May 28·edited May 28Liked by Jessica Wildfire

This is SO GOOD.

Very complete and yet concise. Elegant and passionate, you nailed it. It has that written"in the heat of the moment" brilliant feel to it. One of your best.

A couple of points you could add, to your very comprehensive list, would be "the infrastructure crisis" and the looming "internal climate refugee" crisis. Both will be in full swing by 2030.


There are 600,000 bridges in the United States as of 2019. Here’s the part that’s scary, of that 600,000, 54,000 are in critical need of repair. At today’s state and federal funding levels it will take 80 years for just those 54,000 bridges to be fixed and made safe.

That’s how badly infrastructure maintenance and repair is being funded in the United States, the richest country on earth. In most of the rest of the world infrastructure is even more underfunded and neglected.

It’s not just bridges, there are 91,000 dams in the US. The average age of these dams is 57 years old.

Aside from about 1,500 dams owned by federal agencies, regulating dam safety is chiefly a state responsibility, and states vary widely in their commitment to the task. Across the nation, each state dam inspector is responsible on average for about 200 dams, a daunting ratio, but in some states the number is much higher.

Oklahoma, for example, employs just three full-time inspectors for its 4,621 dams; Iowa has three inspectors for its 3,911 dams. Largely because of its legislators’ distrust of regulation, Alabama doesn’t even have a safety program for its 2,273 dams.

The American Society of Civil Engineers has given the American dam system a grade of “D” every year since 1998 and recommended an aggressive program of repairs and improvements. Almost nothing has been done.

A dam failure or a bridge collapse is a disaster. But they are only a tiny part of the world that we have built.

Modern life needs water treatment plants, water distribution systems, sewage handling systems, electrical grids, communication systems, port facilities, roads, highways, railroads, airports, hospitals, police facilities, fire control facilities, the list of things that have to work “behind the scenes” is endless.

As you might guess and fear, almost all of it has had maintenance neglected and underfunded. Even without climate change as a stressor, our country and the rest of the world, was facing a crisis of infrastructure collapse that was going to require large scale mobilization of funds and resources to resolve. Now imagine all that decaying infrastructure having to cope with the massive new stresses climate change is bringing.

The question is not IF we are going to start seeing dams and bridges in this country fail. The question is WHEN will they start failing regularly and how many per year will become the new normal?

Internal Migration

International climate refugees are only half of the issue. The other half, the half that is rarely discussed, is the issue of internal or “domestic” climate refugees. In the US, over the next 30 years, it’s estimated that there could be as many as 30 million climate refugees.

This looming mass migration is going to have profound effects on our demographics and our society. Yet, because of our willful denial about the reality of climate change, as a society we have made almost no plans or preparations for dealing with these effects.

For example, Florida currently has a population of about 26 million. By 2050, Miami and most of Southern Florida will be uninhabitable. Over the next three decades some 15 million people will leave Florida and need to resettle in other locations in the US.

This will be one of the largest mass migrations in US history. Yet, as a country, we have not even begun to think about how we are going to deal with this.

Another example is Las Vegas.

We have no idea what will happen to a modern city when it runs out of water. We can expect that as it implements more and more extreme water conservation policies, its population will decline, and property values will tumble. But what happens when the taps go completely dry?

When there simply is no more water. Will the entire city simply be abandoned in one mass exodus, or will there be some sort of orderly evacuation and resettlement?

We are not even talking about scenarios like this yet, but over 40 million people depend on the Colorado river and its flow has already declined 20% in the last 3 decades due to climate change. There is a possibility that it will fail completely during the next century. Where will all these people go, and how will they be treated when they get there?

When you think about the housing crisis that's shaping up. Factor in that something like 10-15% of the housing stock in the US could be destroyed by Climate Disasters by 2030.

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Also, State Farm announced this today.

Insurance giant halts sale of new home policies in California due to wildfires.

State Farm also cites inflation of construction costs in statement which comes after increasing wildfires in state.


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Last thoughts.

I disagree with you about China. The war with them is coming to a head. It will be over by 2030. We are going to "lose", and lose quickly and decisively. But that may be a good thing for everyone in the long run.

In the short run, it's going to put us in a Depression.

Combined with Dust Bowl 2.0 the next decade is going to look a lot like the 1930's.

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In 2030, I will be able to start collecting from my pension. I do not expect it to be there. 2030 might as well be another planet.

It will be.

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Here's a story not too many people know, that illustrates just how insidious the oil industry-government linkages are. In 2000, I sat in the office of Dr. Bob Watson, then the head of the IPCC, in Washington, DC. I was meeting with him to ask him to serve as a scientific advisor on my documentary film project about global climate change. He agreed (he joined a few other scientific advisors I had on board). Not long after President Bush was inaugurated in 2001, Exxon sent a fax asking the White House to "replace" Bob Watson and a few other scientists. And that's exactly what ended up happening.

Whether or not you "believe" in climate change, let me ask you this: how ethical do you feel this kind of arrangement is? Is this the level of influence corporations should have over our government and our scientific bodies?

Read more here: https://theecologist.org/2018/oct/12/how-exxonmobil-had-ipcc-chairman-fired

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Damn, this one stings. I'm a genZ-er in my second year of college and honestly I really just have no hope for my future, especially here in California. Sure, we can do what we can, but what's the point anymore? The party's over, and the older generations didn't just leave a mess, they set the building on fire and are still shoveling fuel onto it. We can't put this out, only watch as it slowly gets worse year after year. There is nowhere for us to go, nothing we can really do, and so I guess we just... die. Try not to be awful people as the world becomes more scarce and hostile, maybe still get some good human experiences, but ultimately die in a world that no longer holds us. How are we supposed to feel anything but despair when we know we're just waiting for the end and seeing death all along the way?

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There are a lot of people out there dishing Ehrlich for his 1968 book The Population Bomb which proposed scenarios an awful lot like what we are seeing and are very likely to be seeing in the near future. He may have gotten the dates wrong by a few years, but he understood the nature of the problem, unlike his critics then and now.

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no mention of geoneginering, aka chemtrailing...which is real and happening on the daily pretty much everwhere

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