It’s Wednesday. It’s nearing the end of May in the Gregorian calendar year 2019 on Earth. I live in Los Angeles, land that was stolen mainly from the Tongva tribe. I’m in my office, and the door is open. There’s a screen door between the weather and me. I can hear rain, and thunder, and sirens.
The sky is rumbling and flashing around me.
We closed the door, but there’s a sliver of window open. I can still feel and hear the cold.
These storms used to be rare in the Los Angeles area. Maybe they would come, maybe, once every four years. Now they’re happening multiple times a year.
This is not your average L.A. weather; this just doesn’t match this area’s personality. You need specific atmospheric conditions for thunderstorms, and these conditions have been coming together more and more often. These still relatively rare occurrences are set to increase in the coming years. Scientists are predicting “climate whiplash,” which, in human language, means heat waves followed by heavy flooding, or vice versa. While you’re arguing amongst friends about which would hit harder, extreme wet weather first or extreme dry weather first, I have something to tell you.
I have no idea what’s going to happen to us.
There are ways we have said we would like the world to change, many philosophers and intellectuals and community members have studied and debated the Big Problems and the Big Questions so much so that it’s hard to believe any “realizations” at all are new. But in terms of true transformation, we talk the talk but do not walk the walk.
We are stepping into a time of great uncertainty, even if we begin transforming the systems, setting up to truly mitigate and solve the climate crisis, biodiversity collapse, white supremacy, late-stage capitalism, etc., now.
The next 30, 50, 70, 100, 200 years are going to be part of our overarching story. They are going to define us. it is likely going to be utter chaos, most of it.
And truly, there is no way to predict any of it. Not really. You can say what you think will happen, whether we will save the world or destroy it or somewhere in between, but our predictions often turn out a bit wonky; describing technology we could easily have and do have, being used for something a little “parallel dimension”-y. Back around one hundred years ago from today, people were predicting we’d use umbrellas that actually floated to walk across lakes, and we’d have flying cars that looked almost exactly like normal ones.
This is going to be fun.
And if you think I’m being a bit dramatic -
It really is that big.