Humanity Sentenced

Sometimes these catastrophes come in violent instants, the tsunami reconfigures the landscape, the flood changes lives beyond recognition.

Other times it is slow erosion, a gradual shift of famine or drought, life as it once was now untenable.

Afterwards, in the wake of swift calamity or in the throes of creeping disaster, everything is different. There is no justice here.

The force of nature is ambivalent and brutal. This is the recompense for generations of extraction, mismanagement and abuse, sentences exacted on those who committed no crime.

As sea waters rise, farmers become fishermen. Those who took sustenance from the ocean find it poisoned, now they beg, move to cities where there’s some small chance of another kind of income.

Whole communities become reliant on the unpredictable aid of those who transgressed in the first place. All is disruption, and nothing of what once was can be redeemed.