Seer, tell me, what’s in the numbers?

Image for post
Image for post
Tre Cavalli, Menorca — photo by author

Particles, ratios, percents;
parts per million;
millimeters per year.
Lines on graphs go up and down,
cycles spin round and round.

And the talking heads all nod,
tell us that’s the way it’s always been,
part of the natural order.
Pat us on the head
send us out to play the game.

Two degrees, three degrees,
on a Kelvin scale, the line would never move
How much difference can it make?
Talk to a parent with a sick child and a thermometer

And the talking heads all nod,
tell us that’s the way it’s always been,
part of the natural order.
Pat us on the head
send us out to play the game.

I’m just one, nothing on my own,
together, all us zeros, would be heroes,
lined up, billions strong,
drops in a flood,
gonna sweep it all away.

And the talking heads,
safe behind their walls;
they’ll never line up for water,
they won’t watch their children burn with tropical fever
they won’t pray the levee holds.

Skip along with me
along the edge of catastrophe,
thinking it was meant to be,
and, in end, it will be inevitable.
but it never had to be.

The majority of the burning has come in the last 25 years — since the premiere of Seinfeld. Since the end of the second world war, the figure is about 85%. The story of the industrial world’s kamikaze mission is the story of a single lifetime — the planet brought from seeming stability to the brink of catastrophe in the years between a baptism or barmitzvah and a funeral. Uninhabitable Earth (Wallace-Wells, David — 2019)

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store