“We are on the top of Niagara Falls” in a canoe,” says scientist Ovid Byron in Barbara Kingsolver’s novel, Flight Behavior. He’s talking to a reporter about climate change. “We got here by drifting,” but we cannot turn around for a lazy paddle back… We have,” he says, “arrived at the point of an audible roar.”
Everyone is wondering how climate change will play out, and when.
We need both science and intuition to prepare for these changes. Below I present the visions that my students and I have had in recent months, as well as the best of the climatologists’ projections for sea level rise by the end of the century.
The limits of scientific projections Scientists’ predictions tend towards conservatism and underestimation. The International Panel on Climate Change, the Bible on climate predictions, didn’t even include polar ice melt in their sea level rise estimates until last year because they didn’t feel they had enough of a handle on it. This is where intuition and intuitive visions can be helpful in filling in the blanks. Intuitive visions take into account the whole picture, including the factors that we have no historical data for. But inner visioning is hard to interpret correctly. So we use both– the inner visions and the science, to get a more complete picture.
And that picture is daunting. First, the warming trends are upward and accelerating, and like all natural systems, they will follow an exponential, not linear, progression. Exponential progressions start very small, but once they reach a certain critical mass, they accelerate rapidly.
Scientists’ Projected Sea Level Rise Depending on which study you read, climatologists estimate sea level rise will reach an average of three to six feet by century’s end. In a survey that is the most credible of the climatology studies because it combines scientific knowledge with a subjective intuitive element, ninety top climatologists gave their gut estimate for sea level rise by century’s end. Those estimates averaged six feet, which could mean twenty-four feet on the Atlantic seaboard. Of those ninety scientists, a dozen of them estimated ten to twenty feet for the global average, which, if correct, could mean forty to eighty feet along the Atlantic coast.
How do those estimates compare to our intuitive visions of the future?
I’ve seen that the sea will engulf large parts of Florida, and will also send people fleeing from New York City by 2100. Taken all together, our visions of the rest of this century fit Joanna Macy’s characterization of a “great unraveling” followed by a “Great Turning” to a more sustainable world.
In 2013 I had a dream that I was high above the North Atlantic looking towards the North Pole. I could see the coastline from Maine to Labrador and further north. My eye was drawn to the sun beating down on the water and I became aware that the Arctic had mostly melted. I saw that outback companies were leading extreme kayaking tours to the North Pole. I don’t know what year it was but sensed that I was seeing a future that was already in play, that it was going to unfold because it had already begun. Suddenly I saw these storms pinwheeling down from the area of Greenland. They came suddenly and without warning, making the boat tours dangerous. I saw the boats quickly turning inland for shelter. Two weeks later in May 2013, the meters at the Kona, Hawaii meteorological center detected that atmospheric carbon had broken a new record of 400 parts per million. This was the first time in over 3 million years that atmospheric carbon had reached this level.
Below are some of the visions my group and I have had for the future. Go here for an expanded updated list..
- An epic, game-changing drought in the American heartland beginning 2026 to 2032’s.
- Heat, polar melt, drought and sea level rise begin to surge around 2037.
- The American southwest runs dry and hot, prompting migrations.
- The collective nervous system shows volatility from 2017 to 2020. Then there is a return to a kind of peace and stability by 2028. This development may show itself as a bear market or an emotional depression, it is hard to tell, or both.
- Floods in Boston, New York and the upper eastern seaboard of the U.S. as early as 2040 causing many to migrate from those areas.
- Around 2030 we begin to see unity in leadership based on everyone’s well being with more women in charge of government.
- Presence of a non sectarian world spiritual leader especially felt in 2030-3.
- In the mid to latter part of the century, the Great Lakes region becomes a sparkling jewel center of commerce and prosperity.
- Railroads see a revival.
- Life becomes more rural and peaceful.
- There is a power shift from male to female, from central power to local and grass roots.
- Small family farms are revived, especially in cooler, northern latitudes.
- Minimum: By 2100 large parts of Florida flooded; in a vision, I saw it as a playground for sailboat enthusiasts.
- I have had visions of 20 foot sea level rise for the eastern seaboard, and as high as 80 feet by 2100.
- There are large-scale mass migrations all over the world, including in the U.S..
