Climate Change of Address is my personal climate story.
After a decade of climate action work in Southern California and with all evidence now confirming the global warming shitstorm is hitting the fan faster and more furiously than each previous estimate, my gut tells me it’s time to get the hell out of paradise before it burns up, dries out, washes away, and chokes us all with pollution levels off the charts.
I like to give my friends this bit of advice/warning:
“The next ten years are the best ten years.”
And by that I mean with the climate continuing on a path to a very bad place in the very near future – you should use that knowledge as motivation to not put anything off. Not anything.
I say, see the places you’ve always wanted to visit. Do the bucket list things you’ve always wanted to do. Be with the people now who you really want to be with. You’ll never regret it.
And I walk the walk. When I turned 60 in September of 2017 I walked away from all my work and volunteer commitments and declared a #YearOfJoe sabbatical which I enjoyed for a healthy and happy 17 months.
“The next ten years are the best ten years, so don’t waste them” I continue to say. Only problem is, I’ve been saying that for 10 years now.
But it’s still true, and now the last IPCC report published in October last year backed that up with a new sense of urgency warning that we had only a dozen years left in which to literally change the way we do everything that adds more greenhouse gases to our already overloaded atmosphere.
Then the US Climate Assessment Report just a month later doubled down on how bad the climate has gotten and will get in the coming years.
And if you needed more convincing than that, well then, just in the first few months of 2019 we’ve seen these headlines
I had read that classic article in Esquire magazine a few summers ago about the despair climate scientists were all feeling and how many had escape plans. I started to think – without any despair on my part – about escape plans of our own.
I knew from another article I had read when I turned 60 years old that you want to be north of 40 degrees north latitude, or on the coast but not at sea level.
We were already just a half mile from the ocean and high enough up the hill not to worry about flooding at our house, but that won’t help when local roads down the hill are impassable. And like most of the USA, our aging Southern California infrastructure is already a problem from those same crumbling, pothole-strewn roads; to our bridges, and our underground pipelines carrying gas, water and sewage.
The cool ocean breezes we could always count on in the past, now are being replaced by hot, humid summer weather – the kind never experienced here before.
So a move up the 40th seemed like the best idea to me.
And that latitude line starts at Humbolt, California, which seemed like the perfect line of demarcation.
So I started making my plans for a road trip.
NEXT – The Best Laid Plans…