns most of Latin America.

Hassan

(to the Africans) What do you guys feel about it?

African (1) It is a good life. African (2) We are very happy. African (3) We have all that we need Hassan

OK?! I’m not convinced, are you?

Alexa

Not for a minute! It makes me feel uncomfortable – all this buying of land.

Hassan

I want to go see my friend, Peter – they guy I met at the Haj.

Luke

They have Muslims in Africa?

Hassan

Come on! Africa is Muslim! (They frown at him: he backtracks) – well, mostly!

Lights change – creating a pool of light downstage right: African (4) / Peter comes on in a long robe. He sits on a stool, carving a point on a stick. Hassan and the others come forward to greet him! Peter

Hassan! – my friend. You said you’d come – and you kept your promise!

Hassan

Salaam Aleikum: Peace be with you!

Peter

Come – my house is your house – for you and your friends.

Hassan

Thank you my friend – but we cannot stay long.

Peter

Where are you going?

Arab (1)

We’re on our way to the Big Summit meeting on the Green Economy in Rio de Janeiro. It’s the one where we’re going to save the earth!

Peter

That’s good. Some one needs to! – we’re nearly all dead here.

Jake

Dead?!

Peter

These droughts – all our cows: dead; and AIDS – my mother, sister, father, uncle – 14 family members dead now. But me? I’m lucky – I am clean. So many of us are HIV-Positive, waiting for death….

Luke

Doesn’t sound like much of a life!

Peter

It isn’t

Alexa

So – what do you want? What can we do?!

Peter

I want a job! A good job! I want to work – I have all these qualifications and kind friends who took me to the Haj – which was wonderful! But I want to work hard and make some money on my own so I can buy a house, get married and raise a family. That is what life’s about, no?! But it’s very hard in Africa…

Lian

So – why don’t you work for our Arab friends? 35


Jake

We just met a bunch of guys who do: they seem happy.

Peter

I’m sorry – I cannot. I have my pride – and we have our land. It’s all we have – and, for me, as for my ancestors, it’s not for sale.

Silence. The team looks at each other. The Arabs are embarrassed. No one knows what to say. Lian

Peter – you must come with us to this summit. Your voice – your opinions – need to be heard there.

Jake

Yeah! You have more right to be there than any of us: we have those things you’re talking about. This summit is all about how you can get them too.

Luke

We have that spare seat on the plane?!

Arab (1)

Yes – but does he have a passport?

Hassan

Of course! He was just at the Haj – and we can get him a visa at the Airport.

Arab (2)

OK

Hassan

Great!! And Peter: you know the best thing about this Summit? There’s a World Youth Congress before the Leaders get there so the young people can work out what needs to be done so when the leaders arrive, we just tell them what to do!

Peter

Sounds great! – Thank you, Hassan. Africa needs friends like you!

They leave the Stage. Black out.

Scene ELEVEN: The Model Earth Summit Music! Latin Carnival music – some dancers enter at the back of the theatre dressed in Carnival costumes and process – dancing – down the aisles. The spotlights follow them on to the stage where they greet the team who come on, looking a bit jet-lagged and jaded. The hugs and kisses of the dancers cheer them up: Luke

Another day, another continent!

Lian

What kind of a life is this?

Alexa

A fun one!

Peter

I cannot believe I am here?! Rio de Janeiro! How cool is that?!

Jake

Come on guys – we have a free day! Let’s follow the Carnival!

The Music strikes up – and the team follow the dancers down the aisles, dancing and greeting the audience – and out of the back of the theatre. Lights change – and a pool of light comes up downstage left as the Story-teller and her group come on. The rest of the stage lies in shadow; Child 1:

What’s a Carnival?

Child 2:

Some one who eats meat?!

ST

No – it’s a crazy, crazy Brazilian party… They still do it every year just before the Christian period of Lent. In England – they toss pancakes: in Brazil – they have the biggest, noisiest, happiest street party in the world.

Child 3:

Can we go?!

ST

One day – you must!

Child 4:

Is that why they chose Rio for the Summit to save the world?!

ST

Maybe: but Brazil has the Amazon Rain Forest – and that is one of the biggest and most important parts of our environment that we need to save. And once in Brazil – Rio seems to be the city for everything – Summits, World Cups, Olympic Games…. 36


Child 2:

So how did the young people save the world?

