Climate Change and the Coming Apocalypse: Paying a High Price for Inaction

pickup truck drifting

One of the main reasons I've always loved October was the change in the weather it used to bring. The Mississippi heat and humidity subsided, and going outside was finally appealing. It looks like those days may be gone unless the end of 2021 was just a fluke. While we had the sort of brief cold snap in October that usually marks the beginning of improved weather, we I found myself having to mow the grass into December. I've never even had to do this in November much less December because grass was never still growing. This was the warmest December I can recall and the humidity even returned after a brief reprieve.

As I mowed, I found myself thinking of a photo I can no longer find of myself standing in front of a pile of snow from when I lived in Colorado. I was wearing shorts and a t-shirt in the photo and was smiling because I couldn't believe how the weather had gone from snowing to 80 degrees in the span of a few days. The photo was taken a couple of days before Thanksgiving. That was fluke, but the weather in Colorado did often change like that. It now does that in Mississippi too.

I fear that this may be part of the new normal we face as a consequence of refusing to do anything meaningful about climate change back when we had the opportunity to do so. Many of the locals aren't complaining because they detest the cold. Fair enough, though they do complain in the summer and when we seem to have daily thunderstorms and at least one tornado a week for several months. I am complaining because I miss having seasons. I'll take 75 and humid as an improvement over 95 and humid, but I'd rather have some time with no humidity and much lower temperatures.

But all that is trivial compared to the refugee crisis we are likely to see across the world as the effects of climate change intensify. This will easily eclipse any refugee crisis we have experienced in our lifetimes. I'm also guessing that some of the more volatile parts of the world will descend into conflict as soon as resources become increasingly scarce. Our supply chain issues, as frustrating as they can be, will be nothing compared to what is coming. If we have learned anything from the COVID-19 pandemic (and I'm not sure we have), it would be that what happens in one part of the world usually impacts the rest of us eventually.

There may still be some things we can do to reduce the impact of climate change, but it is far too late to think we can avoid much of what is coming. We could have, but we chose inaction for several decades. And many of us are still choosing inaction today. So maybe China and the United States are on the right track after all by stockpiling weapons. Maybe our weapons will allow us to hang on to our borders for a few more years after "weaker" nations have been over-run by the coming hordes. Maybe, but probably not. Once other countries stop buying our iPhones and stop providing us with cheap food and oil, we'll be in a pickle.

Clearly, our decades of inaction have been a mistake. We never should have put people who didn't think we had a future in charge. They were not willing to do any long-range planning or make short-term sacrifices for long-term benefit because they believe they will be raptured any day. "End times" theology may be the death of us all.