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Nov 2, 2011

Welcome to the end of the world.

We have two schools of thought in here:

vyelkin posted:

Over time everything gets steadily more expensive and you start not being able to always buy whatever you want, either because it's now out of your price range or because there are actual shortages of things like coffee. Weather gets more severe and less predictable. People you know have their homes and livelihoods destroyed by extreme weather events and have to decide whether to rebuild or start over somewhere new with nothing. If you're unfortunate enough to live somewhere like the desert (lol Phoenix, Arizona) then it will become actually unaffordable to live there at all because you'll spend more on air conditioning than you make in income. Every summer you hear about hundreds of elderly people whose air conditioning broke and they died of heatstroke in their own home. Diseases that haven't been seen in your country for decades or centuries start to reappear, like malaria. Diseases that have never appeared in your country before, like Zika or Dengue, also start to appear. Mosquitoes seem to be the one insect that isn't dying out.

Insurance stops covering a lot of climate change-related damage, so as extreme weather events hit other parts of your country and people aren't able to rebuild where they lived, places like southern Florida get abandoned, not from some government plan, but from millions of people individually deciding to pack up and leave one day. The place where you live gets more crowded as internal migrants relocate only to find that life isn't any easier when they show up out of the blue with no job, no money, and no assets to sell. Your wages get cut at work because there are suddenly ten highly trained unemployed professionals who used to do your job in Miami, any of whom would gladly replace you. Your rent goes up even faster than usual because of all the population growth in your city.

The news is full of stories of weather destroying other parts of the world like Mozambique and Puerto Rico, and conflicts breaking out in areas hit by drought, famine, and disease. It's also full of stories about migrants trying to come to the developed world. It never mentions that the two things are connected, and never explores the fact that the migrants are moving because they can no longer live in their homes because their fields dried up, it didn't rain for ten years, and the desert swallowed their town. You notice the people around you getting more and more anxious about migration as their own incomes are getting stretched thinner and thinner and there are only ever more and more migrants. Electorates vote in more and more extreme right-wing figures who ban all immigration, militarize the borders, and implement ever-more draconian surveillance and monitoring of people inside the country as well. You're repeatedly told that if you're a natural-born citizen and not breaking any laws, you have nothing to fear.

Global supply chains start to break down as some regions of the world get less and less livable and some resources get either more difficult to extract and process, or get wiped out by climate change themselves, making prices rise even more and shortages hit even harder. As places start to see economic decline, people get restless and there are instances of mass unrest. On the news you see stories about mass demonstrations and massacres in random other places around the world. But here people are too busy working five gig economy jobs just to afford bread, they're too busy to protest. Governments get overthrown, countries descend into civil war, millions die in armed conflict, famine, and ensuing disease outbreaks. This further exacerbates the millions of people already trying to migrate to the less-affected developed world, but by this point our borders are so hardened that most of them die before they make it here. Deaths of hundreds or thousands of people trying to cross our borders across oceans and through deserts stop even making the news because they're so routine and we're too concerned with our own daily survival to worry about people we don't know.

What you do see on the news are feel-good stories about how a billionaire CEO now flies around in a solar-powered plane and he planted trees on his green roof. Meanwhile our cities are more choked with smog than ever, and the numbers keep getting higher. Fewer people are smoking than ever before, but lung cancer rates seem to be higher than ever. You get a particularly bad cough and you'd like to see a doctor about it, but they cut your benefits at work so you just hope it goes away on its own. The UN releases a report saying that we have three years to act if we want to avoid 8 degrees of warming, but by this point we've read so many reports saying we've already passed the tipping point that no one cares.

