Let me tell ya something: it doesn’t matter if our next Executive branch believes in anthropogenic climate change. The next head of the EPA can burn all the methane that he personally emits for all it will matter. We’re way beyond thinking that anything we do now will stop these effects within our lifetimes, or those of our children or grandchildren. What we need to be doing now is preparing for the world that we have inherited from the consequences of our collective and individual action and inaction.
If you live in an area that will see longer and more intense drought (a.k.a. the middle of the USA), get used to not having a lawn. Get used to reduced agriculture and big ol’ dust bowl-esque storms. You may want to start building houses underground, because it will be expensive to keep your house cool in the increasingly Phoenix-like summers we will have over the next 100 years. Also, dig a well. A really, really deep well.
If you live in a low-lying coastal area, be prepared to bug out for longer and more frequently as tropical storms become more intense and more frequent. If you have valuable possessions, you may want to get used to keeping them in flood- and fire-proof containers that are somehow anchored to your foundation so they won’t float away when the tide recedes and the National Guard finally lets you back onto your property. If you also live at or below sea level, think long and hard about where you and your family are going to live over the next 50+ years. There are some wise words somewhere about foolish men building houses upon the sand. With accelerating climate change, think of your city as a beach.
If you live in an inland wildland-urban interface with plenty of old-growth forest that hasn’t burned in a while, build a bigger and badder defensible zone or seriously consider the consequences of living near the ever-growing tinderbox that is your back yard.
Out West, water rights are a huge issue. You city can have senior or junior water rights and this will have a huge effect on how much (if any) water you will have at your house. It may be worthwhile to start experimenting with atmospheric condensers. Habitable zones will start to shrink for us humans. As a species we are adaptable, but our agriculture? Not so much.
I say this not to frighten you but to give you a heads-up as to what’s coming next. We can’t stop the climate from changing, it’s too late for that. We can prepare for the hotter and more extreme climate that is upon us. Uprooting is a long process that takes years of planning. If we are to learn from Syria’s example, it is simply not possible to relocate millions of climate refugees without chaos, unrest, and violence. Be smart, be prepared, and plan ahead.
Also, if you can, stop emitting so much damn carbon. Your great-grandchildren’s great-great-grandchildren will thank you.
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