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The American West, Climate Change, and Dystopia

March 20, 2014

Buffalo Doug

Kevin Costner’s 1995 film Waterworld portrays a scenario of climate-change disaster:

Sometime in this century or the next, the vast ice sheets covering Antarctica and Greenland will melt away, deluging every continent, city, factory, and farm. Tucson and Seattle will then lie at the bottom of the sea along with Beijing, London, Nairobi, and even the dry little metropolis of Toadsuck, Texas. The surviving human population, only a tiny fraction of what it is today, will be forced to live on boats or well-fortified artificial islands, surrounded by water as far as the eye can see. Mountains will disappear from sight, except for the highest peaks of the Himalayas. All forests, meadows, deserts, and jungles will be gone and all soil on which terrestrial life depends will be buried underwater. Dirt will become more valuable than gold dust in the days of the forty-niners, but nobody will have the means…

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