All our topsoil is vanishing and by this point even some people with jobs literally can't afford food. But the state is militarized enough that no one really thinks about protest except for the occasional spontaneous riot that doesn't accomplish anything long-term. Facial recognition software and ubiquitous surveillance and tracking means protesting is a one-way ticket to prison, if you aren't literally killed or maimed by the police breaking up the protest. And anyway, even attending a legal protest harms your social credit score and means you won't be able to get a loan the next time food prices spike and you can't afford enough to get through the week. Drug abuse, overdoses, and suicide are all rampant as people lose hope and decide to numb themselves or end it quickly rather than die slow, painful deaths. There are people literally starving to death in the streets and every summer you're pretty sure some of the homeless people lying on the sidewalk have died of heatstroke. Half the food you used to see in supermarkets is just plain gone, wiped out by disease or unable to grow where it used to or the supply chains that used to ship it in from halfway around the world have collapsed completely. The other half of the food is so expensive that you can only afford to buy the barest essentials. The wars on TV get worse as countries invade each other to get at the farmland that remains. Despite the police everywhere, law and order seems to be breaking down in your city, there are enormous waves of robberies, burglaries, home invasions, murders, as desperate people do whatever it takes to get through another day. The rich are comfortably secure in gated communities protected by private mercenaries with tanks and machine guns, who regularly use lethal force to defend their employers' property.

Eventually you die. If you're lucky it's in some extreme weather event and it's over quickly. If you're unlucky you starve to death because you lost your job and bread is too expensive. I hope you don't have kids because they still have a few more decades in this miserable hellhole, while civilization continues to collapse around them. They probably eventually die deaths even less pleasant than yours.

Some humans will survive, even in 15 degrees of warming. Our civilization won't.


Communist Thoughts posted:

start bombing factories



And for the audibly inclined:

Enjoy the LMAO's, bring your understanding of sarcasm and nuance, please do not endorse violence of any kind in here. :tipshat:

Rime has issued a correction as of 13:48 on Sep 29, 2021


Nov 2, 2011


Apr 11, 2005
Can't post for 4 hours!

Communist Thoughts posted:

start bombing factories



Mayor Dave
Feb 20, 2009

e: rime put it in the OP

Mayor Dave has issued a correction as of 17:03 on Sep 16, 2021

yr new gurlfrand!
Aug 9, 2006


Communist Thoughts posted:

start bombing factories



Mayor Dave
Feb 20, 2009

Communist Thoughts posted:

start bombing factories



Reverend Zero
Mar 8, 2006

Communist Thoughts posted:

start bombing factories



Cold on a Cob
Feb 6, 2006

i've seen so much, i'm going blind
and i'm brain dead virtually

College Slice

things aren't that bad, yet

100 degrees Calcium
Jan 22, 2011

Sounds bad op

Mayor Dave
Feb 20, 2009

Cold on a Cob posted:

things aren't that bad, yet

The Demilich
Apr 9, 2020

The First Rites of Men Were Mortuary, the First Altars Tombs.

Ethical cannibalism now!

Mayor Dave
Feb 20, 2009

hello, good morning

Mar 7, 2006


Mayor Dave
Feb 20, 2009

lmao which one of you bought this banner ad:

leading to

Car Hater
May 7, 2007

wolf. bike.
Wolf. Bike.
Wolf! Bike!

Nap Ghost

Hello, would anyone like to join my commune? I can give you a tour, c'mon! This is the community hall, and this over here is where we make the jerky, let me show you how it's done...

Real hurthling!
Sep 11, 2001

hi! we dying!

Spime Wrangler
Feb 23, 2003

Because we can.

i already regret bookmarking this thread

Feb 8, 2012

You couldn't grok my race car, but you dug the roadside blur.

we need that wanker sun gif in here

Jul 25, 2006


reposting now (optimistic) Paolo Bacigalupi's A Full Life

edit: apparently paywalled now, someone quote it tia

Cold on a Cob
Feb 6, 2006

i've seen so much, i'm going blind
and i'm brain dead virtually

College Slice

Xaris posted:

reposting now (optimistic) Paolo Bacigalupi's A Full Life

edit: apparently paywalled now, someone quote it tia


By the time Rue reached 15 she had begun to measure her life by her many moves, the parchment of her life torn into fragments, each one reducing the integrity of the whole. Each small leaf then folded. Folded and shaped until it became surreal origami. Tear here. Fold there. This part became a house, burning down. Tear here, fold again. This shred became a rusty diesel truck, driving south. Tear again. Fold. This bit became an apartment building, without a roof.

