A dispatch from the future

A firsthand account of the floods in Queensland.  Australia has been living in the (climatic) future for some time, facing the prospect of desalinization plants and admitting that most of their agriculture is not viable, given soil both saline and infertile, and the decade long drought.  The government is buying up the water rights in the Murray Darling basin because it’s cheaper than agricultural subsidies, and the rural vote is given disproportionate weight in Australian law.  There is a dark poetry in the fact that Queensland’s export coal mines are underwater today.  None of this is to say that climate change is necessarily behind the floods or the drought or the bush fires from a few years ago, or the mad cold winter in Europe this year, or the forest fires in Russia this summer.  We won’t ever be able to attribute any particular weather event to anthropogenic CO2, but all this is the kind of thing one ought to expect if one opts to change the composition of the homeworld’s atmosphere:

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