ST

Well – they had their own Summit, didn’t they?!

Child 1:

The Young People’s Earth Summit?

ST

Exactly. The Young People’s Model UN Earth Summit?

The lights change; the Story-teller and his/her group EXIT – and the Boffin, looking dazed and gob-smacked, comes on stage. The rest of the team rush back down the aisles to greet him. Luke:

Boff!? – you made it!

Alexa

Welcome to Rio!

Lian

Boff?? – are you OK??

Boffin

(straightening his glasses) Uh?! Hi guys – you won’t believe what I just saw….

Luke

What, Boff?

Boffin

A tall, beautiful lady – totally butt naked, walking down an alley! She was painted gold – and had feathers! What a city!

Luke

That’s the Carnival, Boff! They all dress like that?!

Boffin

But that’s the point?! She wasn’t dressed at all!

Jake

C’mon, Boff – we’ve got a hundred and fifty kids coming in for this meeting tomorrow. No time for ogling female back ends: we’ve got work to do!

Boffin

‘Kay! So what’s the plan?

Luke

We lay it on them – lay it on them straight. Most of them know what we’re talking about – so the point is to find out how far their countries have gone, or might be prepared to go – to tax the Brown Economy out of business, and ease a smooth transition to the Green.

Jake

Well – we all know the USA

Alexa

- and Canada!

Jake

- won’t get out of the starting gate!

Lian

Yes – but if the rest of the world does, they will have to, won’t they?

Jake

If the rest of the world’s Governments do, maybe: if its just the rest of the world’s youth? – I doubt it!

Lian

Anyway, Boff – we’ve got FOUR committees - !

Boffin

Let me guess! – Energy and Climate Change?

Luke

One!

Boffin

Training and Education for the Green Economy!

Luke/Lian TWO Boffin

Financing and pricing mechanisms –

Lian

To ensure the total elimination of poverty through a global welfare safety net.

ALL

THREE

Boffin

Good. OK - Four? – what the heck’s the last one?

Alexa

Kashmir – Palestine…? (Lian points her hand as if to shoot him! The penny drops!)

Boffin

Ah! – Peace Agreements and De-militarisation.

ALL

FOUR! 37


Boffin

Great!! – so how long have we got?!

Luke

So – they arrive tonight: three days max –

Lian

- if we’re to get our decision out before the government’s.

Jake

Which is kind of the point!

Boffin

Great – let’s get to it!

The lights change; the Story-teller comes forward alone, and narrates: ST

The young people had their decision by the middle of the second day. The governments still didn’t have their’s by the time the Summit was due to close on the evening of the fourth day. They worked through the night – and, in the morning, some tired politicians delivered their ‘Focussed Political Statement’ to a waiting world.

Lights change - Luke enters reading followed by the Team – in shock.

Story-teller EXIT

Luke

(reading) Nothing – I mean absolutely NOTHING!

Boffin

Nothing about removing fossil fuel subsidies and green taxes?

Luke

(Scanning through the pages) General statements: no firm commitments.

Hassan

Nothing about Peace and de-militarisation?

Luke

Not a word!

Peter

Commitments to poverty eradication?

Luke

Not so’s you’d notice!

Lian

A Tobin Tax – some firm commitment of funds?

Luke

Nothing specific!

Jake

So – who was the spoiler?

Lian

Not China, from what I heard!

Alexa

(coming in with more papers) No – I’m sorry folks: the AP Newswire and CNN are saying it was the good old US of A – proudly supported by Canada!

Boffin

Oh shit! What do we do now?!

Lian

We have our agreements.

Jake

They’re not worth the paper they’re written on.

Hassan

They were quite widely reported: they put down a market….

Luke

- to say: “Were we in your positions, we’d do what you don’t have the guts to do!”

Boffin

Much good it will do us then!

Alexa

It will be far too late!

Boffin

The reading from Mauna Loi shows we passed 390 parts per million yesterday.

Hassan

What does that mean?

Jake

It means that two degrees of global warming is inevitable. Guys – we’re toast!

Lian

Wait! - what do you plan to do now? Go back to school and let all this drop?!