Tear here. Tear again. Make a casket.

Keep tearing.

Rue’s first move came when she was eight, her mother and father selling the small-acreage farm they’d cultivated in a Colorado valley. They’d been part of a late-millennial wave of hipster farmers, fleeing the cities’ meaningless consumerism for something more natural. They’d grown organic microgreens for farm-to-table restaurants in nearby ski towns.

“We live like people are supposed to live,” her father said. “Slower. More connected. Focused on the land.”

Then the Maroon-Treasury Fire burned Aspen. When the smoke cleared, trees stood barestick black against hot blue sky and the air reeked of char. Ski slopes drifted with ash moguls, then slumped with mudslides.

In the aftermath, Rue collected trophies from amongst the blackened Anasazi-like ruins of billionaire mansions, picking her way through concrete foundation outlines. Aluminum puddled in silver castings, rivulets of melt. Glass globs sparkled, treasure gems, the remnants of picture windows.

At first, Rue’s mother and father had laughed, seeing people who had complained about dirt specks in their radish greens fleeing an inferno that cared not for their wealth. A certain schadenfreude was inevitable. But other mountain towns were dying as well, drought whittling away their picturesque scenery, thinning their snowpack, and choking their summer skies with smoke.

Rue’s parents might have held on, but failing snows meant inadequate irrigation water, and soon their domestic water failed too, the aquifer below their home unable to recharge. Old-timers laughed that they’d bought land with bad irrigation rights and a crummy well.

“My dad says you should have seen it coming,” Rue’s friend Hunter said. “Everyone knows how water rights work. ’Course your water got cut off.”

“It never happened before,” Rue retorted.

“My dad says you should have known.”

They stopped talking because of that. Soon after, Rue moved.

Later, Rue heard that Hunter’s family went dry too—a family that had ranched and farmed the same land for six generations. Rue wrote a text asking if Hunter’s dad should have seen it coming. But she deleted it before sending.

Rue was sad about that first move, leaving her small familiar town. She remembered the moving truck belching diesel smoke, reeking and clanking unlike the electric pickup they’d used for the farm. Her mother told her they couldn’t take her big clothes dresser with them.

“We can’t fit it in the Austin apartment, sweetheart.”

Her mother gave her a new phone, to console her. Rue couldn’t take big furniture, but she could have her first phone. That, at least, was portable.

On the drive south, Rue called her grandmother.

“Oh, sweetpea,” Nona consoled. “I know you’re sad. But there’s a silver lining to this. There’s a big world to learn about. Plus, you’ll get to see the bats.”

“The bats?” Despite herself, Rue was intrigued.

“There are bats in Austin. Lots of them.”

Seeing more of the world meant you were less ignorant than if you just lived in one small place all your life, and that was a good thing.

That’s what Nona said.

Nona never really approved of college kids being farmers, so she was glad they were moving.

That’s what Dad said.

In Austin, Rue’s mother played ukulele in a band and her father drove an electric delivery truck. Some nights they’d walk along the Colorado River, watching bats stream out from under the Congress Avenue Bridge to catch insects. The city skyline glowed in the sunset, the buildings newly covered with perovskite solar skins, all of them a little shiny because of it.

Some people said things weren’t the same as before. Some of the bats were invasive—bloodsuckers instead of insect eaters—but they were still bats, and Rue liked them.

Rue’s new school was big, with way more friends than just Hunter. Also, there was a ballet class, and a tae kwon do class. Plus an old lady with purple hair who taught rock drumming.

“You see?” Nona said. “Things work out.”

But then came a summer night when the electric grid went down. A hundred and ten degrees at 3 a.m. Everyone already on water restrictions. Pitch-dark in the middle of a city. Everyone out on the streets, desperate to catch a breeze. Everyone complaining. Blaming environmentalists, battery companies, natural gas companies, Austin Energy, federal regulations, Texas’s love affair with low taxes. Rue’s dad said Texas hadn’t anticipated how record heat would stress their grid.

