As the dog days of summer loom in my near future, I’m beginning to question the wisdom of moving from nippy Northern California and to sweltering Florida, America’s subtropical Easy-Bake® Oven of a state. And, you know it’s time to hydrate and huddle around the A/C vent when your smart-thermostat notifies you that it wants to “explore other employment options.”
It’s getting hot in here. And by here, I mean, Earth.
Recently, I’ve been made aware that the earth is heating up, and that human activity is largely responsible for it. Which activities exactly? They’re not saying but, personally, I think it’s all that SoulCycle and Peloton stationary bike-riding nonsense. (“You’re raising the planet’s temperature, Janet, but you’re not going anywhere!”)
These emotion-evaders aren’t likely to abandon their support group meetings any time soon, so our odds of preventing a climate change doomsday scenario seem pretty slim.
Front-row seats to the future apocalypse.
The first effects of global warming will be seen in Florida, the country’s early warning system, its canary in a coal-mine, and its parrot in the photovoltaic factory (nope, sorry…that didn’t work, I take it back). Before you know it, rising tides will turn Miami and the Florida Keys into the next Atlantis, a lost civilization of pretentious hedonists and Jimmy Buffett fans that, to be honest, hardly anyone will miss.
However, when the racist geezers of Fort Meyers and Palm Bay start getting their white ankles wet, Florida’s GOP-infested government will spare no taxpayer expense bailing out their largest political donors—either financially or literally.
We were warned about this as far back as 1995.
Kevin Costner has appeared in a lot of movies—he’s even acted in one or two of them—yet he’s perhaps best known for a movie he did in 1995 that critics roundly dismissed as a “sublimely ridiculous” work of fiction.
In Costner’s magnum opus, the polar ice cap has completely melted, sea-level has risen 25,000+ feet, and almost the entirety of Earth’s landmasses have been submerged beneath the waves—only the tip of Mount Everest remains habitable, and housing prices there are insane.
What movie critics didn’t know at the time.
Though the film was ostensibly set in the year 2500, Costner actually shot it in 2050, a full fifty-five years after the picture’s theatrical release. How was the film shown before it was even shot? Simple, Costner had cracked time-travel. That’s right, the guy who made “Malibu Hot Summer” had also sorted out gravitational time-dilation.
The movie was, in reality, a documentary. A glimpse into our impending future, the one where we all wear ratty torn-up ’80s clothes and channel Mad Max characters. But it’s only one possible future for mankind—other possibilities included the robot uprising and total nuclear annihilation. All things considered, I think we get off pretty easily.
Thankfully, the future won’t be all dystopia and depression.
Our new situation will have a few bright sides, for younger generations at least. Twenty- and thirty-somethings who haven’t been able to afford homes or land won’t have to feel “less than” anymore because we’ll all be homeless, living on boats, rafts, or plastic debris from the commercial fishing industry. Our carbon footprint will shrink, too, as SUVs, gas stations, and cows don’t generally float.
Exciting new career opportunities will surface, as well.
In our new egalitarian hellscape, joblessness will fall to 0% as worker dehydration and drowning rates skyrocket. Without freshwater lakes, mountain springs, or bottles of chilled Evian® bobbing around, desalination will be a hot new growth industry, as will mass-producing sunblock and Dramamine®.
Health and eating habits will improve in the future, too.
The deep-sixing of deep-fryers will transform our diets, creating opportunities for innovative chefs and scientists who can make kelp and seaweed taste like the cows and chickens that all drowned. Hydroponics will provide us with fruit and vegetables, but fishing will be harder now that leaking nuclear fissile material has spawned super-intelligent tuna and tilapia that aren’t fooled by bologna on a hook. Also, we won’t have any bologna.
It’s the final days of our failed human experiment.
In a radical reversal of evolution, we’ll abandon our lungs—made useless thanks to nuclear smog and volcanic ash—in favor of gills. We’ll trade in our opposable thumbs for fins, and our brains for ganglia nets.
Life on the surface won’t be tenable for long with temperatures approaching 150°F along the equator. Something will have to change, and that something will be us.
We’ll return to the sea, devolving back into simpler, minimally-celled organisms who, after thousands of years of human strife and conflict, are at long last, happy.