Photo of Jessica Hershberg by Teresa Wood.


Posted On by Signature Education

Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.

–Martin Luther King

The sky is falling! The sky is falling!

–Chicken Little

These two quotes represent two different ideologies. What would you do if you knew you only had a few months to live? Would you get out and make the most of your time? Or would you spend time inside worrying about the inevitable?

These are important moral questions that the characters of Soon must ask themselves. It is the hottest summer in human history and, in a few short months, all water on earth will evaporate. In response, twenty-something Charlie has taken to her couch with only her beloved possessions: peanut butter, Wolf Blitzer and Herschel, the fish. Her mother, her roommate and her sometimes-boyfriend all attempt to persuade her to leave her apartment and enjoy life. The signs though are ominous. Between global warming, doomsday prophets and the continuation of the Real Housewives series, it seems that the end of the world may indeed be very soon.

Global warming has long since been a major issue on our planet, constantly debated by politicians, scientists and citizens alike. However, there is a plethora of examples providing scientific evidence of our impending doom. The year 2014 was “the hottest on earth since record-keeping began in 1880”, and the rapidly changing weather is already “killing forests around the world, driving plants and animals to extinction, melting land ice and causing the seas to rise at an accelerating pace.”

To make things even scarier, not only is human-induced climate change causing irrevocable damage to nature, but human extinction might actually be in the cards. “The planet becomes uninhabitable for humans if the average global temperature” increases by 4° to 6°C, (39° to 43°F). While this may not seem like much, keep in mind that scientists predict that their goal of an average temperature increase of only 2°C (36°F) by the year 2100 is nearly impossible at this point. So unless there are monumental changes made to help our environment, how hot will it become in 10, 20, 50, or 100 years? By 2100 how much of our world will actually be left?

Honestly, some may find it easier to submit themselves to impending world destruction. Millennials, a generation who entered this world on a tailwind of destructive environmental practices, have been aware of the idea of the world ending for their entire lives. So what can they do? Is there anything to do? Why put in the effort of reaching “adult” milestones such as getting an education, a career, a family if they have no hope of a future?

In a culture that thrives on apathy, do we give in to the nagging feeling of “what’s the point?” Or do we work to fix the overwhelming problem at hand?