I see what your game is here, Mother Nature, and I think you have made your point. All winter long, the rains poured down to refill California’s rivers, lakes and reservoirs until, in some cases at least, the dams were literally bursting at the seams. The rain caused sides of mountains to slide away, taking houses, roads and pretty much everything else with them. As if that weren’t enough, once the clouds parted for the summer, the sun began its quest to burn us all up.
I’ve lived in this part of California for my entire life, so I am no stranger to the heat, but this is getting ridiculous. It was 109 degrees a few Fridays back and every time I stepped outside, I felt like my skull was an oven cooking my brain inside. To make matters worse, wildfires are burning everywhere despite all the rain we just got. If you must be outside, then prepare to be baked alive; and if you stay out too long, don’t be surprised if you end up looking like a crispy duck.
Between the pouring rain and the stinging sun, it seems like we only have about two months of the year when we can actually go outside. For the rest of the year, we are trapped indoors dreaming of the day when we might be able to do something beyond the confines of our homes again. Thanks to global warming, that time inside is only going to keep growing until the water is at our doors trying to wash us away. The tides will keep rising and our homes won’t be able to protect us forever.
Science fiction movies tell fantastical tales of mole people living beneath the surface of the Earth and mermaids populating the ocean depths, but what if they weren’t so far off the mark? What if we were really looking at the future of mankind? The United States backing out of the Paris Climate Agreement has all but ensured that we will continue to see both soaking winters and scorching hot summers in this part of California for the foreseeable future, so we are going to have to learn to live with it at some point. Seeking shelter either underground or under the sea may be our only hope of survival.
Sooner or later, all of us are going to have to make a choice. Will you be a merman or a mole man? Both lifestyles offer their own advantages and disadvantages, so the choice is not as simple as it may seem. For example, seafood lovers may find themselves delighted by the virtual buffet o’ fish that the ocean has on offer, but it will be hard to eat all that delicious fish with permanent grandma hands. On the other hand, spelunkers the world round will love the wondrous sites to be seen inside their new cave homes, but getting eaten alive by a bear is a really shitty way to die.
Whichever life you choose, one thing will be sure, you are going to need a pressurized suit. Evolution does not happen overnight and it certainly can’t keep pace with climate change. As we descend into the depths of the Earth, the atmospheric pressure is going to continue to increase and put the squeeze on you. For those of us who prefer not to be flattened into a pancake, a pressurized suit will ensure that we retain our three-dimensional shapes.
Any deep-sea diver or biohazard lab worker can tell you that functioning normally in a pressurized suit is no simple task. You’re wearing goofy gloves and a bulbous helmet and your range of motion is much more limited. You also have to be careful not to tear the suit, which is made even more difficult when surrounded by the sharp corals of the ocean and stalactites/stalagmites of the inner earth. All of this means that you will need training, so you should be prepared for that too. In fact, it may not be a bad idea to buy a pressure suit and start practicing now. I know I am. You don’t want to find yourself unprepared when our next phase of human survival begins!