Rue got heatstroke; her parents decided to move. Rue’s mother already had a job working remotely for a Miami-based mortgage company. She could get a promotion if she moved in-house.

In Miami, Rue’s father drove a three-wheeled short-range electric hauler, delivering iced fish to restaurants. Rue swam sometimes in the ocean, when jellyfish and algae weren’t choking up the coast. It was okay.

During their weekly phone chats, Nona told her about cubanos.

“You see?” Nona said, when Rue tried one. “It’s better when the sugar brews into the coffee. I first tried one when I vacationed in Cuba. But Italian espresso is the best.”

“How do you know all these things?” Rue asked.

Nona laughed. “Well, I lived a full life. And it was much cheaper to fly back then. It’s harder now with all the aero-taxes.”

“I wish I could fly places.”

“Well, maybe we’ll save our money and go to Italy.”

Then Annaleen hit. The hurricane wasn’t serious by Florida standards but it seemed big to Rue: Cat 4 on the New Meteorological Scale.

“It’s nothing,” her father told her as rain lashed their apartment windows. “The new scale goes to 11.”

Her mother laughed and made an air-guitar motion. Rue didn’t get the reference, so they showed her Spinal Tap on YouTube.

Rue laughed with her parents—because they were laughing at the idiot guitarist and his amp—but the clip didn’t make her feel safe so much as make her wonder what a hurricane that went to 11 might feel like.

A month later, Carrie hit. Carrie accelerated from NMS Cat 3 to Cat 9 during two phenomenal days. The governor declared a state of emergency. Florida huddled down, unable to flee. Water boiled up out of storm drains and filled the streets long before the worst winds hit. Miami’s brand-new seawalls disappeared, swamped on both sides. The sheer volume of water overwhelmed the city’s new pumping stations. They shorted and shut down.

Rue huddled with her parents and members of her mother’s new band in their apartment. The Blue Palms was the safest apartment complex in the neighborhood, built to endure the New Meteorological Scale.

“The Blue Palms are rock solid,” her father said. “When we moved here, I thought this through.”

Down on the street, the band’s van floated away. Literally floated.

Rue watched people float away, too.

Before Miami could recover from Carrie, Delia hit. Just bad luck, everyone said. But to Rue, it was starting to feel like God was bowling against them. There wasn’t enough time to recover, to breathe, to restock supplies. God just kept bowling. Delia ripped the roof off the Blue Palms. Popped it off like a can opener.

By the time sunny skies returned, their windows were gone and one wall had crumbled. Something big and heavy had blasted into the masonry and then flown away. A car? A tree? A bus? No one could say.

They used bedspreads and sheets to cover the windows, makeshift shelter while they waited for maintenance to fix things. Then word came down that the apartment company was abandoning the building. Its insurance company was going bankrupt from too many claims, so the apartment company was walking away too, leaving everyone squatting in the ruins.

“Well, on the bright side, at least we’re not paying rent,” Rue’s mother joked.

A dark bright side, because the mortgage company that employed Rue’s mother was going bankrupt too. With insurance failing, people were walking away from wrecked homes, leaving mortgages unpaid, sending ripples through the financial system. Why pay mortgage on a house that would never be fixed?

“Where’s FEMA?” her father complained as he pumped brown water through a handmade filter of charcoal and sand and paper towels. “There should be some kind of backup for this.” Sweating and dripping with the work. Shirtless. He was skinny, Rue realized. Not as big and strong as he’d seemed when she was younger. Just a scared skinny man, with new streaks of white in his bushy beard. “There were supposed to be emergency funds for this.”

“They’re doing what they can with what they’ve got,” Rue’s mother soothed. “There are other places that need help too. They’re overwhelmed.”

That was the crux of the problem. God had gone bowling all across the South. Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, and Mobile, Alabama, all had been hit hard. Over in Texas, Houston had gone under again. Corpus Christi, too. And that was just the big cities—the places people could name. All the small towns? Maybe they were there. Maybe they were drowned and gone. Who could say? No one could get there to find out.

