What would you do if you had exactly 12 years left to live?

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“I need to do something radical,” I yelled…

And I have no idea what it even means, because radical is so darn subjective.

Like, writing a book isn’t radical if you’re Mitch Albom or Liz Gilbert, but if you’ve been dreaming of writing a book for years, finally sitting your butt down and doing it is a pretty radical change. Know what I mean? Subjective.


So I made coffee and poked my face into the internet, because we all know that’s the best way to start the morning…

I read that Earth will hit the crucial threshold of 1.5*C (2.7 F.) by 2030 unless governments of the world make rapid and unprecedented changes.

That’s in 12 years.

Most of us here on Medium, we’d be alive for that. If it happens.

You know what it made me think?

What if? You know?

What if?

I mean, maybe we’ll actually get our collective shit together and not destroy the planet. Probably. Maybe.

I dunno. Because all those people with briefcases full of political donations exchanged in the lobby of a hotel don’t want the kind of changes the scientists are talking about. Not good for profit, you know.

So, what if?

What if 12 years from now we’re all losing our damn minds watching as half the world burns while the other half floods?

Have you ever stayed inside on a warm summer day because of how bad the forest fires are 800 miles away? Or watched a little old lady on the news say she’s staying put because she doesn’t have the money to evacuate? I have…

Sometimes, the world feels like a circle jerk…

The journalists point their fingers at the government, and the government screams about fake news, and the scientists pull their hair out in frustration while people say science isn’t real and everyone is pointing at someone else.

Then we watch the news and see the donkeys and elephants screaming at each other and then later they’re hugging each other and going to parties together and eventually you just figure out what plutocracy means.

And I don’t know — but do you really trust politicians to do what’s right for the entire lot of us? If you can say yes, you’re far more optimistic than me.

Sometimes, I think we need to be more self focused, not less…

Everyone says selfish like it’s a bad thing, but maybe we actually need a little more of it… not in a way that hurts anyone, but minding our own needs.

Because here’s the million dollar question…

If the world tips into irreversible climate change in 12 years, and maybe it won’t — but if it did — can you honestly say you’d be happy to die doing exactly what you’re going to do today?

I’m not sure I can say that. You know?

I mean, I like my work just fine. But fact of the matter is, if you work any kind of “day job” odds are you’re spending 1/3 of your waking hours making sure some obscenely rich dude makes even more money this year than last year.

But, I get it. We all have bills to pay, families to provide for. So we slog on.

I owe, I owe, so off to work I go.

Didn’t we all have dreams, once?

Dreams that made our eyes shine just a little brighter when we thought about them? Do you still have them? Do you even know what they are anymore?

And I can’t help but wonder — if we all lived like we have 12 years left on this planet — I kind of wonder what that might look like?

The only people for me are the mad ones: the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who… burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow Roman candles. — Jack Kerouac

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Top writer. Featured in NYT, Forbes. https://lindac.substack.com/

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