Postcards from the future
U.K. artists Robert Graves and Didier Madoc-Jones kept hearing discussion and conjecture about how violent climatic changes would disrupt their world. But they couldn’t envision what it would look like. So they started researching and created a set of “Postcards from the Future” portraying a future London transformed by floods, harsher winters (because of a Gulf Stream slow-down), and fiercer storms.
The illustrations also show human responses — climate refugees encamped in Trafalgar Square and outside Buckingham Palace, wind turbines in Piccadilly Circus, and tidal turbines in the Thames River. They show rice paddies in Parliament Square and palm-oil production in Hyde Park as responses to drought and crop disruptions.
“We didn’t want to create the stuff of nightmares although we did make images showing the potential disasters London could suffer,” the artists write. “We also strove to show how resourceful we could be as a capital, and how by adapting we could rise to meet the challenge of our changing environment.”
For my money, the more important task is envisioning successful future places that are climate-resilient, and also sociable, economically sustainable, and pleasant. Stuff like Steve Price’s Flash illustrations and the work we should see coming from the Living Cities Design Competition. But these London images are compelling too. (More below.)