With Donald Trump’s election and the rising perils of war, climate upheaval, accelerating inequality, and civil unrest, some of the richest people in the United States are making escape plans.
In a recent New Yorker article, “Doomsday Prep for the Super Rich,” Evan Osnos writes that “even financiers who supported Trump for president … have been unnerved at the ways his insurgent campaign seems to have hastened a collapse of respect for established institutions.”
Osnos recently visited survivalist condos being built in former missile silos in Kansas and interviewed Silicon Valley billionaires and centimillionaires who are hedging against future social breakdown by investing in “bug out” escape homes in remote corners of the world.
This idea of privatized survival is extremely limited. In the face of growing inequalities and ecological crisis, the wealthy will not be able to build a wall high enough or a silo deep enough.
Why? Two simple, interconnected reasons, one ecological and the other economic:
1. There is no Planet B.
2. Your wealth won’t save you.
As a planet, we are experiencing an ecological crisis that will transform our daily lives. Climate change and ocean acidification—along with breaches of other planetary boundaries—will alter our food and energy systems and transform our way of life.