Seattle 2100: Apocalypse or Utopia?

An illustrated journey to the dawn of the next century

Climate change is hard to wrap your head around. For most people, it’s a large, abstract concept with vague potential consequences for our future—sort of like 401(k) pension plans or Lady Gaga’s ARTPOP. We know that it’s happening, but the reality of the situation is often fuzzy unless you are a scientist.

That’s why the recent National Climate Assessment hit so close to home for me—the federal report separated predicted effects into specific geographic regions. Clicking on the Northwest regional report, I saw the first concrete examples of what warmer temperatures actually meant for Seattle’s future, the most stark example being a graph that depicted dramatic flooding on the city’s waterfront by the year 2100. Spurred by that graph and the wave of anxiety it produced in me, I went on a foolhardy vision quest by talking to scientists, city officials and local futurists in an attempt to paint a picture of what Seattle might look like at the dawn of the next century, both good and bad. To help visualize all this futurespeak, we had the immaculate Tom Van Deusen illustrate my journey as a comic, which we proudly present below. Enjoy, and remember, hope is important, lest you end up like Squidward.

To view the comic in full-screen mode, click anywhere on the image below and use navigation that appears at the top.

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