The spectre that many try not to see is a simple realisation — the world will not be ‘saved’. Global anarchist revolution is not going to happen. Global climate change is now unstoppable. We are not going to see the world-wide end to civilisation/capitalism/patriarchy/authority. It’s not going to happen any time soon. It’s unlikely to happen ever. The world will not be ‘saved’. Not by activists, not by mass movements, not by charities and not by an insurgent global proletariat. The world will not be ‘saved’. This realisation hurts people. They don’t want it to be true! But it probably is.

Anonymous, Desert


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Excerpts from "The Water Knife" by Paolo Bacigalupi


Everything died. Places were blown away, or drowned or burned, and it just kept happening. The equilibrium of the world was shifting. Whole cities were losing their balance as the ground they’d taken for bedrock shifted beneath them and knocked them right on their collective asses.

[…]

The Mojave lay sere and open, a burned, wind-abraded scape of oxidized gravels and pale clays, scabbed with creosote bushes and twisted Joshua trees. One hundred twenty degrees in the shade, and heat rippling off the pavement, mirage shimmer.

[…]

It had been a desperate land before, and it was a desperate land still. Angel had always liked the desert for its lack of illusions. Here, plants spread their roots wide and shallow, starved for every drop. Their saps crystalized to hard shellac, fighting to keep every molecule of moisture from evaporating. Leaves strained up into the unforgiving sky, shaped to catch and channel any rare drop that might happen to fall upon them.

[…]

The desert was different. It had always been a gaunt and feral thing. Always hunting for its next sip. The desert never forgot itself. A thin fall of winter rain was all that kept yucca and creosote blooming. If there was other life, it cowered alongside the banks of the few capillary rivers that braved the blazing lands and never strayed far

The desert never took water for granted.


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Dust and Shadow Reader Vol. 2. Previous: bees and migrants. Next: desert attunement