DETAILED YEAR BY YEAR VISIONS: go here for an expanded updated list. Note that these early predictions are warnings, rather than absolutely going to happen. They are the future as of the time we did the reading. Hopefully people take steps to avoid such a dire future.
2014 (as of June 10, 2014 when we did this reading):
- Elephant is in charge – throwing its weight around (Republican party).
- Year of the Tiger, starting strong but getting a bit tired towards the end.
- Air pollution, smog.
- War that does not end.
- Nervousness and volatility in the Collective. Might be reflected in the markets.
- Reflective year, angry protestors in the news.
- “No escape from reality” — Queen song
- Bad drought in the American southwest.
- Huge hurricane in the Texas panhandle.
- Great Lakes region gets positive attention as a good place to move.
- Sideways landscape with trees (means trees are in trouble).
- Sunshine, optimism, the star, belief in new ideals rising.
- Light — sunrise as more people embrace change.
- An epic storm in the Gulf of Mexico area, many dead; palm trees blowing sideways. [update: Hurricane Maria killed over 3,000 in Puerto Rico].
- Image of the frog. (note: this has become an Alt Right symbol in America)
- More volatility and anxiety in the collective, which could also mean stock market volatility or just collective angst.
- Difficulty for those already living on the margin.
- Guns, more shootings in the news.
- Stars and lights over the Great Lakes region, a promising region of the U.S. for the future.
- Hunger, poverty increasing in certain pockets.
- Climate-related events, odd or extreme temperatures and fires.
- In some countries where this is not been the norm, people living on the streets, stray dogs, people looking for food in trash (not the U.S.)
- Serious market volatility.
- “I told you so,” repetition of history, not learning from our mistakes.
- Financial market downturn. [Note this might not be only financial, could be more emotional downturn in the Collective Consciousness.]
- Tsunami, hurricane, natural disasters on the rise.
- More market upset.
- State of Texas in crisis.
- Heavier than usual rains, mudslides, floods.
- Barbed wire fences, borders, jail along the southern border.
- Cars that drive themselves.
- 2022-24 market volatility.
- People breaking down borders.
- Europe upset.
- More natural disasters. I see airplanes flying up above, looking for people to rescue.
- Survival, disparities more extreme than ever.
- Crying, hungry babies, food rations. (not inside the U.S. but likely at the borders)
- Wind gusts, rain, eruptions, Mother Nature rebelling.
- Railroads revived.
- No electricity in some places, finding light.
- Lazy in the yard, rakes, rural scene, some migration to farming areas.
- Rising drought around the world.
- Refugees all over the place.
- People coming together to thrive.
- Market extremes.
- Peace pigeon.
- Mustaches in fashion.
- Restructuring. (U.S.)
- Awakening from bad dream. (U.S.)
- Men in life vests doing work. Is this a scene from a flood?
- Power shifts flip.
- Two women running for president.
- Women in power.
- Collective spirit revived, this may also mean the stock market goes up.
- Arguing about new structures, people resistant to new way.
- Women continue to dominate.
- Righteous man in robes preaching on hillside.
- Crimes, military governments fall.
- Leader emerges, unity, not centered on greed.
- Success of round-table discussion.
- People migrating more, like a biblical exodus.
- Tibet – Dalai Lama in the news.
- World leaders come together to step up, make decisions.
- Right wing powers lose control.
- Positive changes, growth and light.
- Man and dog by big river – a rural scene. More peaceful.
- New generation- technology.
- Importance of China as a power.
- Pacific Rim the focus of attention.
- Tom Sawyer images in the U.S, — people living more rurally.
- Chance to recover.
- Women leading.
- Problem with trees, need for trees that can survive.
- Chance to recover.
2050: Greenland turning green.
2051: Black cloud around the U.S. Capitol, as if the U.S. central government is disconnected from the rest of the country.
2058: Small boat filled with people, some armed, crossing body of water, refugees.
2068: Mushroom shaped cloud ”“ (nuclear explosion to block heat from sun?)
2070-80: Peaceful scene of village in forested mountain region. Homes high in the mountains. Look like tree houses. Looks like ancient Japan.
2100: Large parts of Florida are flooded, becoming a popular place for sailboating.