People often speculate what life will be like post-2050 when the full force of the climate catastrophe wrecks our planet. My partner’s granddaughter, who is now four years old, is growing up in a world where pandemics, Cat 5 hurricanes, interstate forest fires, and the loss of basic life supports like electricity are a normal occurrence. So here’s what life will be like in the Catastrophic Future: The New Normal.
We’ve seen this with the current pandemic, which most of us believe will be short-lived, a couple of years at most. Everything becomes The New Normal. We adapt, we adjust, we wear masks, we social distance, we don’t go out to dinner, we work from home.
Every generation will remember what it was like “when I was growing up, it wasn’t like this”. But that generation gets replaced by the next generation for whom a certain level catastrophe is a normal occurrence. Until it gets replaced by still worse conditions. And then the next generation grows up in those conditions, and once again, it becomes The New Normal.
Which is why, sadly, the climate catastrophe will probably never be averted. We will adapt, we will adjust. We will probably ‘level up’ from face masks to helmets to full-blown ‘protection suits’ that are some terrestrial version of a spacesuit. We will continue to drive cars that isolate us from the horrid weather and each other.
I casually study fashion as a visual indicator of our social conditions, and Pandemic Fashion is the clearest example of this.