Photo from Possessed Photography on Unsplash
Dateline: May, 2027
Location: Pretty much anywhere on earth
“Miriam was one of those rare people who could remember reading about her cause of death before it happened. It wasn’t the reading that was rare – the warning had been printed in The New York Times, page A9. It also wasn’t the dying that was rare – hundreds of thousands of people would die of the same cause. It was the remembering that was rare.”
Yes, that’s fiction. I just made it up. Because I just read this story in today’s New York Times: record heat between now and 2027 due to climate catastrophe and El Niño weather patterns. It’s likely that one of the years between now and then will cross the mark of 1.5 degree celsius hotter than 19th Century average.
So, there’s the science. The article goes on to do the work – “This will have far-reaching repercussions for health, food, water management and the environment.”
Keep going – do the rest of the work: Those far-reaching repercussions mean fires, droughts, floods, food shortages, hunger, water wars (term used deliberately). These things mean death. I made up Miriam and I interpolated from the global recent past to get to “hundreds of thousands of deaths.” (We’ve passed the tens of thousands marker). Here’s what’s happening now – four years after devastating 2019 Australian summer.
If you have children starting elementary school this Fall, 2027 will be here before they go on to middle school. If your child was accepted to a four-year college this Spring, they’ve just been welcomed in to the class of 2027. If you’re writing a five year (?) strategic plan for your foundation/nonprofit you’re planning this precise timeline of these disasters – how are you fitting them into those plans?
I wrote a wee bit of fiction from this news. (I’ve done some other things, actual prep. Which given the global nature of the prediction is challenging) How do we respond to predictions like this – Action? Stasis? What are you doing? What can we do together?