I often tell people that the mid-century will be about “old people in big cities who are afraid of the sky.” Bruce Sterling, the science fiction author, on how global demographic trends, climate change, and urbanization will define our future.
I live in New England. I’ve lived there for most of my life (I come from a long line of hard-bitten Yankees).
Every year, we prepare for snow. At least in my lifetime, we ALWAYS get it. Lots of it. From November to March.
This hasn’t happened this year.
It’s already mid January and we are still without snow. In fact, the only real snow we did get was from a “freak” storm at the end of October (a storm that hit us very hard because the trees hadn’t even lost their leaves yet)!
Frankly, standing outside on a semi-green lawn in shirtsleeves in New England during mid-January is downright eerie. This strange weather isn’t just going on here. I’ve heard reports from friends from Toronto, CA to Steamboat Springs, CO to San Francisco. CA that they are seeing the same thing. Little to no snow and/or extremely warm temperatures.
While the lack of snow may seem like a good problem to have (although it may be a problem this summer given its potential impact on water supplies), the extreme weather we’ll see is more likely to be dangerous. For example, here’s a chart of the 2011 drought in Texas (from the Houston Chronicle):
Note the location of the 2011 drought, in terms of rain fall and temperature, relative to the historical record. Wow.
What’s not shown are the wildfires, damage to crops, etc. that this drought caused.
In short, this type of strange, heavy (extreme) weather is apparently now the new normal and there is absolutely nothing we can do to avoid it.
What you should be thinking about is: How will this impact you?
If you are extremely unlucky, you might be confronted with the immediate and deadly effects of this weather (wild fire, hurricane, tornado, etc.). However, in most cases, the impact you will feel in your daily life will be continuous DISRUPTION.
DISRUPTION is the result of global supply chains breaking down and disconnecting. DISRUPTION means the food, energy, water, etc. we rely upon may be unavailable for days, weeks, or months.
How do you prepare for this?
Resilience that makes it possible to avoid, mitigate, or even profit from these disruptions.
So keep reading my dear friends, as we find the best ways to make our lives future proof.