Climate change is very scary and depressing, as is the latest report by a Melbourne-based climate change think tank that we have 30 years until social collapse bar major political intervention. But, if you really look hard enough and sort of squint your eyes a bit, you can make out some silver linings.
Another day, another terrifying report about how we’re all gonna die!!!! According to a Melbourne-based climate change think tank, it’s “highly likely” human civilisation will crumble by 2050 if we continue on the trajectory we’re currently on. “To sustain human civilisation, it is essential to build a zero emissions industrial system very quickly,” the report reads. We would need “the global mobilisation of resources on an emergency basis, akin to a wartime level of response”. Achieving this seems… optimistic to say the least.
The potential future outlined in the report, which is based of existing scientific research and “scenario planning” is extremely grim. More than a billion people displaced, global food shortages, total national and international social collapse.
So, to lift your spirits, here’s a list of ten things you absolutely do not need to worry about at all any more, thanks to the looming extinction of our species and/or complete social collapse.
1. Using SPF facial sunscreen daily
This one hurts to write, because I only recently invested in my first tube of SPF50+ Mecca facial sunscreen and now I have to admit it was probably a waste of $44. If worrying about fine lines and sun damage in 30 years is high on my list of concerns, I will consider myself truly blessed.
2. Being locked out of the housing market
Suck it, boomers, your sea front property is going to be underwater in a couple of decades and your equity’s going to be shit. *Guy tapping head meme* Can’t lose value on an asset in the face of an apocalyptic nightmare if you never owned an asset to begin with.
3. Your middling career and distinct lack of talent
In a culture where we increasingly define ourselves and our worth by our careers, being seen as outstanding in your given field can take on outsized importance. Well guess what, in 30 years no one’s going to care whether or not the “humourous” listicle you wrote about the coming apocalypse to try and lift, if only for a moment, the crushing weight of existential dread you felt, was actually funny or not, because being good at producing nonsense to put on the internet does not translate into knowing where to find clean water, or, in fact, any other useful skill at all! This applies to many jobs, especially fake ones like HR and most middle-management roles. Quit now and start learning how to desalinate sea water and build a fire.
4. Learning to cook Ottolenghi
Don’t worry about the fact you still can’t quite nail a babaganoush, and your soba noodles with eggplant and mango never looks like the picture. In 2050 the days of opulent living (ie sumac being widely available in supermarkets) will be long gone and we’ll all be bartering for a sprinkle of salt to put on our thin potato stew.
5. Paying off your credit card debt
A big upside of the climate wars is all the banks will collapse and money will become a meaningless concept untethered completely from material reality. Until then, rack up those bills and avoid paying them back until the day everything collapses around you, at which point you will know you are free from Visa’s clutches forever.
6. Counting properly
I went to rearrange some of the items on this list so the article would end on a slightly less depressing note and realised I’d only written nine things. Oh well, who cares! The world is ending.
7. Contributing to your Kiwisaver
Truly what is the point of putting money aside to retire when retirement lays somewhere in the distance beyond societal collapse. Fiscal responsibility? In this hellish geopolitical reality?
8. Saying no to a plastic bag at the shops
At this point, fuck it. Our jute bags won’t save us now. [Conflicted about this one actually. Probably still good for the fish to reduce our plastic use. The poor fish.]
9. The fact your latest selfie bombed
There is perhaps no greater shame than failing to crack double digits on a selfie where you’re quite clearly posing, but take comfort in knowing that all the Judases who didn’t chuck you a like will soon be dead, and so will you.
10. Finishing the Luminaries
Our time left is short. Spend it with your loved ones.