With global surface temperature increasing by nearly half a degree Celsius over the last century, it's clear that a society-changing global warming catastrophe is only a matter of time. As soon as you're done formulating your Redhead Revolution Survival Plan, you need to buckle down and get prepared for hot water.
But what is global warming? Didn't that end with Al Gore? Sadly no, in fact, Al Gore has continued sounding the warning trumpet even when no one would listen. That's because he doesn't need things like evidence that global warming is caused by humans - he has hard facts instead.
But back to the original question: what is global warming? It's a rise in average surface temperature in the planet. Global warming and cooling are natural processes. Surface temperatures have fluctuated for centuries and none have been cause for alarm - until now. This one is really extreme, because, as the hard facts indicate, we are polluting the planet and trapping all our heat in.
Among other things, global warming causes a melting of polar ice caps, causing a rising of sea levels, causing a recession of shorelines. If you live near the coast, you should be paying very close attention. Rising sea levels will look nothing like Day After Tomorrow - they'll be extremely gradual. In fact, it will take decades for serious coastal flooding to begin. At first you'll hear people saying things like "wow Joe, high tides are really really high these days." Then storms - which will be crazier as a result of global warming - will cause severe flooding.
Just to put something to rest right now: global warming cannot actually sink the planet - there's not enough ice to do that. It can submerge a good deal of it, though, and that's something you don't want catching you unawares.
Global warming is, well, global. To save time and to focus on our main readership market, we will stick to talking about what life will be like in the USA (after all, in many countries its not legal to read FCN).
America will be rocked as southern states are caught in deluge after deluge (Katrina is just the beginning, folks). Property values for coastal cities will free fall as people move inland to get away from the storms. Efforts to drain Louisiana and Georgia will eventually be abandoned. Florida will be completely submerged. Beaches will permanently flood and cities will be abandoned: Houston, New York, Charleston, Miami. Much of Arizona will sink into the expanding Baja Bay. San Fransisco and Seattle will become swamp land and the Central Valley in California will become a lake. The Midwest will suffer devastating weather changes. Tornadoes will become as normal as putting sugar in your coffee.
Meanwhile, the Rocky mountain range will be high, dry, and a lot warmer than it ever has been. Guess where everyone will be moving!
Um. The Rocky mountains, that's where.
Try to keep up.
If you live in the south, your experience will be one of a series of catastrophic hurricanes. There will always be people who refuse to leave and/or come back as soon as the storm is over, but that number will steadily dwindle with each passing year. Folks will be moving north and west in increasingly frustrated, confused caravans. Eventually that whole part of the country will be erased, and by then millions of refugees will be wandering around looking to be stored in a cool, dry place. Foraging and, later, pillaging will become hallmarks of these roaming parties. Gun play over food and gas will be so common that many regions will refer to caravan-infested areas as "the front." Your goal should be to evacuate ahead of the caravans and stay ahead of them at all times and costs.
If you live in the northeast, your experience will be one of steadily worsening weather and collapsing terrain situation. Some of the coast will flood but it won't be too serious for awhile. The soil, however, will become very soggy. Drainage will become a headline issue. Mosquitoes and disease will run rampant; agriculture will falter. Farmers will metaphorically pull up their metaphorical tent stakes and move to the midwest, and the rest of the society will collapse in their absence, causing a mass exodus. Your goal should be to sell your land while it's still worth something and skedaddle (that's northeasterner for leave).
The midwest will suffer the worst weather. Constant, devastating tornadoes and lightning storms will pound the ground, tearing up buildings, frying electronics, and keeping little kids awake at night. Owning a house will be a question of the lottery; each new day may be the day your house is blown away and you're left with nothing. One by one, destitute midwesterners will begin travelling west toward higher ground. Eventually a critical mass will be reached and the general population will get up and leave, too. You should know by now where they'll stop.
The west will suffer the least. Unless you live in California, Washington, Arizona, or a small handful of spots in Oregon, flooding won't be a problem. Tourism will suffer as snow becomes more scarce, but life in most of the Rockies will simply be warmer. California will experience the only sudden catastrophe in the nation, when a sudden violent hurricane sweeps over Monterey and empties itself into the Central Valley. Folks living there will have little chance once the storm begins. Their only hope will be to have abandoned the area long, long ago.
So, all roads lead to the Rockies, right? Very good. You get a gold star. Now you need to formulate a GWSF: one that allows you to detect potential flooding/storms long before anyone else, sell your property while it's still worth something, form a survivor party and move to the Rockies, and defend it against the increasing swarms of dislocated Americans trying to keep their feet dry. Then you'll need a way to feed yourself; America's collapsed agricultural society won't be able to support you. And we can't talk about it in this post because we've already gone a little long. We'll save it for later.
Our advice: move to the Rockies immediately. Do it early, do it often.
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