If my projections are accurate, you should be reading this letter in the year 2100; by which time I have probably become part of Mother Earth –or what’s left of her. The present year is 2010, on the ninth day of January. The time is approximately 7:53pm ET and the location is Washington, D.C. Why all these details? I don’t know. I just thought that maybe some of these details would interest you — especially considering your world must be very different from what mine is. And given the fact that humanity must be on the verge of extinction.
Humanity on the verge of extinction in 2100? I fervently hope that projection is inaccurate. Even writing it feels ridiculous. I mean how? The most advanced of all of Earth’s species extinct? Mais, c’est pas possible! Well, according to Lucy’s story on Earth 2100, it is very probable. Especially if we don’t wake up and act soon. And what’s worse, it’s our own negligent actions that will do us in. Yep, like all the other great civilizations before ours – the Mayans, the Romans, and God knows who else.
What’s this Earth 2100? Well. I just found out about it myself. It’s a History Channel documentary that covers climate change and the turn of events following humanity’s negligence of Mother Earth and the natural balance. Just in case this letter is intercepted before the year 2100, I would suggest checking local listings or youtube and watching Earth 2100. It definitely woke me up.
Already, things seem to be going downhill. Evidence of climate change is all around us. Apparently, the heat in Ghana and other African countries is unbearable. It is expected that sea levels will rise rapidly over the coming years, and given the fact that most “modern” and advanced settlements are coastal, the physical manifestations of our “success” might soon be wiped out. As many expected, the Coppenhagen Talks failed. Some are saying that the 2015 talks might be better, but environmentalists and other scientists are telling us that waiting till 2015 is cutting it close. According to Lucy and Earth 2100’s ‘worst case scenario’, the 2015 talks fail as well and humanity spirals down into nothingness.
Ripple Effect…For the Worst
It’s quite a delicate web we live in, this thing called life. Some people think it philosophical nonsense when others say ‘we are all connected.’ To those people, I suggest watching Avatar. To you, dear descendant, Avatar must seem like child’s play when it comes to top notch movie technology. But in this day and age, it’s the happening thing. Especially in 3-D. Yea, so back to the intricate web of connectedness. Essentially, what happens with climate change — or what has already been set in gear — is that our insatiable demand for natural resources – wood, oil, and what-have-you, leads to an outright rebellion by Mother Earth.
Since we no longer allow trees the necessary time to grow, they stop growing altogether. Nations continue to fight for oil, especially countries like the one I’m currently in, where the dependence on oil is on catalytic proportions. With all the feuding going on, the inequality gap continues to increase, and where starvation and poverty were only associated with Africa and some parts of Asia – even though every country has its own nooks and crannies of utmost poverty – it has become the global norm.
Global warming reaches new highs and with it, the melting of the Earth’s ice regions and glaciers. This further destabilizes the water cycle and leads to reduced food production, more starvation, more fights, more poverty. If we humans are already panicking, you can imagine what other species are doing. Everyone and everything is scrambling for what little is left. Even those species we consider “pests”. Hence, the little food we have is besieged with disease and attacked before they even grow their full term. Life is hard. But according to Lucy, it only gets worse.
Sure, there are efforts made and in some places, New York, apparently, innovations in wind and solar energy afford the people living there more time. Turns out it’s only borrowed time. Once they realize the gravity of the situation, desperate measures are taken — measures which only worsen events. And so, dear descendant, according to Lucy, in the year 2100 she is one of the few humans left and one of the oldest at that. What she was able to experience – breathing in clean air, feeling the brush of the wind on her cheek, watching birds fly from tree to tree – she can only tell you about, and you in turn, can only imagine.
The Fight Against?
The only things that are timeless are the simple things in life. The memories, the feelings, the connections. And even those, we risk losing for all our greed. I sincerely hope that when you read this, dear descendant, that it turns out to be quite a hilarity. Not because someone like me thought this letter would make it to 2100, but because all that Lucy talked about in Earth 2100 came to naught. Because we made the necessary corrections to our systems before it was too late. Because we finally gave the respect due to Mother Earth, and realized that we all really are connected.
Maybe there is hope yet. If more people ponder the arguments put forth by Earth 2100. If more people watch the youtube videos below and forward them on to their family, friends, acquaintances. If humanity comes together, as we have always done in the midst of crisis, to make the necessary changes.
With hope for humanity’s future,
Your great-great-great-great-great grandmother
P.S. This happens to be my 150th post! It’s crazy how much ground has been covered in 2.5 years! To many more!
Jemila Abdulai is the creative director, editor and founder of the award-winning website Circumspecte.com. A media and international development professional and economist by training, she combines her business, communications and project management expertise with her strong passion for Africa. Besides writing and reading, she enjoys travel, global cuisine, movies, and good design.