Hassan

I guess.

Alexa

What else can we do?

Boffin

We made our point – they ignored it.

Luke

End of Story. 38


Lian

No way! Start of story. How can you stand to go back to schools which you KNOW are not teaching you the skills you need to navigate the next fifty years?

Jake

Good point! Any child going through school today is likely to emerge with a far better idea of how to deal with the challenges of the last 200 years than how to deal with the challenges of the next fifty!

Luke

But it’s governments – governments! – that dictate the curriculum. Young people have to learn what we’re told to learn. We have no choice in the matter.

Boffin

Of course! We do! We can just say “No!”

Alexa

You mean – not co-operate? Withdraw our participation?

Luke

A school strike!

Lian

– and not just school: we withdraw our purchasing power from every store, every cinema, every economic activity thrown at us. We just say: “No! What’s the point – if you’re intent on murdering our future, we’re not going to play any part in your present!”

All

Cool!

Lian

And – we take the time to go over the Four Committee agreements – research the implications – and come up with a Comprehensive Action Plan!

Luke

So what this means is, by withdrawing from school, we’re not stopping learning.

Boffin

Exactly! We’re learning and researching what really matters!!

Hassan

And refining our solutions!

Luke

Because we’re clever!

Lian

We’re Inventive!

Boff

Give us a problem, and the Human Spirit always finds a way!!

They all sing! SONG 11: INVENTIONS

Make a wheel, then spinning it round It may carry the world Make a fire – yes building it high till It burns to the ground Make a blade and call it a spade To dig through the earth Creatures of Invention – yes we are Man! Heading for destruction with our own hands Nothing can stop us We’ll make our own star dust Nothing can stop us… So spin that wheel, faster and faster It will carry us far Stoke up that fire, yes higher and higher Till it burns to the sky

39


Make a bow, put in an arrow Let it fly through the world Heading for destruction with our own hands Plenty of money, more milk and more honey Who needs to work? But what of the spade, digging so hard? What’s left but soil and the earth? We are Creatures of Invention – yes we are Man! Heading for destruction with our own hands The wheels are all turning The fires are all burning We’re living for learning Learning, learning, learning….

BLACK OUT

Scene TWELVE: The Global Mobilisation The Boff sits centre stage – looking at read-outs on his laptop. Lian and Luke come on, hand in hand from one side of the stage, Alexa and Hassan from the other. Alexa

Oooh! Arm in arm now, are we?! (Lian drops Luke’s arm and moves away)

Luke

I’m wearing her down! It’s a tough job, but some one’s got to do it!

Lian

(She looks at Luke – wanting to be angry, but then laughs. She turns to the Boffin) So how’s it going?

Luke

How many have we got?

Boff Luke

Australia is coming on big – some states in the USA are close to 100% - mostly East Coast – nothing in the South. Texas – zero! Alberta, forget it. Europe?

Boff

Some – but very little

Lian

We have to do more?

Boff

But what?! – that Call to Action we put out couldn’t have been clearer!

Hassan

Force a high-level meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss our proposals!

All

Exactly

Jake

- and there’s absolutely no sign that any government is going to propose that.

Lian

Well – the Chinese were not entirely opposed

Boff

- and the Americans said “Keep pushing…”

Luke

Too right! We’re going to have to put a bunch of rockets up their backsides to make anything happen this side of next century!

Alexa

Why don’t we – ‘make like the Egyptians…’ ? Take over the squares!

Luke

Tahrir Square – ? 40


Boff

- and Time Square!

Hassan

Trafalgar Square!

Lian

Tianenmen Square!

Luke

Lafayette Square!

Lian

Where’s that?

Alexa/Hassan/Boff/Luke

Washington DC

Luke

Opposite the White House

All

Let’s do it! Kids on Strike! Kids on Strike! (Chanting – they process down the aisles and stand, urging the audience to join in their chant) Kids on Strike! – Kids on Strike! What do we want? CHANGE! – when do we want it? NOW! Etc.

