What if there are “only a few summers left”?

Mat Wills use those words during his set at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe (he was very funny and highly recommended!) It wasn’t clear what context he was referring to but it got me wondering, what if there really were only a few summers left?


We read that the ice melt in Greenland, last month, was at a rate that scientists predicted wouldn’t happen until 2070. An area of Siberia the size of Belgium was on fire earlier this month. The Arctic sea ice is close to record lows. CO2 emissions in 2018 were at a record high. June and July 2019 were the hottest June and July on record (globally). Plus all those record temperatures that were broken including here in the UK. And of course the Amazon is burning, although this seems to be deliberate, but the Amazon supplies 20% of our oxygen, you remember, the gas that we breath.


Meanwhile the UK, rather than doing anything about the climate emergency that it declared a few months ago, simply seems to want to continue to posture on Brexit while preparing for a general election. And the US… well they did nothing under Obama or Clinton so there is zero chance of the arch climate denier, Trump, doing anything. Never mind, today’s impacts are due to the CO2 released 30 years ago, the recent emissions will take decades to impact.


It all looks a bit shit, really.


The IPCC predictions seem to be coming true at an alarming rate. Those predictions were generally downplayed as they had to get a wide consensus. What we don’t really know if how bad the worst case scenario might be.


So what if we only have a few summers left? What should we do? How should we prepare? How many is a few?


Some of the best thinking is coming through from Jem Bendall’s Deep Adaptation work. You can join the forum here, but there are plenty of other sources for what happens with societal collapse including James Howard Kunstler who wrote The Long Emergency and has an excellent podcast, plus John Michael Greer who wrote The Long Descent.


But perhaps I am thinking more about what type of approach to life should we take in the endgame of civilisation?

  • Should we party like it really is 1999 or do we redouble our efforts to live sustainably?
  • Do we honour the Earth or do we go out with a bang?
  • Should we rebel? Join Extinction Rebellion?
  • Should we focus on trying to ensure that some people and knowledge survive the collapse?
  • What do we do with the inevitable mass migrations?
  • How can governments function under the collapse? Do we need a world government? Will there be any government at all?
  • How do we deal with the certain rise of nationalism?

I have my answers to these questions but I’m really interested in your thoughts. Please comment!

Reposted from my political blog http://www.stuartjeffery.net

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