Working out who will survive climate change

This week, many youngsters in the United Kingdom have gone out on school climate strikes/demonstrations, inspired by Greta Thunberg. Elsewhere in Europe and the world, young people have been demonstrating about our governments' political inaction with regard to climate change. In relation to an article on the subject, I made this comment in the Guardian newspaper:

"A while ago, I watched a documentary in which a Navajo elder, discussing environmentalism, pointed out that the United States had a Bill of Rights, but not a Bill of Responsibilities. Do you think it would be beneficial for Greta Thunberg to write up a Bill of Responsibilities, including such duties as only flying in an emergency, becoming vegetarian, using public transport or cycling whenever possible, buying less goods, and for people to public pledge to adhere to those Responsibilities? A demonstration is a good thing but it's gone the next day. Long term pledges by many people would have a definite, positive impact."

My comment ended up being be the Guardian's favourite comment for their article, but unfortunately, my comment is irrelevant in terms of stopping climate change. Global warming is now effectively a runaway train. We have passed several environmental tipping points on Earth. Methane is bubbling up in our cooked Arctic, the top of our Greenland ice-cap is becoming dark and being rained on in the winter, Australia is becoming inhospitable; its wildlife dying and much of its farming is collapsing. California and Greece are burning up and a major Antarctic ice-shelf is on the point of collapse. We are much further along than even the IPCC admits; they are still talking about trying to avoid 1.5C of warming, when we are in fact already 1.75C warmer compared to 1750 AD (rather than their reprehensible 1850 AD benchmark). We are far beyond demonstrations and political pledges; that time has gone. Now, I think there are only three rational discussions worth having with regard to our collective future:

1) Should I have children and inflict a life of hardship and climate chaos upon them? For that is what will happen to the vast majority of people in the next half-century. Fortunately, some people are openly discussing this matter and deciding not to have children. It is still a personal decision, with many difficult aspects to consider, but as long as people are thinking about it, that's progress.

2) I must still do my best to limit my negative effect on the planet for my own peace of mind. The fact that climate change is now a runaway train doesn't mean that our acts aren't important. We still have to look ourselves in the mirror everyday. I think we will all review our lives after they're over. Our personal acts are of great importance to us personally because they tell us what we are as moral and spiritual individuals. To use an analogy, there are seven billion people on our planet, so one death seems insignificant, but it's still wrong to murder someone.

3) Seven billion people are not going to survive climate change. In a century's time, our planet will only support seventy million people, or seven million people. Which few will survive? The remainder of this article tries to answer that third question.

I've talked about the matter of who is going to survive in recent blog posts, such as describing the possibility of publicly funded domed habitats and that certain nations might be able to survive the coming chaos. I think the matter of who will survive into the next century is a very important topic that bizarrely, is receiving absolutely no coverage in the mainstream media. We're only talking about the long-term survival of the human race. What's going on?

To be honest, I think the complete lack of coverage regarding 'who's going to survive climate change' tells us something very important, that certain very wealthy groups on our planet have already planned how to survive it and aren't inviting the rest of us, hence the media blackout on the whole issue. I've mentioned this likelihood before, all the way back to articles about the Alternative-3 television programme broadcast in 1979 and Edward Teller's talk to the wealthy of New York in 1959, but I'm mentioning it again because it's very, very important.

Time is moving on and I think this enforced silence, on who will survive, will come to an end relatively soon. I think what will most likely happen is that a trigger event will occur, such as a volcanic eruption, sea-mount slide or major methane burst in the Arctic. Such a natural disaster, caused by climate change effects, will propel our developed world into a crisis phase. In that phase, normal democratic processes will break down, martial law will be declared in many countries and far-right governments will take charge. Fearful populations will lose their compassion and generosity and switch to a violent siege mentality. Refugees and immigrants will suffer the consequences. In that new, dark era of fascist self-interest, we will see the plans of many religious billionaires come to fruition… and it will be the start of dome building by religious fundamentalist organisations.

For a long time, the majority of wealth on Earth has been in the hands of religious fundamentalist groups and, most importantly, they have a view-point which prioritises their members over everyone else. In fact, some of them actually want an Earth stripped of non-believers. As climate changes collapses our developed world, and democracy and liberal values disappear from our countries, I think several of these religious-fundamentalist nation-states, such as possibly Israel and Saudi Arabia, and Christian Fundamentalist communities, such as possibly in Utah, will act. They will use their huge wealth to develop large-scale domed, protected farming centres that can withstand a harsher planet. They will then invite, or let in, only those who belong to their faith, and have money. While this is going on, the Communist party of China, the KGB/oligarchs of Russia and military organisations will also probably develop their own domed farming/working centres. Everyone else on our planet; anyone who tries to continue farming in the normal way, or works to feed the increasing numbers of refugees, will go under, swamped by the desperate and dwindling supplies. Law and order will rapidly cease to exist outside those domed habitats, run by the religious wealthy and their loyal armies. No new people will be invited into the domes. Machine-gun drones, high-voltage fences and minefields will face anyone desperate enough to try to get in, uninvited.


It's a grim future, especially if you're not a wealthy religious fundamentalist. On a positive note, as I've mentioned before, I think Finland and Iceland could still survive without needing to turn into holy-book thumping zealots armed with Glock machine-guns, but they would be the exception. Perhaps I'm painting this blackly for shock effect, to make people think, but I think I'm probably just being accurate.

My apologies for not coming up with something more positive but here is my best nugget of advice; if you're young and want your grandchildren to live a healthy life and not be scrabbling in ruins, or turn into gun-toting religious fundamentalists holed up in fortresses, emigrate to Iceland or Finland as soon as you possibly can.