(Their chant drops to a whisper - and BLACK-OUT; Spotlight picks out the Story-teller) ST

The strike spread all over the world – millions upon millions of children and young people – and their parents and grand-parents! – took over city squares, recognising that the moment had come to change: to end human addiction to oil and begin to build for a future without it. Several governments and corporations realised this too in private, but they were too scared to say anything in public. So the strike continued – and society struggled with a youth population that refused to play by their rules….

The chorus comes back to the stage, their chant rising in volume and speeding up: “What do we want?! – CHANGE! When do we want it?! – NOW!” Faster and Faster – until they are just saying “CHANGE! NOW! CHANGE! NOW!” Suddenly, they stop – music! The press run on down stage centre, splitting the chorus in two, and posing to sing: Press

It's a story! We really gotta story! Headline Story, definitely front page news -

They then sit on chairs appearing to type while singing:

A-tic-a-tac-a-shoo-ee! A-tic-a-tac-a-shoo-ee! A-tic-a-tac-a-tic-a-tac-a-tic-a-tac-a-shoo-ee! A-tic-a-tac-a-shoo-ee! A-tic-a-tac-a-shoo-ee! A-tic-a-tac-a-tic-a-tac-a-tic-a-tac-a-shoo-ee! They look up from their chairs to take notes as Luke, Lian and the Boffin give them a briefing: Boff

I can confirm that Australia is in the lead with 100% of students out on strike. Canada is next up with 72%; Egypt – 70%; France: 68%; Sweden 52% and Malaysia - 44%.

Luke

And I can further confirm that the strike will end as soon as the governments of the world agree to discuss our ideas in a session of the UN Security Council - ….

Lian

That’s a promise!

Luke

A discussion – that’s all! No upfront commitments. That’s fair, isn’t it??

Press (1)

(Rushing in – very excited!!) Ab! – Ab! – EEK!!! – you’re not going to believe this: (reading) “The Government of the People’s Republic of China have ordered a full meeting of the United Nations Security Council to allow the leaders of the School Strike to present their ideas for the Green Economy!!” 41


The young people – and the entire Chorus – shout and cheer and clap and holler – as the Press stand rooted to the spot, dumb-founded: Press

(as one!) Incredible!!!

Press

(sing)

It's a story! A HUGE – ENORMOUS! - story! Headline Story, definitely front page news Newsnight satellite, print it right, Broad side, nationwide, any side! Front page, centre-fold, get it sold! Extra, extra, read all about it! Headlines Headlines no doubt about it! Extra, extra - read all about it! Headlines, Headlines - take it home and shout it! Front Page! Build it high! Print it bold! Reach the sky! Make 'em shout! Make 'em cry! Children meet the Presidents of the World!!

Scene THIRTEEN: The United Nations Security Council Chamber: Lights change – the Big UN symbol descends at the back of the stage – and the diplomats dressed in their suits come in. They sit around a horseshoe table as designed to represent the UN Security Council Chamber. The Secretary General sits at the apex of the table and raps his gavel: SG

Good morning everyone. We are gathered here at the request of the Chinese government to listen to the ideas of young people of our world – who, as we all know, will be the major victims of our nations’ failure to address the Green Economy challenge – and the major beneficiaries should we succeed. I am pleased to declare this session Open! – and invite the young people to address us:

Lian

It is an awesome honour to address your excellencies at this Summit which will decide the future course of World History. We stand at a crossroads – one way leads to prosperity, security in the green economy and a courageous decision to change the habits of the last 200 years to ensure we survive the next 200. The other way – well, I’m not here to talk to you about the other way.

Boffin

We called the world’s young people out on strike because we wanted them to know 42


the detail of what you discussed back in Rio. And now they do know – they realised how much you have to change things to ensure our own survival – let alone that of our grand-children. Hassan

We – the young people of the world – are united in this appeal to you. United across national, ethnic, cultural, economic and religious barriers. We urge you to discover the same unity.

Alexa

The United Nations was set up to ‘save succeeding generations from the scourge of war’ – and to secure our human rights, to provide food security, water security, personal security of our persons from violence or harm…

Luke

And your continuing dependence on the Brown Economy threatens every aspect of that ‘security.’ – which is why we call for you to change it! Because if you don’t change it – I, and most of the young people that I know, don’t want to contemplate bringing children into a world that’s headed on the course you have set for it.

Diplo 1

You say – you’re giving up on continuing the human race?

