I’m sitting here in my own private tropical paradise. The sun is shining, the air is soft with a pearlescent humidity, the temperature is 75 and creeping up towards 80. The ocean is licking my toes as I drink a local cerveza from a street vendor. At night, I sleep with the a/c on low so I can hear the music playing in the streets.
Just one problem though. I’m in the Bronx.
OK, I lied about the ocean licking my toes, but check back with me in a few years and we’ll see. The rest of it is all true. My neighbors are shouting “hallelujah!” from their windows, and they’re dancing in Times Square. All of New York City is celebrating – except Staten Island, of course. Who ARE those people? I think I speak for most New Yorkers when I say that we haven’t felt this happy and relieved since Sully landed safely on the Hudson River. For a few days, I forgot all about the other big elephant in the room – climate change.
Apart from a few devastating hurricanes, a sea level rise that will eat Wall Street, and the collapse of global food production, climate change may be very kind to New York City. Who doesn’t like nice weather? It’s November 10th, and I’m in my flip-flops waltzing along Broadway buying mangos and avocados from street vendors.
New York is going to get back to normal, slowly. We’ve already made a few tentative forays into indoor dining. We’re gathering with masks in Times Square to cheer the election news. The subway is clean and running safely. Everyone on Wall Street is piling into Pfizer after they said the vaccine is in the pipeline. The second virus wave is slowly spiking, but the light is at the end of the tunnel. Who knows? Maybe I’ll be on a plane this summer, visiting friends and family in foreign lands (mostly California).
I know we’re not out of the woods yet. According to some scientists, we need to get more INTO the woods if we want to scrub excess greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere. The smart money is on renewables, which are coming down in price. China is vowing to be carbon-neutral in 20 years, and by gum they’ll do it, even if they have to pull every last basic human right out from under their citizens. Some of the crazier tech bros have plans to cool the planet, probably by launching billions of tiny cocktail umbrellas into orbit, thereby shielding the earth.
For now, though, I don’t care what they do. The light at the end of the tunnel is clear as day. Maybe I’ll just sit back, cerveza in hand, and enjoy the show.