image: from Fossils by Heartless Machine (via New York Magazine)
The current issue of New York Magazine has a delightfully dismal piece on the near-certain near-future of life on our planet. The Uninhabitable Earth by David Wallace-Wells is as infotaining as it is impressively bleak. Did you know, for instance:
- Trapped for millions of years inside rapidly melting Arctic ice sheets, there are ancient pathogens for which the immune systems of extant life on Earth are utterly unprepared?
- that the likelihood of armed conflict rises between 10 and 20 percent for every half-degree of warming?
Lockheed, Boeing and Raytheon are positioned to score big! PRIORITIES, people. Priorities.
- that by 2100, the projected median loss in per capita earning globally is 23 percent, with a 51 percent chance per capita GDP will drops by at least 20 percent? (The Great Recession only knocked GDP down 6%.)
Of course these numbers are not nearly as important as how obscenely wealthy a tiny fraction of (deserving! white! male!) humans will become from winning the disaster capitalism game!
- that 25% of men in the sugarcane region of El Salvador now contract chronic kidney disease due to excessive dehydration from working the same fields they harvested twenty years ago without, you know, lethal kidney failure?
Good thing El Salvador has universal healthcare then! We don’t in the US of A, but it’s not like something like that could ever happen here. LOL.
- that the tropical zones will become uninhabitable at seven degrees of warming? In the lush, humid rainforests of my beloved Costa Rica for example, just wandering around outdoors at 105F for a few hours will kill a human.
I propose we vote on who has to go outside for a couple hours. WHO’S WITH ME.
- that the portion of carbon dioxide in the air we breathe has just reached upward of 400 parts per million and by 2100 will hit 1,000 ppm, at which level the cognitive abilities of homo sapiens decreases by 21 percent?
Well we’re obviously super smart already, so no big loss there.
The best news in all of this is that at least the fucking squirrels will (probably) suffer the same fate we will. Plus, it’s always worth remembering this:
Everything is going to be unimaginably worse and is never going to get any better.