With all these numbers and scary predictions of weather change, floods and food and water shortages, I have been thinking about a couple of things.
First, how can I make changes to reduce my carbon footprint?
But this column isn’t going to be about that.
The second thing I have been thinking about is the prediction that if we don’t make significant changes humanity will face existential threat by 2050.
That prediction comes from a paper published by the Breakthrough-National Centre for Climate Restoration in Australia, which models what the climate could be like in 2050 based on current climate data.
I don’t know how accurate it is, I don’t know how scientific it is, I haven’t even read the whole thing.
I just want to talk about that number, 2050.
That is basically 30 years from now.
How did you picture your life 30 years from now?
I like sci-fi stories that entertain the idea of an apocalypse and how people, or robots, or cockroaches or whatever, might survive after that.
And on bad days, when I see how terrible the world is becoming, I have thought that those apocalyptic scenes are closer than we think.
But having a deadline, having a supposed timeline, makes everything a bit more scary.
In 30 years, at 56 years of age, I thought I would be feeling guilty about not living closer to my elderly parents.
I thought I would be spoiling my nieces and nephews.
I thought I would be working on a second or third novel.
I thought I would be teaching at a university or managing a spunky team of young journalists long after print newspapers bit the dust. There would probably be holograms or something.
Just like when I brought home a reactive dog, I now have to change my ideas on what my future would be like.
Not only with the threat of 2050 hanging over my head, but because even if we have more than 30 years, even if we have less, how humans are using resources and treating the environment hasn’t been okay for a long time.
Maybe I will have to rethink my four-year plan, which currently involves taking myself on a Europe trip for my 30th birthday.
Maybe I should be cramming more of my bucket list items into my life now. Maybe I should move closer to home to be with my family.
Maybe I should be training to survive an apocalypse, studying how to build sustainable underground living spaces, learning karate and bow hunting and how to garden indoors.
Who knows what skills one might need, or even if we would ever get the chance to use them.
As you can see, my imagination sometimes runs away with me. But with a bold number like 2050 hanging over my head, how can it not?