Thomas the Tank Engine’s entire identity stems from the fact that he is a steam locomotive. It’s his livelihood, his passion, and his full legal name. But, given all the sulfur, mercury, lead, and arsenic that Thomas and his fellow trains have been emitting into the air, the Island of Sodor has now been declared an epicenter of the climate crisis. Looks like silly Thomas and his friends really got themselves into a mess this time!
Thomas has learned a lot of lessons in his life—he’s made friends with difficult trains and navigated complex railroad routes. Now, thanks to a doxing threat and public pressure from Greenpeace, Thomas is also acknowledging the thousands of tons of coal he’s been burning, personally contributing to the slow erosion of the ozone layer. He feels so badly about it that he sang a short, upbeat song accepting accountability.
Thomas has signed a public declaration that he will restrain from any non-work-related rail travel, including riding around while blowing his whistle and going on any kind of general adventure. When he is not shunting trucks or hauling freight, he will lock himself inside of The Big Station and think about the damage he has done to our planet.
In order to counteract his excessive carbon emissions, Thomas has begun to plant trees all over England, but, because he has no appendages, he’s really just been dumping large mounds of soil everywhere. It’s a start, and the woman he almost accidentally buried alive has decided not to press charges.
After looking to his friends for courage—even though it was inside of him all along—Thomas met with one of his long-time adversaries, the Coalition for Sustainable Rail. Despite their immediate disgust at the sight of the cheeky little tank engine, they successfully converted Thomas to biofuel. Biofuel burns faster and hotter than coal, so Thomas will be in constant pain from this point on. During a test run, Thomas just kept mumbling “I’m a really useful engine” while tears of agony streamed down his giant face.
Since Thomas doesn’t eat meat or buy single-use plastic containers himself, he will try to discourage others from doing so. So far, this has manifested as Thomas coming really close to running people over, then stopping at the very last second. When people realize how short life is—how they could be run over at any moment by a blue tank engine with a big smile and an environmental mission—they always pledge themselves to a more sustainable lifestyle.
Other members of Sir Topham Hatt’s railway are joining Thomas on this journey, too.
Percy, the No. 6 green engine who delivers mail, is reducing his carbon footprint by entering forced retirement now that postal services are fading into oblivion.
Gordon, the senior member of the engine family, is switching all of his lights off. This is both significantly limiting his energy usage and proving to be a real danger during night shifts.
James, the No. 5 red engine who always liked to argue that he has the biggest wheels, has sold himself to Elon Musk.