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8th September 2016

Dear Writers, Thank you very much for bringing such an amazing range of perspectives and voices to this topic. I enjoyed reading all of your pieces, and it was genuinely difficult to choose the top three. In the end, I choose those that captured the uncertainty and upheaval of Life plus 2m. (If you were not aware, the title refers to a world in which a changed climate means our lives are not the same as they used to be, ie. sea levels are 2 meters higher, storms strike where you'd not expect, people are forced to abandon regions, etc.)

I choose the winner ("The bore is coming") because of its intimacy and intensity. I also felt the unease and acceptance of the characters as they confronted a new normal that may not work in their favor. For the alternatives, I thought that the punishment story (“Life plus two metres!”) cleverly showed how someone might be literally forced to experience a different (and scary) new perspective. The report from the "semi-arid prairies of West Texas" didn't jolt you as much as the 2m punishment in the law courts, but its calm perspective forced you to consider the magnitude of change that would put us in an entirely different world in only a few decades. How would we live? Would we enjoy it? That's as hard to know as how much we'd enjoy living in the world as it was 100 years ago.

I could say similar things about the feelings and images that the other stories created, but I'd prefer to let readers decide for themselves, and I hope these "writes" get a much larger audience. I'm hoping to include many of them on the LifePlus2m website because they really show the range of ways that we can think about - and feel - ourselves, our actions and our humanity. 

Thank you again for such an excellent display of talent.



About the judge

David Zetland is a water economist and writer, who has worked on water policy for 10+ years. He's an assistant professor of economics at Leiden University College in the Netherlands.

His books include Living With Water Scarcity and The End of Abundance.

My Notes