As for Miami, it was finally draining. The streets reeked of ancient motor oil and fish and poo poo and garbage that had boiled out of sewers and dumpsters and basements. Flies and mosquitoes and orphaned dogs swarmed over it. But at least the city was draining.

Some people said Miami had enough money to survive. Boosters were already imagining a future hurricane-hardened version of the city. Now that they’d drowned, they could visualize the armored Venice-like Miami they should have built the first time. They’d make their buildings float, goddamnit.

Money liked Miami, Rue’s mom said, so maybe the city really would make it.

New Orleans, on the other hand? New Orleans was a bathtub. And money didn’t give a drat about New Orleans.

Money was racist—that’s also what Rue’s mom said.

Unlike money, mosquitoes didn’t discriminate. They loved all the cities on the coast equally, and all the people too. Mosquitoes snuck through the broken windows, the high whine of their wings always in Rue’s ears, the welts of their bites always on her skin. Screening was sold out. FEMA mosquito nets had been hoarded. Walmart kept saying delivery trucks would come soon, for sure. Everyone got covered with bites.

They all got fever from it.

Nona said it was a new malaria strain, something the CDC had warned about, but it hadn’t been faced because the drat Republicans kept cutting funding. Now here the disease was, just like epidemiologists had predicted. For some reason, kids and old people survived better. Middle-aged people often died.

That’s what Rue’s dad did.

Nona cried when Rue and her mother Skyped the news.

“Why was Dad so mad at Nona?” Rue asked later. “Why didn’t he want to live around her?”

Her mother made a reluctant face. Finally she said, “Nona was always complaining about problems, but she never lived like she needed to do anything about them. And she hated that we tried to farm. I think she felt like we were insulting her. Judging how she lived her own life.”

“But you were, right?”

“It bothered Dad a lot that Nona made certain choices. Especially after you were born.”

“Like flying in airplanes?”

“And cars. And eating meat.” She shook her head. “Anyway, that’s all a long time ago. Everybody did it, and they all made it worse for everyone. Not just Nona.”

Later, Rue asked Nona about it. “Mom says Dad was mad at you because he didn’t like how you lived.”

“Oh, sweetpea. This is the world we live in. We have to take at least a little joy in it.” Her eyes were wet. “Life’s short. We have to enjoy something. You should enjoy something too. I wish you had something you could enjoy.”

She sent Rue some money on her phone, to buy something nice, but Rue didn’t know what that would be. Their apartment was a wreck and they were about to move again. Rue didn’t want more things. Except maybe a mosquito net.

Rue wondered what it would have been like to fly to the far side of the world. To go to someplace like Italy to drink espresso. Or fly to Japan and see the temples of Kyoto, where Nona had once gone to meditate. Nona hadn’t sent enough money for either of those things.

Nona wanted them to join her in Boston, but Rue’s mom preferred New York. They went to live with her brother, Armando.

Uncle Armando said the people in Florida deserved what they got.

“Those lame-rear end seawalls! Some political appointee just made up the standards! That’s why Manhattan used the European standards. Say what you want about the taxes here, at least we don’t gently caress around with our science.” He shook his head at the stupidity of Miami as he cut into his steak. “Of course they were hosed,” he said, gesturing with his fork as he chewed. “They were hosed from the moment they used those lovely American standards.”

“Please don’t say it that way,” her mother said, rubbing her temples. She hadn’t touched the meat on her plate.

“Say what? hosed?”

“You know I don’t like it.” “Five cities are underwater, and you’re worried about my loving language?” He laughed in disbelief. “The language is what bothers you?” He shook his head, gestured at her plate.

“Try the steak,” he said. “It’s Kobe Rainforest.”

“I’m not hungry.”

“Carbon-free? Cruelty-free? It’s right up your alley. You can’t even tell it’s vat meat. Zero methane, zero deforestation. Your husband would have loved this sh— this stuff. Give it a try.”

