A collage of a man destroying nature
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A New Frontier

By Khandiz Joni

A short story about action vs inaction in a new frontier from human accelerated climate change.


A scenario of inaction

It’s 2100, and the old way of life is a distant memory. The global mean temperature is 4C hotter than it was only 80 years ago. Folklore etched into the corrupted digital files we access through a cloud provides clues to what went wrong. 


Most of the world’s 11.2 billion people now live in overcrowded cities in the Northern Hemisphere, because what isn’t covered by the dead ocean, is an uninhabitable wasteland in the South. Extreme heatwaves are a regular occurrence and there is endless drought.  I wish we had a way to cool off.


Greenland has a moderate climate. There are new crops here now. Despite that, food and water are scarce, and disease is rampant. People are fighting to survive. There are plenty of trees because of how many were planted back in the mid-century in an attempt to create carbon sinks, but they are now a significant source of carbon emissions because nobody thought to care for the soil.


A scenario of action

It’s 2100, and the global mean temperature is 2C hotter than the mid-century. A lot changed over the past 80 years, but there is some resemblance of the way of life that’s reflected in the digital files. Some things are better than before. It can be a struggle to get water in the summer months, but now that nearly everyone grows much of their own food or shares community green space to share produce, food is readily available. I am so glad the insects survived the mass extinction.

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