Note — Nov 11, 2018

Climate Change and Technology Define the Rural Future

Seen in → No.56

Source → theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2018/11/...

Using an hypothetical flight over a future countryside, Darran Anderson mixes near future techs with current developments to show us the evolution of rural, desert, and ocean landscapes, as well as its interconnection with cities and climate change. Goes from Blade Runner 2049, to the Aral Sea, the Pearl River Delta, sandstorms, irrigation, the Sahara, and Almería greenhouses.

Other nations have followed suit. A Great Green Wall of the Sahara has been conceived, to extend from Djibouti to Senegal. The project aspires to become “the largest living structure on the planet.” In Pakistan, the successful Billion Tree Tsunami program was expanded to 10 billion trees to protect against deluge and desertification while absorbing carbon dioxide and emitting oxygen. […]

With climate change, humans are beginning to appreciate that cities are not separate from the environment. They are environments. We should also recognize that the rural is, at least in part, man-made. Cities approaching the changes already in motion with a sense of the Earth as a biological network, rather than adopting psychological siege positions, will be essential for survival. […]

Life will likely continue, and people will adapt, regardless of how catastrophic the conditions become. Sites of utopia and dystopia will scatter the globe. Some will even benefit short term. Proclaiming that “technology will save us” fails to acknowledge that technology got us to this catastrophe in the first place (contaminated Superfund sites were once a symbol of progress, too). For the foreseeable future, the dream of terraforming other planets is nothing but an unhinged aristocratic escape plan.