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TOPIC OF THE WEEK: Planning our last 12 years

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A still from the Dynamic Map Application shows the areas of flooding, in red, in response to the effects of global warming. If the water level exceeds 2 meters, Key West and Miami will submerge.

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, greenhouse gas emissions need to be cut almost in half by 2030 to avert "global environmental catastrophe." (Doesn't that phrase give you chills?) And no surprise, we're not even close to taking enough action. 

This is a satirical take on what our columnists plan to do in their last twelve years on a normal earth.

Alexis Richardson

Why on earth did we plan for the zombie apocalypse? All those shows and movies about zombies taking over and zombie apocalypse survival guide books didn’t really help us prepare for our final years of bliss. You know what does? Rock climbing. When all the ice caps finally melt, and half of the U.S. is covered in ocean, I’ll be living large on the side of a cliff, away from traffic, abhorrent property prices and even potential zombies. I’ll be spending the next twelve years training to be on the same level as world-class climbers, getting ready to climb as high as I can and setting up shop on the side of a cliff without the fear of falling. It’ll be great! I’ll have an amazing view, be out of reach of Jaws, and I’ll have mastered the art of minimalism as I’ll have to carry my worldly possessions on my back, unless I can find a cave in the side of this cliff. The only downside will be having seafood as my food of convenience. I’m not a fan. But assuming there are any fish left in the ocean in twelve years, if it’s between fish and starvation, I’ll take the fish.

Alec Scott

 I have taken the recent government report on the encroaching climate point of no return in stride, and I have instead decided to take my mind off of it with a series of land deals that will keep me busy in these exciting 12 years that are ahead of us. While some may be quite agitated by the idea of climate change, I prefer to think of it as climate opportunity, the great opener of possibilities. For one, land grants in the Rockies are going at about $450 per acre in Wyoming, which is about $200 under what it is currently in Colorado; so if you’re in the market for a mountain escape bunker 7,000 feet above sea level, boy do I have the land deal for you. For others, land in Alaska is as cheap as it is going to get until the climate opportunity kicks into full swing and we can grow oranges in the last frontier, so get it while it’s cold! Or you could swing over to one of the many climate opportunity websites and use their predicted future water levels to find what will be beachfront property in twenty years, and what will be the prime scuba dive spots of tomorrow.  

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Toni Marcheva

But I have plans to use my last twelve years well, and maybe save the world along the way.

I might cut meat out of my diet on Mondays if I remember. Also, I'll probably write a satirical piece asking the Church to expand lent to the whole year to give me another incentive to give up meat, because "global environmental catastrophe" isn't enough to dissuade me from a burger on most days, especially when the guy in front of me orders two.

I will lament the loss of the coral reefs for the two minutes I allow myself to, as a prescribed break from writing my Economics PhD thesis. Maybe, I'll be compelled to buy one of those 'RIP coral' shirts that will pop up on Amazon at around that time. I will feel good about myself when I choose the sustainably farmed cotton shirt that costs $3 more than the standard. 

For another minute, I'll think about what Economics will be in the post-apocalyptic world, and maybe get (a little) excited about having to invent new theories. I'll also question if in the future, economists will be eaten first because we have no practical skills.Then I will dismiss this as dark Russian humor.

I will pay a visit to Glacier National Park to see the last 1/6th of glaciers, only to discover that only seven remain. And they'll look a little pathetic, so I drive off in my '97 Thunderbird that I somehow managed to keep running. 

My future husband and I (yes, I am optimistic!) will have to decide whether or not to have children who grow up during the apocalypse--just in case, I'll write a few poems about flowers that my kids can discover when they're older. Then, I'll cry about those nasty politicians who called climate change a hoax and left us in such a wretched state. After, I'll wonder why we hadn't started anything in 2018, when we knew the apocalypse was upon us. 

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Anika Pasilis

I don’t really know too much about climate change, other than it seems bad. Maybe this will shape the government into pushing more awareness about it rather than saying it doesn’t exist at all. Apparently there is only twelve years of normal life on earth left. 

I believe preparing for the last normal twelve years of life on earth is important. Never again will we be worried about how many followers we have on Instagram or Twitter. I’m sure people will still be posting on those platforms pretending to be “woke” when the apocalypse hits though. 

I really have no idea how to prepare. Maybe I should do things I have never done, like actually going to class and getting this degree instead of sleeping in. I guess the last twelve years on earth should really shape us into gear on more than one account.

Another thought would be jumping off the Internet and cracking open the books for finals week. Maybe if I know I only have twelve years left, I’ll do things that actually matter, that’s a thought. 


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