Alexa

You leave us no other rational choice!

Diplo 2

But your demands transcend the frontiers of reason! 350ppm??!! – we’re at 390 already!!

Diplo 2

My government does not set targets we know are impossible to meet. Others might – we do what we say we’re going to do!

Diplo 3

450ppm is the lowest anyone around this table is even considering …

Alexa

You got us into this mess! You’re going to have to get us out of it!

Luke

By the time we’re sitting in your chairs, it will be too late!

Hassan

You HAVE to take the right actions today.

Boffin

350ppm is the only sure way we can ensure our world survives: look how fast the Arctic is melting at 390ppm?

Lian

You know the targets you’re discussing now are band-aids: why not be brave – do the right thing. [music] Look at it our way….

13: WE WANT THIS WORLD TO SURVIVE FOR EVER! Soloist(1) (sings) All the time through the day and through the night I think about my life in this world So many times I've tried to find A way to live my life - A way to ease my mind

Soloist(2) (sings) I know this world could die forever And people are the reason why Children and parents, lovers and poets We just can't hear our planet cry!

Chorus

(sing) We want this world to survive forever And all the people Join their hands together In a bond of love, kindness and friendship We can make peace with the earth

43


Soloist(3) (sings) So many people have died in wars And we want that no one else should suffer - not again We mustn't forget that many are poor And half of our children lack even food!

Soloist(4) (sings) We know this world is a wonderful place It's our home - where we live and where we grow! I want to believe that this world can be Peaceful, free - and happy home for all

Chorus

(sing) We want this world to survive forever And all the people join their hands together In a bond of love kindness and friendship We can make peace with the earth.

Luke & Lian (sing) Let's join our hands together Let's make Peace throughout our World!

SG

May I be the first to thank and congratulate you for that most moving presentation. Members – you have heard the young people’s appeals – appeals shared by several in the Environmental movements lobbying delegates to this Summit. Any Comments?

Diplo (1)

We disagree that schools do not teach about climate change. Our’s certainly do.

Luke

Climate change is not central to any one’s curricula: in all our canvassing of young people around the world, we found a unanimous desire to know more of the detail.

Boffin

And – even if they know a little of the science of global warming, none knows anything of the economics of building the post-carbon infrastructure. That is what we have all been learning about these weeks we’ve been on strike – and it’s awesome!

Diplo (2)

I congratulate you on the educational initiative – but civil disobedience does not win you friends in government. Can I have your assurances that, after today’s meeting, you will call your action off?

Lian

Can we have your assurance that you will agree to all our proposals?

SG

That’s a question for the committee discussions…

Luke

(under his breath to the Lian) What committee discussions? No one said anything about committee discussions!?

Diplo (3)

I think we can all agree to congratulate the government of the People’s Republic of China for allowing the children’s concerns to be heard.

Lian

(under her breath to Luke) Why do they keep calling us ‘children’?!

Diplo (3)

- but I think it’s important for them to hear another point of view. With your permission, Secretary General, I would like to invite a group of businessmen – representatives from the engine room of the economies on which the prosperity of all of us depend – to present their views – in similar musical format:

Biz Man

Well thank you, Ladies and Gentlemen – children! - for this amazing opportunity. Me and my colleagues recognise that you guys are going to take some very important decisions here – decisions that will affect the prosperity of every man jack of us living on this planet! 350ppm will destroy our economies faster than any glacier melt –

Boff

(under his breath to the others) - not if you invest in Green Economies…. 44


Biz Man

- anything below 550ppm is curtains for all of us! So I am happy that you have given us the opportunity to give it to these kids straight. Here we go! Hit it, Jim - !

14: PETROLEUM ENERGY COMPLEX Biz (1)

(sings) You broke the generational contract! Get back to school – ‘n live by the rules! We’re out here trying to make you some money Where the money all goes? – to look after you!

Biz (2)

(sings) Get back to your schools and get learning If you make some good grades – our money is made! Your mums and your dads and your teachers Want success for you now – so don’t make a row!!

All Biz Men

(sing) Oh - what a hopeless case you are!! Your heads are in the clouds! Oh - what a crazy lot you are! School strikes should not be allowed! Because – unless you get taught To live by the rules To do what you’re told You’ll never get ahead!!!

