Head for the Hills

As citizens of planet Earth, we will experience a transition as climate change sets in over the next couple decades. The local effect of climate change will vary significantly depending where we live on the planet. What will come after the transition depends a lot on what happens during the transition, especially politically. What could an aware person wisely do, knowing global governments avoid the problem and that the 2 degrees Celsius danger line has been determined by science? What should one do, knowing scientists have also evaluated a 4 degree world? While many global citizens deny any problem exists.

The place we live on the planet may or may not be where we want to situate in the near future. Many sources speak of climate change refugees, and planned moves have always been wiser than chaotic relocation. Maps roughly estimate near future local climatic conditions, determining where people could live well or at least better in a climate changed world. The scientific geography of a 4 degree world could be referenced for decision making. Macro changes such as expanding deserts, rising sea levels on ocean fronts and hurricane allies might be avoided, while more local choices would be trickier. A move towards future rains may be wise. Out into less populated mountains or closer to the poles as ecosystems shift might make sense. One might assume local food, housing and community as high priority and desirable, while more distant government programs become less influential.

A back door option might be the card to hold. The choice may simply be city or countryside. As most of us now live urban, a second place in the country or a village may be well worth the effort. To have a planned and practiced route travelling there would be wise. Of course, having family spread over ideally optional places would be optimal. Otherwise, anyone living a middle class lifestyle should have enough resource available to maintain a second place—many already have. We can own a vacant lot, or a piece of undeveloped land, ideally with good soil availing a garden crop— and we could even keep that garden productive as a hobby or as a summer food supply. Also, then, a backup food source during the transition. A building on that property may be worthwhile if the transition results in that place being the place to go live.

Another outlook would be to sit tight in a city based on the rational that many city people will have a strong interest in maintaining civil order. But if the city falls into disarray, staying away from as many people as possible might be better. With the urban rural contrast in mind, having two places available might be best, even three if possible and ideally associated with family. With a quick manner of relocating from one to the other. The best time to travel to an emergency get away would be before the emergency happens, the trick being to anticipate that emergency, and to plan well in advance.

Some count on installing underground bunkers. A safe option perhaps, but this outlook suggests a future of people in conflict over resources. For an idealist or one looking for a friendly future we may want to avoid creating that world. If a person chooses the bunker route, it would still be wise to do so in conjunction with community of sorts. Good neighbours holds high importance in a lasting community.

People are social creatures with great potential—they can and do help neighbours and even more so a family based community. Small towns, usually friendly places, also have issues. Lack of individual privacy exists along with difficulty in regulating unwanted factors without leadership. A strong elected local council would be optimal. Young inactive men may be a challenge in a regulated society. Also, big men, or ambitious men who tend to dominate. With chaos unappealing, organization and community structure hold high levels of importance.

During transition, with a globally changing climate, we can assume the human transition to also be global. People of the planet will either learn to cooperatively assist each other through the transition, or they will choose a world of conflict, with endless struggles to control diminishing resources. These two possibilities always there among people will likely be the primary deciding factor on life after transition. People will either mature, or revert to more adolescent divisive behaviour and attitudes.

Ideally chaos will not come about, but rather people will chose a cooperative ending to the story. However, based on history, it may be wise to hedge bets against some chaos. That second home may be a good option towards waiting out the potential chaos. One can strategize survival, or even a thriving lifestyle during the time of change by remaining unnoticed. One could hide out on the sidelines as others expend their energy fighting out their differences. It would be a reasonable assumption that chaos will end—wars always do wind down—and one could anticipate the rebuilding aftermath.

An ambitious or inspired person or group may wish to develop an alternate community model, one that would hold on to or even improve the civilized cultural model. This model may then be held up as an example both during and after the transition. The internet may be the most important tool to keep functional in a global transition as the carbon based economy shifts. One outlook that could be taken is that climate change has come about as a gift, and as an opportunity for the people of the planet to learn to cooperate. This option may be the best of all, the one most desired by most people.

If people do let things fall into a more chaotic world, even an alternate community model would be wise to consider defense in its survive-the-transition strategy. A country like Switzerland was able to maintain neutrality throughout WWII—a nation that sits isolated by mountains. A country like Costa Rica has insulated itself from Central American conflict for many decades with most living in a central valley surrounded by mountain ranges. A mountain valley may be an optimal location to select for a transition community. A democratically elected council would likely be the primary centre of the community with some sort of social agreement enforcing adherence to council decisions. Strategic thinking and planning towards what seems likely on the near future horizon would be a wise move for any global citizen with choice.

Watch for short story Blown Bridge Valley coming out soon.

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