From survival condos in Kansas to a “modern day Noah’s ark” in Germany, the super-rich are preparing to ride out the apocalypse in style. Some of these shelters are designed for single to single-family capacity. Others are capable of housing entire communities — provided you can afford the price tag, which can run you more than $8 million. The personal doomsday bunkers can be as expansive as any mansion while the apartments of the “community based” bunkers can start at 2,500 square feet. These bunkers are not only equipped with food, water, and energy, but with all the luxuries of an underground country club. Pools, theaters, gyms, and spas are staples of most. Others offer such oddities as doomsday zoos, a DNA vault, and even a Hall of Records.
With climate change an all too real concern, panic is widespread. With 95 degree weather in Alaska to water shortages in India, the world is beginning to feel the pressure of rising temperatures. According to Rising S Company, their 2016 sales had grown 700% from the previous year. They’ve subsequently grown 300% since the 2016 presidential election. The end of the world is clearly on the minds of the mega-rich. But what are the implications of these bunkers?
Modern industrialization has warped our environment. For decades, greenhouse gases and other emissions have rapidly been altering our planet, causing tens of thousands of species to go extinct. Last year’s carbon emissions report revealed that just 100 companies are responsible for 71% of emissions since 1988. Fossil fuels and coal are the biggest offenders, such as Chevron, ExxonMobil, and Shell. It’s safe to say that the super-rich are actually benefiting from climate change, and are largely to blame for it.
While the thought of the world’s upper crust making the planet essentially uninhabitable and then using the money they’d earned from decades of abuse to build themselves luxury underground estates to bypass the consequences is infuriating, it’s not surprising. This is the logical outcome of late-stage capitalism. You cannot consume indefinitely without serious ramifications.
We treat the rich and their companies as if they will make the right choice. Corporations are extended the same (and often more) rights as actual people; the government bails out banks while putting its own citizens at financial risk; the mega-wealthy can buy politicians; large corporations can leverage influence to avoid paying taxes. When we cry out at these injustices, we’re met with nonsense like “trickle-down economics.” And as the planet continues to warm, there is a mounting urgency to find a solution. And yet the people with the most influence and the most means to exact change — those directly responsible for the current climate situation — have already made their choice. And it isn’t to instigate radical change. It is merely self-preservation.
The world’s richest are already preparing for the world to burn. The only question left is, what will the rest of us do?