Biz (3)

(sings) It's a petroleum energy complex Get on and get trained – join this gravy train! Get passionate about making money! You’re all in a state! – the climate can wait!

Biz (4)

(sings) You’re out of your depth in this jungle There’s no one to blame – get on with the game! If it ends up a horrible shambles At least you’ve had fun – when your life is done!!

During the song, the singers and dancers, dressed very formally in suits and ties, ham it up like rock stars – to the great amusement of the diplomats, and the shock-horror of the young people. As it ends, they shake hands with the diplomats who spontaneously applaud their presentation with whistles and cat-calls. The SG calls for order: SG

Thank you, thank you! Another first for this hallowed chamber, I am sure! And – happily – it takes us up to our coffee break, so colleagues can get their breath back! We resume in ten minutes. Thank you! (he slaps the gavel – and they all EXIT)

The kids remain – looking at each other, amused at the antics but a little shell-shocked Lian

What was that all about?? 45


Luke

Where are the grown-ups?!!

Boff

If these are the people we’re trusting to save the world from climate change – we’re toast!

Lian

The S-G seems like a nice guy

Hassan

But here – look at this: (going through the papers on one desk) Instructions from the UK Foreign Office: “On No Account allow serious consideration of the children’s proposals…”

Luke

Bastards! – they never were going to do anything…

Lian

They’re just going through the motions to get us to call off the strike!

Jake

Durgh! Wouldn’t you do that in their position?! We shouldn’t have made any promises about ‘No Pre-conditions’

Lian

They have betrayed us.

Luke

They screwed up in Copenhagen!

Alexa

They screwed up again in Rio

Boffin

They failed to meet their Kyoto commitments

Peter

- or the MDGs!

Jake

They have let us down every step of the way

Luke

And – they’re going to let us down now!

Youth (6) We need new governments…. New people to sit in these chairs! Luke

(grinning mischievously) Well! – Look – that sign says my USA. I know I can do a better job of representing my country than that idiot!

Lian

That sign says China

Slowly, they filter down to the chairs around the horseshoe table. Hassan goes to the head. Hassan

Will you elect me your chair – all those in favour (all raise their hands. Nervously he picks up the gavel) I call this meeting of the Young People’s United Nations to order!

He slaps the gavel. Luke

I move we agree our Climate Change target of 350ppm and the $43 Investment Fund for the immediate transition to a Green Economy. Do I have a seconder?

Hassan

I second that from the chair – on behalf of the whole world!

Lian

Does it include the power of the Security Council to enforce binding compliance?

Luke

It does. We agreed that, didn’t we? (they all nod)

Hassan

All those in favour?

All raise their hands. Hassan slaps the gavel: Hassan

Agreed! Next - ?

Alexa

I move our Sustainability Education bill – to “Re-orient Education towards sustainability!”

Lian

“That every child is instructed in the science of sustainability from the day they enter primary school to the day they graduate university and that they be assessed for their competence in this subject as a key requirement of graduation!” I second!

Hassan

All those in favour?

All raise their hands. Hassan slaps the gavel: 46


Hassan

Agreed! Next - ?

Jake Hassan

I move our comprehensive Peace, nuclear disarmament and de-militarisation Treaty – The global democracy insurance mechanism with a UN Standing Army Police Force!

Youth (5) Was Kashmir part of that? Boffin

Everywhere – the South Asian Regional Common Market; the 2-state solution for Israel / Palestine with Jerusalem hosting both capitals; the African Great Lakes Union - the expansion of Mercosur – and the re-distribution of permanent seats on the UN Security Council to the regional blocs. Do we have a seconder?

Luke

(raising his hand) Me

Hassan

All those in favour? (all raise their hands) – but this requires global agreement (turning to the audience) Do you support this motion? Do you support Peace?! (by a combination of getting the audience to say ‘Yes!’ and raise their hands he and the cast get the audience to unite in their call for peace! He smacks down the gavel!) Agreed! Next - ?

Youth (4) I move all our agreement for the Tobin Tax – and giving the UN authority to raise direct taxes? Do I have a seconder? Alexa

Canada!

