As even politicians and oil company executives have noticed by now, we have something of an environmental crisis on our hands. Now I’m not suggesting that we stop give up reducing, reusing and recycling – not by a long shot. But still, given the direness of our collective predicament, common sense dictates that just in case pollution and climate change do spin out of control, everybody should have a plan B to get through the next few decades and beyond. Below, in no particular order, my current favourites:
- Space Habitats
PRO : Going to space has long been my principal backup. I’ve always assumed that if things down here got really out of hand, the government or the billionaire cartel would bring out the secret rocket ships and launch the best and the brightest – me, Bill Nye, Halle Berry etc – up to an orbiting Utopia with sliding doors and individual rooms as nice as those in an airport Hilton, only with cleaner sheets and a bigger TV. From our vantage point miles above the earth, Halle and I would live a gravity and care-free life, blissfully unconcerned about the mayhem below.
A related possibility is Mars, depending how much fuel is in the government spaceships. There I’d do Elon Musk’s laundry or run a tour company that would take people off-roading in the Martian hills in methane powered dune buggies.
CONS: Firstly, I’m not 100% sure that anyone has a secret rocket escape program, or if they do that that I’m on their list. Secondly, I read an article recently saying that right now we can’t send humans to Mars or to live permanently in space, because cosmic rays would kill them or at least turn them into hideous mutants. Hell, I can be a hideous mutant right here.
PRO: The domed city is a paradisiacal wonderland where everyone will metallic jumpsuits and drives around in supercharged golf carts. Outside the walls is a perilous wilderness full of saber-toothed tiglons, collapsed skyscrapers and wise old men talking about the olden times when everybody lived outside. Nobody wants to go there though because it’s so nice inside the dome.
CONS: There are no domed cities and it doesn’t seem like something you could just slap together. I assume that someone will be working on them soon, but in the meantime, best to have another safety.
3. Desert Island
PRO: Who doesn’t want to live on a remote tropical island, relaxing in a hammock while monkey butlers bring banana cream pies and pineapple daiquiris? Just call me Gilligan.
CON: Tropical islands are more, rather than less affected by dramatic climate-change related weather events, plus tend to have no supplies of fresh water (hence the word “desert”.) Also the really nice ones aren’t deserted at all but chock-a-block with people, gift shops, and tourist casinos. And let’s not even talk about volcanoes.
4. Down Under
PRO: Until recently I assumed that a place as far away from everywhere else as Australia would be insulated from the worst effects of eco-catastrophe, and I could move down there and enjoy a simple happy existence of Vegemite, Foster’s and wallaby racing.
CON: My early understanding was spectacularly incorrect, as Australia is simultaneously on fire and under water, which explains why they keep coming up with things like Earth Hour.
PRO: In this scenario, I’d roam a post-apocalyptic wasteland in an old Jeep, fighting thugs dressed like 90’s club kids for the last remaining supplies of gasoline and canned meat.
CON: The same as the pro. This option totally sucks.
6. Planet of the Apes:
PRO: A long shot, I know, but I really believe that apes could do a very good job of stewarding the planet if they’d just stop throwing their feces around. Right now the city bylaw officer is being stubborn about refusing to let me keep an orangutan in the house, but I’m this close to teaching the cat rudimentary English.
CON: I don’t see myself getting a whole army of ape administrators trained up before things go to hell.
Those are the best idea I’ve been able to come up with so far, although I’m totally open to any thoughts that others may have, especially if they’re funded. In the meantime, I plan to keep recycling.