Life at 2030: Real Talk
A response to climate minimizers.
Like me, you’ve probably spent some time wondering what your life will look like by the year 2030. Well, let’s consider what’s happening now:
Crops are dying.
Farmers in the U.S. have already abandoned more than 30 percent of their winter-wheat fields this year. It’s the biggest drop in production in 100 years. Grain traders predict it’s going to get worse over the summer. It was a hard winter across the midwest, hit by drought and severe cold.
Even Fox News calls it “devastating.”
It’s not looking good for beef, either. The nation’s cattle inventory is reaching all-time lows this year. As of April, inventory was down 4.4 percent. Again, drought is hitting pastures hard. Worse, the long-term data shows a clear overall decline over the last 20 years. Even when the beef industry “expands,” we’re producing considerably less than we did during the 1990s.
For the first time ever, nations are seriously considering a plan to vaccinate chickens and turkeys against avian flu, during the worst outbreak in recorded history. During the last 18 months, the global poultry industry has culled 200 million birds. All that sounds great for vegans, but that doesn’t change the simple fact that our breadbaskets are slowly failing. Climate change is also driving a pandemicene, an era where severe weather and habitat destruction send more zoonotic diseases our way. We're already living in the beginning stages.
Climate scientists have predicted that a world on 3C of warming will see food production drop by half. Every fraction of a degree means more crop failures. It happens every summer now.
If it’s not drought and heat waves, it’s the growing threat of disease. It’s unpredictable cold snaps. It’s flooding and storms.
It’s not just in the U.S., either.
Asian countries have already seen record-breaking temperatures as high as 112F this year. China is bracing for another summer of extreme heat, alternating between drought and flooding. Experts predict it will threaten “to disrupt more commodities, even niche ones like rubber and peanut crops.” As of April, drought has caused delays at 80 percent of the country’s rubber plantations.
Back in February, Britain was rationing fruits and vegetables.
According to CNBC, stores were limiting the purchase of tomatoes, peppers, and cumbers “to three items per customer.” The cause? Extreme weather across southern Europe and northern Africa.
Experts predict that even coffee is going to become a luxury item as climate change kills off 50 percent of farmland by 2050. We’ve already seen coffee farmers in Central America abandoning their fields.
Does this sound like fearmongering?
These are all reported facts.
Here’s the big picture:
We haven’t even crossed the 1.5C threshold yet. Artificial intelligence models are predicting it’s guaranteed. In response, the mass media have started to condition us for life in a 2-3C world. They say it’s going to be fine.
If you’re trying to imagine life by 2030, think about the Great Depression. It’s going to feel like that, except even hotter and drier.
The midwest and southwest are sinking deeper into a geologically predictable megadrought. Large parts of the U.S. are seeing the return of dust storms. Earlier this month, a dust storm caused a 72-car pileup in Illinois. More and more, farmers are reporting drought on par with the 1920s and 1930s. As a farmer in Nebraska told local news: “It’s just wildly dry here…and this is the wet season, so we should be soaking up a lot of rain… that’s a little bit scary.”
Severe weather will keep getting worse.
According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, severe weather in 2022 cost the U.S. more than $21 billion in crop losses. That’s a lowball estimate. The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration calls 2022 the third worst disaster year in American history, with the worst happening in 2017. Anyone trying to claim we’re seeing less severe weather is lying.
Meanwhile, lines at food banks keep getting longer. As pandemic SNAP benefits expire, demand is going up everywhere from Utah to California. When you combine corporate greed with megadrought and soil depletion, it doesn’t take a genius to predict a vast expansion of poverty and hunger by the 2030s.
Rationing and shortages will become the norm.
Homelessness is going up, anywhere from 6 percent a year in some states to 23 percent in states like Oregon. Housing is just too expensive. It’s partly greed, but also driven by climate change as warmer weather brings disease and insect infestations to the world’s timber supplies. Lumber prices fell last year, but they’re back on the rise and will keep fluctuating ever higher.
Summers will become unbearable in large parts of the U.S. We’re talking about heat indexes in the 110s on a regular basis, not just a few weeks.
Forget going outside.
More people are going to rely on air conditioning 24/7. People in Arizona are already using oven mittens to open their car doors. It’s going to tax the grid in many regions. The extreme heat alone will cause mechanical failures. You can expect power disruptions and curtailments to happen more often. Think about what happened in Texas in the winter of 2021. Imagine that happening every year as states swing back and forth between blizzards and arctic blasts in the winter to heat homes and severe storms in the spring and summer.
You can expect water rations to become the norm in some major American cities by 2030. Baton Rouge already went several weeks without clean drinking water last year when severe storms knocked out their water treatment plants, which were already suffering from neglect. It’s already been happening in Central America. Last summer, we saw water rationing in rural areas in the U.S. Even fast-growing metro regions in places like Utah are dealing with the threat of water shortages. In Arizona, affluent suburb dwellers are also starting to fight over water.
Severe weather is beating up our economy, despite what the deniers and minimizers say. In 2021, damage from natural disasters totaled $145 billion. Americans are feeling it, with 90 percent of us paying more for home insurance. A lot of insurance companies have started to abandon areas prone to extreme weather. They’ve been paying out more than $1 billion a year, a sixfold increase from the 1980s. Ten insurance companies went bankrupt in Florida just over the last two years. Contrary to logic, people are choosing to move to dangerous areas. They’re simply not thinking about their long-term future.
In a shocking move just this week, State Farm stopped offering new home insurance in California due to wildfire risks and the rapid rise of construction costs. They’re the largest insurance company in the country, and they no longer find it profitable to sell insurance in the country’s richest state, because it’s too battered by climate disasters. They’re also halting business policies.
Let that sink in.
By 2030, you can expect to pay a lot more for insurance depending on where you live, assuming it’s even available. It’s going to get so expensive and hard to find, a lot of Americans will simply start skipping it altogether.
It’ll become another luxury.
Maybe you don’t think that’s a big deal, but let’s translate it into plain language: If you work your butt off to buy a nice home, insurance companies won’t sell you insurance on it. They think there’s too great a chance that a wildfire, a flood, a hurricane, or a tornado will smash it to pieces. That’s already happening now. By 2030, it’s hard to predict how many more states they’ll add to the list.
We could go on, but I think you get the idea.
This is what the world looks like now, and we haven’t even breached 1.5C of warming. So that’s what we can expect by 2030: We’re going to be paying far more for food. We’re going to be buying a lot less meat, and probably fewer fruits and vegetables. There’s going to be long lines at food banks.
A majority of Americans will be broke and food insecure. We’ll struggle to cool our homes. We’ll struggle to find insurance. We’ll see people wind up poor and homeless regardless of how hard they work. On top of that, we can expect a greater threat from zoonotic diseases, novel viruses, bacteria, and fungal infections. All of them are going to thrive on a warmer planet, at our expense.
The year 2030 is going to look a lot like 1930.
We’re in the business of climate adaptation now. We should be planning for all of these threats, not putting our heads in the sand.
I’m writing this because climate minimizers are going around telling us not to worry about a world that’s 2-3C warmer. They’re trying to convince us that it’ll be fine, that it won’t really have an impact on us. You know, it sounds a lot like climate denial, just in a different outfit with different makeup.
They don’t want us to think about the future in concrete terms like food and housing shortages, or the loss of home insurance.
If people did that, they would get angry.
They would demand action.
They would act.
OK Doomer is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber, or you can buy me a coffee.