Hassan

All those in favour? (all raise their hands; the gavel smacks down!) Agreed! Next - ?

Lian

What else? – we’re running out of time here –

Youth (5) I move the Personal Carbon Quota scheme Luke

Remind me?

Youth (5) Instead of just countries agreeing to cap and trade Youth (6)

- each individual citizen on the planet caps and trades their carbon emissions

Youth (7)

Meaning that the average European or North American would pay the average African the equivalent of a week’s salary for the privilege of using their carbon quota;

Luke

Did we do the numbers on that one?

Boffin

We did: like Tobin, it would deliver an end to poverty almost overnight - if we could enforce it.

Lian

A big ‘If’!

Alexa

Hey - let’s get the law in place here: we can worry about enforcement later. I move – do I have a seconder?

They all raise their hands! Hassan

Seconded by the entire global family. Ladies – Gentlemen – I think we did it…

Lian

Wait! – we have another: Equal Rights and Equal Pay for Women! I so move – seconder?

Hassan

From the Chair, by a good Muslim! All those in favour? (all raise their hands – he slaps down the gavel) Agreed! Gentlemen, Ladies – I hear the diplomats returning. Let’s prepare ourselves…

The Diplomats come in, led by the Secretary-General. They stop, astonished at the young people occupying their chairs at the Summit table. SG

What the - ? What’s going on here??!!

Luke

We decided we’d help things along a bit –

Lian

- get done in the coffee break what you might take 40 years to do! 47


Boffin

By which time, you’ll be dead and the world will be fried!

Diplo (3)

This is outrageous – they’ve been looking through our confidential briefings!

Jake

Yeah! – embarrassing isn’t it: now we know you plan to agree absolutely nothing!

Diplo (1)

Get these kids outta here! Call Security!!

Alexa

No – we should call security: you are the ones who are committing the crime! You are destroying the world we want to live the rest of our lives on…

Diplo (2)

Mr Secretary General: you must agree! This is a most shocking breach of UN security – you must allow us to eject these children immediately.

Lian

No wait! You were children once. You looked forward to lives filled with happiness, children, love, security! Some lawyers call your failure to act on climate change an ‘intergenerational crime!’ We should sling you in jail for murdering our future. (music) Instead, we ask you to talk to us – to work with us! To be brave – to be visionary!

REACH OUT Alexa (sings) Reach out for a star! Come out from where you are Show me what you can do Believe in me, I believe in you!

Hassan

(sings) Reach out for your dream It's not as hard as it may seem Together we can make it through Together - me and you!

All Youth

(sing) Wake up - open your eyes, This is our world, our paradise.

Lian

(sings) Reach out, don't be afraid Come on now, we'll find a way There's a whole new world for us to see There's a universe in you and me.

The song evaporates the tension. The next section, they all sing in unison, going up to the diplomats, taking their hands, and leading them, slowly, gently back to their places at the Horseshoe table. The diplomats are bewitched and led by lambs. As the song ends, they sit together – looking over the papers – looking to each other, working together, elders and youth – working out the issues. Together. All Youth

(sing) Reach out, put your hand in mine! Oh see! - see how we shine! Together - we'll make it through, Together me and you!

48


Don't be shy, just be yourself! You are your greatest wealth! Reach out for a star! Come out from where you are Show me what you can do Believe in me, I believe in you! Show me what you can do Believe in me, I believe in you!

Lian and Luke back away, downstage left – backs to the audience, watching as the elder diplomats and their young team sit together working. The lights fade very slowly on the scene. Luke puts his arm around Lian’s shoulder – she nestles in to him – putting her arm around him. The music continues under. The Story-teller comes on; the music segues – and s/he sings: CHILD FOR A DAY ST

I was a child who ran full of laughter I was a child who lived for a day My eyes full of sunshine My heart full of smiles I was a child for a day.

S T + Full Chorus

We were the children who ran in the morning We were the children who laughed at the sun Who listened to those who spoke with their wisdom We were the ones we would say. We're getting older as time goes by A little older every day We are the children of yesterday.

S T + Diplomats

We are the men who worry of nothing We are the men who speak without aim Who listen to no one yet speak of their wisdom We were the ones we would say. We're getting older as time goes by A little older every day We are the children of yesterday.

