I wonder if it will be that funny?

April 2024

There are scientific reports that forecast summer temperatures in Central Europe - i.e. in a previously declared moderate climate zone - to be 5-7°C higher than previously at the turn of the next century.

We usually talk about global warming and the 1.5°C target as the desired maximum warming, and this value is a global average. That is the crux of the matter.

I'm not going to go into the mathematical understanding of the average or try to explain or prove that the changes mentioned are correct or not.

So let's assume that this is the case. What will the consequences be?

Well, our lives will change radically and EVERYTHING, really EVERYTHING will be different.

We will get up at different times and we will sleep at different times. We will enjoy our lives mostly at night. All everyday activities will change, how and when we work, how we go on vacation and where, when we celebrate and enjoy leisure time and, above all, how we do it.

Our surroundings will look different, movement will be different. Living will be different. Eating and drinking will be different.

And it will cost so much that we will only smile mildly at the current tax burden. In addition to survival - i.e. just enough food, etc. - everything will be subject to the investment in generic survival.

Too apocalyptic, thinks the reader who has made it this far.   NO !

Let's take the German forest. We must start now with the complete deforestation of all trees that cannot withstand these temperature conditions. All conifers must be felled, and as far as possible all deciduous trees except possibly beech, oak and perhaps maple. We must successively plant tree species that can withstand extreme temperatures and, above all, temperature differences. In order for them to be strong enough at that point in time, let's say after 30 - 70 years, we have to start now and cut down and replant now. Turn of the century is in 75 years, as if you became a dad now (~25 years) then that is when your grandson will become a dad.

All farmers need to start rethinking their crop rotations now, shading all their fields with canopies, e.g. with PV systems. Build water reservoirs to supply the fields during the dry months. But then make it ice, cold and storm resistant. The average means that if the summers get much hotter, the winters have to get much colder in order to reach the "slightly higher" average temperature. Vertical farming will then produce our vegetables, but in the opposite direction, downwards rather than upwards.

Our roads will all have to be redone, as our current asphalt is not designed for the temperatures. And they also need to be more resistant to winter. Have we even developed such materials yet?

We then work early in the morning and in the evening, as we rest and sleep during the day, as working at these temperatures is out of the question.

School takes place at other times.

Shopping doesn't take place during the day.

Eating out and partying at night from 11 pm until the early hours.

There are no more outdoor pools, indoor pools are open at night.

Building sites and trades will be floodlit at night.

Perhaps our residential buildings will also be underground to make use of the coolness of the earth.

Barbecues in summer on a warm summer evening - far too dangerous, strictly forbidden.

Drinking beer - will our hop plants still be able to grow here? We'll probably get them from Iceland or northern Norway, perhaps.

Wine-growing regions - I live between Rhine wine, Moselle wine, Nahe wine, Ahr wine and Rheinhessen wine - could then prosper or dry up; as a wine lover, I naturally assume the former ;-)

If - and this will be the most exciting ingredient and question for me - we get the plants, infrastructures through the winter storms. Especially for the temperate zones, the differences between summer and winter will increase significantly. If things go well, we will have winters like when I was young, when we skated down the village street and had our own ski slope at the edge of the village. If things don't go well, we hope every winter that the storms won't blow the roofs off our house - if we haven't already been pulled underground.

Basically, it doesn't matter to me, I can still enjoy my 15 years as before if the impending war doesn't cause too much damage and destruction.

As a precaution, I've already advised my boys to think twice about having children. Let's wait and see what they decide.