Isaac Cordel’s Follow the Leaders — “the collapse of capitalism and the side effects of progress.”

hat will our singular planet look like when our barely born century expires? We wouldn’t recognize it if we saw it now. But we can see it now, and we’re refusing to look. We know it is apocalyptic and revolutionary.

We also know it is our fault.

The future we witness but refuse spins upon the axes of terra and terror. One marks the destabilized Earth we call home; the other, a cipher weaponized for control of our astronomically lucky rock’s incredibly shrinking bounty. Together, they speak of mass extinctions and resource wars claiming our continents, seas, metropoles, and slums.

They include the catastrophic terrors waged by terra itself, a blowback reverse geoengineered by a disappointed Mother Earth, smothering us in our overdeveloped cribs for defiling her cosmological wonders. From our still new (but quite fucked) 21st century, to those to come in the warming weirding beyond, we puny humans are creating an exponential planetary crisis perhaps transforming Earth into a Venus way ahead of schedule.

e engaged this apocalyptic acceleration, yet it is our children, and theirs, who will either adapt with velocity or be doomed to dystopia. They may already be. The only way to find out is to activate a historically singular deceleration, massively empowered by hearts and minds much more humane and ambitious than their predecessors.

Terror and Terraformation is my ongoing series analyzing these sprawling crises, with an eye to solutions rather than scolds — although there are some of those as well. Over the years, I’ve published many entries from this existential nexus in a variety of publications, mashing them together with newer additions for a more lasting exegesis on our destabilized future.

Selections so far include…