As the snowflakes melted | Sunday Observer

As the snowflakes melted

21 May, 2023

(Continued from last week}

News Reporter: I’m here in snow-covered Edinburgh, where a new sub-culture has emerged among those who have chosen to brave the extreme cold of the new ice age. These ‘sub-zeros’ as they call themselves, have embraced the harsh conditions and are attempting to live off the land with heavily modified vehicles and igloo shelters.

News Reporter: “Good morning, sir. Can you tell us a bit about yourself and this sub-zero culture?”

News Reporter turns to man wearing a heavy parka, visors and a balaclava.

Sub-Zero: “Sure. My name is Tom and I’ve been a sub-zero for about three years now. We’re a group of people who have decided to stay in the frigid north instead of fleeing to warmer climates. We’ve adapted to the extreme weather conditions by building igloo-style shelters, hunting, and driving modified vehicles equipped to handle the snow and ice.”

News Reporter: “That sounds like quite an adventure. Can you tell us why you chose to stay in the north instead of leaving like so many others have?”

Sub-Zero: “For me, it’s about the challenge. I wanted to see if I could survive in these extreme conditions. It’s also a way of life that is completely different from anything else. It’s an opportunity to live in harmony with nature and to truly appreciate the beauty of the frozen landscapes.”

News Reporter: “What do you think about those who have left for warmer climates?”

Sub-Zero: “I can’t speak for everyone, but I personally think that they’re missing out on a unique experience. They’re also contributing to the problems caused by the mass migration. We’re trying to find solutions to survive in these extreme conditions, while they’re contributing to the problems by adding to the overcrowding in the warmer areas.”

News Reporter: “That’s an interesting perspective. What advice would you give to someone who is considering becoming a sub-zero?”

Sub-Zero: “I would advise them to do their research and to make sure they have the necessary skills and equipment to survive in these conditions. It’s not easy, but it’s definitely possible. Also, it’s important to respect nature and to live in harmony with it. Plus I would also like to add that escaping to the tropics now is not the real solution. As we all know, we are just beginning to experience this ice age and long winters are just the start. In a full ice age, even the temperatures at the equator will drop to six degrees Celsius. So we need to start now and adapt to this weather”.

News Reporter: “Thank you for sharing your insights with us today. It’s fascinating to hear about sub-zero culture.”

John and Sarah are in their early 40s. They had both grown up in the Midwest, where they had met and fallen in love. After college, they had both landed high-paying corporate jobs, and they had quickly risen through the ranks. Soon, they were living in a luxurious house overlooking Lake Michigan, with a beautiful garden and a private dock.

For many years, John and Sarah enjoyed their life of comfort and privilege. They traveled frequently, dined at the finest restaurants, and entertained friends and family in their grand home. However, as they approached their mid-30s, they began to hear more and more about the impending ice age.

At first, they dismissed it as just another alarmist theory, but as winters started getting longer, they started to take it more seriously. They began to research different locations around the world that would be more suitable for living in a colder climate. Eventually, they came to Sri Lanka, where they could escape the worst of the cold weather and enjoy a more relaxed, tropical lifestyle while it lasted.

Sarah and John were sitting on the veranda of their hotel suite, enjoying the warmth of the sun on their skin. Sarah had just returned from the market where she had met Shalini, the local girl who had caught their attention and piqued their interest in the area.

“I met Shalini at the market today. She’s that girl we met that day while house hunting,” Sarah said excitedly.

“That’s great, baby,” John replied absent-mindedly, his eyes fixed on the view of the ocean in front of them. “I can’t wait to start exploring the area.”

Sarah raised an eyebrow at his lack of enthusiasm. “What’s wrong? You don’t seem as excited as I am.”

John let out a sigh. “It’s just that...this house feels like camping compared to our place back in the States. I miss our lake house and all the luxuries that came with it.”

Sarah felt a twinge of anger at his words. “Camping? John, do you have any idea how privileged we are to even have this house? To be able to move to a warmer climate when this all started started? Shalini’s family lost everything they had and had to start over. We should be grateful for what we have.”

John realized his mistake and tried to apologize. “I’m sorry, Sarah. I didn’t mean it like that. I just miss our old life, that’s all.”

Sarah didn’t respond and instead got up from her chair and walked outside, needing some time alone to process her thoughts. She walked along the sandy path that led to the beach, feeling the warm sand between her toes.

As she walked, she thought about their conversation and couldn’t shake off the feeling of frustration that had built up inside of her. She couldn’t believe that John was complaining about their new home, when so many others had lost everything they had.

She reached the beach and took a deep breath of the salty ocean air. She felt a sense of calm wash over her as she looked out at the vast blue sea in front of her.

Sarah stood on the beach, the waves crashing onto the shore as she tried to shake off the tense conversation with John. Suddenly, her phone rang, and she saw the familiar face of her college friend, Ana, pop up on the screen. Ana was a journalist, and Sarah was always fascinated by the exciting and dangerous stories she covered.

“Hey, Ana! What’s going on?” Sarah greeted her friend.

“Hey, Sarah! I’m at the Mexican border, and you won’t believe what I’m seeing here!” Ana exclaimed.

Sarah’s curiosity was piqued, “What’s happening there?”

“People are trying to escape the extreme cold weather up north, and the line of cars stretches for miles on the US side of the border. They’re desperate to get to warmer weather,” Ana said, her tone reflecting the gravity of the situation.

Sarah’s heart sank as she heard about the chaos and desperation on the other side of the border. “That’s terrible. What about Florida and SoCal?”

“They’re so overcrowded that there are riots every day. And the locals in Hawaii have banded together and attacking mainlanders. It’s like something out of a post-apocalyptic movie,” Ana reported, her voice laced with concern.

Sarah listened in disbelief as Ana relayed the details of the situation. She had always known that climate change would have far-reaching consequences, but she never imagined that things would escalate to this extent.

“I can’t believe this is happening,” Sarah said, her voice barely above a whisper.

“I know. It’s surreal,” Ana agreed. “Listen, I have to go. Stay safe, Sarah.”

“You too, Ana,” Sarah said, ending the call and staring out into the vastness of the Indian Ocean.