49


Scene FOURTEEN: Back to the Future - 2056! The Story-teller comes on, watching, amused – a little sad. S/he turns to the audience to explain to the audience, and the group of small children, what happened next… Through the scene, the youth and the diplomats continue to discuss in silence in the darkness at the back of the stage – the image is workmanlike. They are making progress – really listening to each other. ST

That was it! That’s where it started: at that odd session of the UN Security Council: there have been hundreds and thousands of sessions of the Security Council but none has achieved so much as that 10-minute session held by kids on that September morning.

Child (1)

What happened to the bad guys?

Child (2)

The Idiots!?

ST

It’s funny: I have not often hated a group of people so much as those business men who came and did that stupid song. They were the pits – but once the green economy got going – it was they who managed the investments, they who built up the ecofriendly industries that are now the engine of our new prosperity. Every one has talents – and what we did helped them harness their’s in a good way. We became good friends!

Child (3)

And Lian?

Child (4)

Did Luke marry her?

ST

Look – as I told you at the beginning, this is not about two personalities: this is about hundreds of millions of young people who took a stand – who said “We are not going to be the generation that stands back and watches our planet die!”

Child (1)

But – they were the leaders

Child (3)

They made it happen!

Child (2)

It was YOU!! – you were Luke, weren’t you? (with a female storyteller who can be made up to look Asian, this line can be used to say she was Lian. Otherwise it can be dropped! And you can play with the Story-teller’s denial as you wish!)

Children

Yes! – Yes! – must have been! You, you, YOU!!!

ST

What if it was me?! You think that school strike happened because of just two people?? There were leaders all over the world – in every country, in every town, every village, every family! We all did our bit. Every child became a Peace Child!

Child (4)

What job did you do then?

ST

I became a teacher! Ha! I spend my young life beating up on schools – then the rest of it making a living by working in them! But – you see – schools are different now: they teach the things you need to know – as well as history and all the rest. Teachers and children work together now – because we know that children have every bit as much to teach us as we have to teach you.

Child (2)

Don’t be silly! - us teach you?!

Child (1)

You are the teachers – we are the students, isn’t it?

ST

Wrong! All wrong! Have you learned nothing from this story?? Young people like you are an incredible resource – a fountain of knowledge and ideas and energy and skill and wonderfulness! What’s different about today from the world I grew up in is that everyone – governments, teachers, private companies – show respect to young people. No longer are children told to be ‘seen and not heard’: children like you are seen and heard. And you must protect your future just as we fought for our’s. That’s what we call a ‘Peace Child’ – some one who works, selflessly, to protect the planet 50


so that it can be enjoyed by people not yet born. And that’s why we celebrate Peace Day every year – to remind ourselves of the thousands – millions – of unborn souls waiting out there in the universe for their brief, magnificent vacation in this paradise we call earth! Come – let’s celebrate Peace Day 2056!!! The Youth of the past come forward with the diplomats to join the children of 2056 with the Story teller. Paradise lighting returns as they dance and sing: SING! Soloist 1:

Sing! I do wish the world would sing! I do wish the world would say How they love to live and play How they need each other's -

Soloist 2:

Peace! That is all we want to have, That is all we want to share Let us live our lives in peace Oh let us give this life a chance to -

Chorus:

Love! - love is all I need, Love is all I want, Love is everywhere Peace! - Peace is all I want, Peace is all I need, Peace - everywhere!

During the instrumental interlude, the boy is hoisted on the shoulders of two leading chorus members. The Girl on the other side is likewise raised up, and the chorus process out through the aisles while the dancers fill the stage with a festive finale, flanked by the solo singers.

Come into my joy!

Love! - love is all I need,

Come into my pain!

Love is all I want,

Come you be a friend of mine,

Love is everywhere!

I'll be the same! Come into my joy! Peace! - Peace is all I want,

Come into my pain

Peace is all I need,

Come you be a friend of mine!

Peace - everywhere!

I'll be the same! (Repeat x 3)

- END -

51

PEACE CHILD for Rio+20  

IF YOU WANT TO PERFORM THIS SCRIPT, PLEASE CONTACT: david@peacechild.org - for the scores, production notes, lesson plans etc. These will be...

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