Thanks to decades of inaction, climate change is now an inevitable reality. However, there is still time to mitigate the brunt of the damage, and in the face of overwhelming scientific evidence, we must be bold. That’s why, as mayor, I’ve set an ambitious (but achievable!) goal for our city to be carbon-neutral by the time it’s already too late.
The time for action is now, and by now, I mean twenty to thirty-five years from now. The window to push this back is rapidly closing. I fear that history will look back and ask us why we didn’t delay acting any sooner. That’s why my administration is committed to doing everything we can to kick the can down the road and tackle this looming existential threat at some vague point in the future.
The science is clear: to meet our climate goals, we need to radically transform both our societal infrastructure and our individual behaviors. And since we’re not willing to do that, the hope is that someday, when it’s one hundred thirty degrees in the middle of March, we will. In the meantime, we’re just going to stay the course as the oil and gas industry continues to see record profits from exciting new products like inner-city fracking and zero-use plastics.
But what our plan lacks in urgency, it makes up for in acronyms. Much like the billionaires who are responsible for climate change, we’re going to SPACE:
- Slowly ween ourselves off fossil fuels by continuing to burn them at the same rate for the next dozen years
- Pray for some new miracle carbon-capture technology to bail us out
- Ask if we can redefine the term “carbon-neutral” to mean something like 1, 2, or 80 percent carbon emissions
- Call our existing energy grid “green” and hope no one notices
- Elect Republicans that can come in and throw these half-assed plans in the garbage so we don’t have to feel responsible for the horrors to come
Reaching these climate goals, as far off and inadequate as they may be, is not going to be easy. It’s on all of us to act. For our city to become carbon-neutral, the poor will have to rethink their consumption habits. They will have to eat less (if any) meat, take shorter (if any) showers, and find work within walking distance of their tiny, unventilated homes.
Even the wealthy will have to make some changes to reduce their carbon footprint. Ocean dumping will be limited to Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Private jets and super yachts will need to be retrofitted with at least one solar panel (even if it’s just for show). Personal assistants, nannies, and other assorted help will need to start biking to work, so make sure you tell them to wake up earlier.
They say the best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago, but the second-best time is now. Our climate plan hinges on the third-best time—when the idea of a living tree is a distant memory. I have a vision for our city’s future. I see a day when millions of climate refugees shuttle the rich around in zero-emission electric vehicles. I see a day when we fight the constant wildfires with 100 percent recycled water. I see a day when we can all stand together united under our blood-red sky. I see a day when there are no more red states and blue states, but rather one nation, submerged entirely underwater.