Right now, everyone is concerned about the global pandemic, and understandably so. Seemingly overnight, our lives have been upended and society has ground to a halt. But our current situation pales in comparison to what might come to pass if we don’t act fast to stop climate change. Remember: our best science predicts that if climate change goes unchecked, all life on earth will be condemned to burn for a million, trillion years, and our cries will echo to the ends of the infinitely expanding universe. And if that happens, we’ll suffer the greatest tragedy of all: there may never be another 4/20/69.

As everyone knows, 4/20/69 is the funniest possible date. After all, 420 is the weed thing and 69 is the sex thing. Imagine them… combined!

Sadly, we may never get to see that dream realized. At the current pace of climate change, Earth will be entirely underwater long before the year 2069. This would be bad for many reasons. Humans can’t breathe underwater, and most people aren’t that good at swimming. Also, the housing market would crash again.

And yet, these concerns are nothing compared to the fact that we would never have the chance to come together as a planet, roll a J, partner up, and put our heads on each other’s privates.

Last year, 4/20 was a joyous occasion, as it always is. But it also marked a significant milestone: 50 years away from 4/20/69. That’s plenty of time for all the world’s glaciers to melt, the average global temperature to skyrocket far, far above 69 degrees, and the entire planet to burn to a crisp. If anyone is still alive after that—and that’s a big if—no one will be in the mood to smoke a blunt and do the funny sex position.

But we don’t need to despair quite yet. That’s also enough time for us to implement some serious structural changes: transform our energy system, drastically reduce our meat consumption, and just stop making everything so hot.

Those efforts need to be paired with individual lifestyle changes, too. Use reusable bags for grocery shopping. Keep a compost bin. And, counterintuitive as it may seem, turn off the lights every time you 69. We’ll all have to make some sacrifices if we want to get to The Great Date.

Some of you may be thinking: “There have been 4/20/69s before. In fact, there was one as recently as 1969. Haven’t we already had enough?” To that I say: think of the children. Every generation deserves to have a 4/20/69. It would be selfish of us to deprive our descendants of 4/20/69 just so that we can keep driving around town all day in our Hummers ripping bongs.

This wouldn’t be the first time humanity has overcome an existential crisis. We managed to avoid nuclear holocaust during the Cold War. We rebuilt civilization after the Dark Ages. And in prehistoric times, we beat the shit out of the Neanderthals. If, as a species, we can muster that kind of will again, we can beat the shit out of climate change too. Then, one day, we will be able to proudly tell our grandchildren what we did to save the planet for them.

And that day will be 4/20/69.


And now a quick joke...

Maeve, age 10: kale is a food I feed my guinea pig. It costs $1 for a huge bag. My guinea pig loves it, but it is all she knows. Maeve, age 23: kale is a food I feed myself. It costs $15 for a tiny bowl. I love it, but it is all I know.