What I’d Like For My Birthday Now That Climate Change Is Inevitable
This month I’ll be entering my 25th year. It’s an important birthday because the fact that I can say I’ve been alive for a quarter of a century has made me acutely aware of my own mortality. But, it turns out I may not have to worry about my own personal impending doom so much as I need to worry about the entire planet’s impending doom. You see, this special milestone in my personal history has been marked by a very special milestone in Earth’s history. This year, the concentration of CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere permanently passed the maximum sustainable threshold of 400 parts per million. That roughly translates to:“Happy birthday, we’re all definitely going to catch on fire now.”
In situations like these, where scientists announce the approaching, practically indisputable destruction of our planet (and no one so much as bats an eye), it’s important to look on the bright side. After all, denial got us this far, so why not see it all the way through? For me, that means embracing the fact that I get to experience the start of my quarter life crisis just as the Earth is experiencing the start of it’s global climate change crisis. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity! So, I’ve adjusted my birthday wish list accordingly.
Now that we’re officially guaranteed to start experiencing the practical effects of climate change—we’re talking floods, heat waves, ocean acidification, and a whole slew of natural disasters—I’ve decided to scrap my original birthday gift requests for wrinkle cream and control top panty hose. Instead, I’ve opted for gallon jugs of SPF 100 sunscreen and some other exciting end-of-days must haves. Items at the top of my list include rock climbing shoes for escaping rising sea levels, SCUBA lessons for if I can’t escape the rising sea levels, and a water desalination kit for when all the freshwater dries up and the now vast and expansive sea is our only source of water. Also, socks. You can really never have enough socks.
I’ll also be accepting gifts in the form of property just outside major port cities like Charleston, SC. I know people have always joked about rising sea levels creating new beachfront property, but now it’s less of a joke and more of a highly lucrative fact. Plus, I’ve always wanted to spend my last days before the forced migration north in a post-apocalyptic party house. Sure, a beach house won’t really be the same once the ocean is too acidic to support life,but I’m sure it’ll still be fun to spend my last days having the world’s most deadly, decorative water feature right in my own backyard.
This would also be the perfect opportunity for someone to finally get me that pony I’ve been asking for since I was five. Not to indulge a childhood dream in the final moments before the end of civilization, but as a real, viable mode of transportation for when our entire infrastructure starts to fail. I could name him Bill and he could carry me north across the deserts of North Carolina and Virginia on my way to temporary sanctuary in Canada. Then, if food gets scarce (which it will because agriculture will collapse and the food chain will be disrupted beyond repair) I can just eat him. That’s the beauty of pony!
Speaking of refreshments, I would like my birthday cake this year to be a 300-lb, spherical replica of the Earth complete with socially responsible representations of the continents. Seriously, none of this making Greenland bigger than Africa bullshit. We are all equally responsible for this mess, and I want to watch a geographically accurate, egalitarian representation of the world burn when I light the candles. That’s right, I want you to cover the sucker in birthday candles so we can light each continent in the order that they’ll be catching on fire in real life (Australia, you’re first!).
Since the best of my youth is behind me, and society as we know it is highly likely to collapse within my lifetime, I don’t see any point in making a birthday wish.So, I won’t be blowing out the candles. Instead, I just want everyone to stand around and passively watch the Earth cake slowly burn. I know, it sounds a little crazy at first, but I think it’ll feel pretty natural for everyone in the end.
Now, you’re all invited to my upcoming birthday celebrations, but just remember, it’s my party and I’ll cry about inevitable catastrophic climate change if I want to.