“Maybe later.”

“Suit yourself.” He cut another chunk for himself. “You like the steak, Rue?”

“Yeah. It’s good.”

“drat right it is.” He forked another bite. Returned to his previous point, talking around the mouthful. “Some jackass lobbyist for some oil company wrote that lovely standard. Just like lobbyists did with mercury and methane and all the other crap. And then dumb-rear end Miami just went ahead and used the sea-rise estimates. hosed themselves, is what they did.”

“Armando,” Rue’s mother said. “There are real people involved. It’s not just one of your investment spreadsheets.”

“You know I shorted Miami, right?”

Her mother glared. Armando subsided. But the word lingered in Rue’s mind.


She was more than old enough to know the word. She knew how to say it in six different languages, thanks to the kids she’d met in her different moves. They used it all the time: who hosed who; how hosed-up the vocab test was; gently caress you; gently caress me; gently caress PRINCIPAL VASQUEZ—that was a Snapchat group. But the word had been casual, and they’d used it casually. They hadn’t felt it. They hadn’t understood it.

Miami was hosed, and now the word finally sounded right.


Hard and nasty and mean.

It described the world Rue experienced every day. The one the grownups in her life seemed bent on pretending didn’t exist. Like if they pretended really, really hard, they’d be okay. Like they’d pretended the Miami seawalls were big enough. Like Nona had pretended that flying on airplanes was fine. They’d closed their eyes and pretended.

And now everyone was hosed.

It was almost a relief to have Armando say it. To have that word squat on the dinner table with the organic kale and the arsenic-free brown rice. It gave shape to an unformed feeling that had been lurking in Rue’s mind for some time. Something she’d been unable to name or describe because all the grownups around her hadn’t been honest enough to speak it clearly.

It felt like a door being kicked open.

As soon as Armando said it, it felt blazingly obvious. And now that Rue could see it, she could see it everywhere. In the cost of bread and cheese and vegetables and chicken. In the kids begging on the streets. In the storm warnings as winter hurricanes made their way up the coast, dropping rain and jamming rivers with ice floes and slamming against Manhattan’s own seawall barriers.

Rue’s mom had promised New York would be good for them. It was where she’d grown up. But Old New York was different from hosed New York. Armando was the only one with a job, and things were changing, even for him.

All over the country, people’s homes were being destroyed by sea-level rise, forest fires, droughts, storms, and floods. People were going reffee, and leaving behind ruined houses. And mountains of debt. So now, along with mortgage companies and insurance companies, banks started failing. Armando’s shorting of Miami—he’d explained to Rue that “shorting” meant “betting a place was going to get hosed”—only worked if there was a safe place to stash his winnings.

Six months after Rue and her mother moved to New York, the FDIC collapsed, and the dollar fell off a cliff. Bank after bank went down. Traders all over Manhattan went bankrupt. Whole hedge funds. Wall Street ground to a halt. Checking accounts froze. People lost their savings, lost 401(k)s, 529s, IRAs—

It was like all the money in the world evaporated.

Rue’s mom decided to send Rue to Boston.

“I don’t want to live with Nona. I want to live with you,” Rue begged as she hugged her mother goodbye at the bus station.

“As soon as I have a job, you’ll be back with me,” her mother said, wiping her eyes.

Another bit of pretend. The grownups were all playing pretend. Everyone except Armando, who hugged her and shoved a small sweaty wad of cash into her hand.

“Good luck, kiddo. Keep this for an emergency. Got it? An emergency.”

“I will. I’m sorry about your job.”

“Yeah, well, I knew I should have bought yuan.” He sucked his teeth, irritated. “I got into this work because I swore I was never going to dig ditches. Now I’m not even sure they’ll let me do seawall construction. Too many reffees competing for that poo poo.”

He looked completely different now that his investment company was gone.

The bus to Boston passed through three Mass Pike checkpoints. They scanned her FamilyPass bar code again and again. Kids with fake documents got pulled off the bus and sent back. Each time State Patrol scanned her pass, she expected it would be her.

