How It Ends: Another Incomplete Timeline Of Events

Okay, this piece might be a bit gloomy for some, but writing it was strangely therapeutic. It’s inspired and provoked by Debbie Urbanski’s An Incomplete Timeline of What We Tried. A rough timeline of notable moments, told from the future, in reverse order. Here we go:

Small pockets of human settlements endure on, connected via primitive telecommunication technologies

Earth enters a post-Anthropocene geological period, an era colloquially known as the Dead Earth Ages

Efforts continue to hold back the desertification rapidly expanding across Europe

Music continues to be a uniting force for all communities

The age of commercialism ends. Trust in digital currencies is dead. Humanity predominately runs on a gift economy.

The Internet fragments, but artificial intelligence is ubiquitous

90% of energy comes from renewable sources

Debates on whether the climate and ecological collapse could have been averted rumble on quietly, painfully

World population estimated at 2.5 billion

Participatory budgeting grows in popularity

All investments into fruitless space exploration are stopped, following the launch of four envoys on a one-way expedition to explore new frontiers, three of which are reporting serious difficulties

Stand-up comedy acts continue to thrive. People agree that laughter is excellent medicine

Online trust and participation reaches an all-time low, with difficulties in verification, separating reality from fiction

In some regions, resilience is fought through an era of co-operation, marked by strong civil society movements, cooperative business models, food sovereignty and collective action

Global food shortages cause widespread, devastating hunger and human loss

Google’s parent company, Alphabet goes into administration

World population estimated at 3.5 billion

Those few who purchased apocalypse bolt-holes are disappointed

Sunken cities are remembered: including London, Miami, Shanghai, Mumbai, New Orleans, New York, Guangzhou

Money is no longer printed

Human’s role in inducing climate breakdown still debated

China leads an effort to inject sulphur dioxide particles into the atmosphere to induce a cooling effect, with mixed results

A coalition of countries begin marine cloud brightening and creating ocean mirrors

The world cup is cancelled

Another war breaks out: cyber warfare shuts down major banks, hospitals and food supply chains collapse

Advertising bans for high-impact consumer goods in the public sphere

Organisations say we need more evidence to understand what’s happening

A movement builds for all golf courses to be regenerated into farmland

Incentives for having one or no children

Rapid decay in the efficacy of antibiotics, now the greatest threat to public-health

Another global pandemic hits, borders are shut down, some for good

Children have identification implants, igniting protests

Every school grows food

Permaculture design enters the school curriculum

Farmers work collaboratively with farm bots, achieving highly diverse, zero waste, cropping and harvesting systems

Water wars

Launch of the World Council for Deep Adaptation: focused on strategies that build resilience, relinquishment and restoration

Religious leaders urge compassion for all those that have been displaced

Class action lawsuits launched on Amazon and six other global retailers for systematic climate complacency and denial

Laws restricting seed saving and commons overturned, Bayer-Monsanto appeal

World shortages declared in lead, copper, zinc, antimony and indium

National food policies push for radical increases in crop diversity

One billion people displaced due to climate change

Food systems start to re-localise

Conscription for community and land regeneration work days, enforced for all adults

The three day work week

Food rationing begins

Plain packaging for confectionery food products

Nationalism is a new political force in multiple countries, replacing globalism

Six hurricanes occur in one season, wreaking devastation on communities and supply chains

People debate regenerative capitalism vs socialism

Rapid increases of methane detected from melting Arctic permafrost and deep-sea methane hydrates

Facebook becomes a community-owned business

A ban on private car ownership comes into place

Redundant car parks turned into housing

Advertisements for flights are banned

The last orangutan passes away

Progressive taxation on frequent flying for leisure and business, helps subsidise low-impact travel solutions

Landfill mining is big business, driven by the search for rare earth metals

The last coral reef collapses

Incentives for businesses that promote the sharing economy

Sea turtles declared extinct

Efforts to manage human population debated

The first year of an ice-free Arctic

Insect farming for animal feed booms

Large-scale wilding and projects spread across national parks and marginal, unproductive farmlands, to repair soils and slow the rate of ecosystem collapse

Heavy incentives for net positive building retrofits

Water rationing begins

meat tax is introduced, then withdrawn

Global climate crisis declared by government pacts concerning the unstoppable positive climate feedback loops detected

A ban is imposed on major food and agricultural company mergers and acquisitions

Fossil-fuel vehicle scrappage scheme introduced

Every new home must be carbon-positive

Chocolate and coffee prices rocket, now 40x more expensive, a rare luxury for the few that can afford it

Global financial markets crash

IPPC and UN agree to use the term climate breakdown

Bans on plastic straws, single-use cups and non-biodegradable glitter

A funeral service is held at Parliament Square, publically mourning humans having wiped out tens of thousands of animal species

The first new deep coal mine in 30 years is approved, but construction is never completed

The last male northern white rhino dies in Sudan