“I wish you’d come here sooner,” Nona said as she hugged Rue in South Station. “I have room. I always had room for you.” She hugged Rue tighter, and for a minute, in the middle of the bustling terminal, Rue felt safe.

The T was sardine-packed, even at noon. Despite the migration controls, refugees swamped Boston. “Everyone’s trying to get in,” Nona said as they sweated up the line. “I’ve been renting my spare rooms on Airbnb. Rents are crazy. It helps with the food prices, though. I don’t know how other people are affording food with all the droughts.”

Nona cleared out a whole family from Alabama to give Rue a room.

“I have to get back to the hospital,” Nona said as she changed the bedsheets. “If you go out, watch out for muggers. There’s not enough work for people.”

Nona was a psychiatrist who specialized in trauma. The state paid her to prescribe antidepressants and anti-anxiety meds to refugees. “Benzos are cheap,” she joked. “Hospital beds are expensive. And the heat makes everyone crazy.”

Nona also said not to get too comfortable. Her single-family house was being torn down for a density project. She was moving to a high-rise. “They’ve got plans for this old place.”

Boston definitely seemed to have plans. Billboards called Greater Boston a “City of the Future.” They’d banned cars from Alewife all the way to the ocean. Only electric trams and occasional emergency vehicles used the narrowed main roads. Remaining streets were being converted into e-bike paths and gardens. Climbing vines shaded walking paths for summer. Enclosed skyways leapt from high-rise to high-rise for the winter. Not a drop of gasoline anywhere.

Rue could see how pleasant the city was supposed to be, but it was groaning under the weight of reffees from all the places that hadn’t planned. The school Rue was supposed to attend—which Nona said was excellent—was overflowing. Kids were being given disposable tablets and asked to do Khan Academy instead of assignments from living teachers. They sat cheek by jowl, crosslegged on the floors, with security proctors watching over them.

Rue started ditching, killing time down by the Charles River with some other reffee kids. Jiyu—a girl from coastal North Carolina—and Josh, a kid from Iowa who’d never lived in a city before but who Rue had taken under her wing when she found him making origami out of trashed McDonald’s wrappers.

Most days, they’d perch atop the new Charles River levees and skip rocks across warm algae-choked waters, occasionally trading hits on Josh’s asthma inhaler. Up in Canada, whole beetle-killed forests were burning, and the smoke kept blowing south. Burnt Canadians, they called it. They rated the Boston weather by how thick the Canadians were, and how many asthma hits they needed.

A pair of joggers wearing fluorescent athletic gear and Nike particulate masks pounded past, giving them dirty looks.

“How do they know we’re not from here?” Josh asked, taking another inhaler hit. “What do they see?”

Rue had wondered about that too. She’d been chased by local Boston kids multiple times, gangs of them intent on schooling the newcomers. She wondered if maybe she and her friends held their bodies differently. Like dogs that had been kicked too many times. Instinctually cowering.

“Kinda makes you hope one of these levees breaks,” Josh said.

Rue could imagine it happening. Could imagine Boston—despite its attempts to harden and adapt—drowning just like all the other places she’d been. She wondered if it would happen, or if Boston would somehow manage to do better, not play pretend, maybe do something right.

On Rue’s way home, a crew of Boston kids jumped her, bursting out of a humid alley. She curled in a ball on the pavement as they beat and kicked her. They left her bruised and crying with final gobs of spit and warnings to go back where she’d come from.

By the time she finally limped home, it was dark. Inside, she found Nona peacefully asleep in her easy chair, the TV streaming Netflix.

Rue stood in the flickering darkness, tasting the blood in her mouth and clutching her bruised ribs. Her grandmother shifted in her sleep. The air conditioner droned, fighting the October heat. Even with the doors and windows closed, Rue could smell the Canadians burning. The world that had existed before, for thousands of years, going up in smoke.

Rue tried to remember a time when something in her life hadn’t been on fire, or underwater, or falling apart, and realized she couldn’t. She tried to remember a time when she had slept as peacefully as Nona.

Nona said she loved Rue, but all Rue felt was empty distance between them—the shredded gap between the life her grandmother had enjoyed and the tatters that Rue had inherited. Her grandmother had drunk espresso in Italy and meditated in the temples of Kyoto. She’d lived a full life.

Rue imagined strangling her.

Jun 9, 2002

thx op, sorry about your incoming perma but we do have a tradition to maintain with the climate threads

edit while we're first page posting:

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  • climate scientists
  • law enforcement officers
  • monks/stoics that have attained liberation from suffering
if you don't identify with any of the above groups, this thread will be bad for you!

Where should I relocate to once [region] becomes uninhabitable? What kind of job would be well suited for a failing biosphere?

let's answer your questions with a question: if you're the type of person that needs to ask an internet comedy forum this kinda thing, do you think you're the type of person who survives what's coming?

Which technology is best suited for reversing climate change?

time travel!

How guilty should I feel about my personal consumption on a dying planet?

as little or as much as you you like! it's completely meaningless unless what you're consuming is time machines!

How long do we have before [specific event] happens?

nobody can predict the future to the day or even the year sadly. all we can offer is an incomplete timeline to measure the present against

Why not OD on a pile of fentanyl if things are so hopeless?

pro tip: life in general is hopeless! moving beyond hope is part of embracing the reality of the world as it is

At what point will atmospheric CO2 levels guarantee human extinction?

Wakko has issued a correction as of 18:08 on Sep 23, 2021

Jan 2, 2011

Jozy loves scoring like a fat kid loves eating cake.

good vibes only itt

Sep 16, 2007


Let the bad times roll.
Edit: It even has that new thread smell, y'know?

Ssthalar has issued a correction as of 17:45 on Sep 16, 2021

Ornery and Hornery
Oct 22, 2020

I love the climate.

Jul 25, 2006


vyelkin posted:

good vibes only itt

I'm going to plant a tree, i suggest we all do the same.

Jul 25, 2006


update: i drove my truck 50 miles out to the tree farm and had a fork lift to load it into my bed. I drove it back here and I planted it in my backyard. I dumped some water on it but it died. will try again later

Mar 7, 2006

i made sure to separate the different types of plastics in the recycle bin. just doing my part!

Spime Wrangler
Feb 23, 2003

Because we can.

Mayor Dave posted:

lmao which one of you bought this banner ad:

leading to

proclick so far

Jan 25, 2008

front row seats to the big party!!

Cup Runneth Over
Aug 8, 2009

Life's too short to worry
Life's too long to wait
Life's too short not
To love everybody
Life is too long to hate

hello future historians. I have two words for ya: suck it!!!!

The Protagonist
Jun 29, 2009

The average is 5.5? I thought it was 4. This is very unsettling.

ground floor? bomb some more!

The Protagonist
Jun 29, 2009

The average is 5.5? I thought it was 4. This is very unsettling.

i'm still 4.3k posts behind in the last thread what'd i miss

Jul 25, 2006


The Protagonist posted:

i'm still 4.3k posts behind in the last thread what'd i miss
we're going to hunt + gather a potato. it's all going to be fine

May 13, 2003

Wedge Regret

Let's all just hope for a radical deadly pandemic to kick off degrowth.

McNugget Buddy
Aug 14, 2021


mandatory lesbian
Dec 18, 2012

The Protagonist posted:

i'm still 4.3k posts behind in the last thread what'd i miss

Turns out climate change isnt real and nothings wrong, wow!

May 9, 2009

14 inc dont mez

hello new thread

please enjoy this happy upbeat song on this blessed day

Jul 17, 2009

technology will fix it op

net work error
Feb 26, 2011


I'm here to watch fresh crack pings.


The Protagonist
Jun 29, 2009

The average is 5.5? I thought it was 4. This is very unsettling.

blatman posted:

hello new thread

please enjoy this happy upbeat song on this blessed day

this is my anthem on tinder

goth chicks rule

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