Emily Raboteau is the author, most recently, of Searching for Zion: The Quest for Home in the African Diaspora, winner of a 2014 American Book Award. This photo essay is part of her unfolding series, CAUTION, mapping public space and parenthood in New York City. (January 2019)


Climate Signs

ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK, 23rd Street, downtown C train platform, May 9th, 2018

At two degrees, our best-case climate scenario, melting ice sheets will still pass a point of no return, flooding NYC and dozens of other world cities. In fact, we’re on track for over four degrees of warming and an unfathomable scale of suffering by century’s end. For my part, I’m only beginning to see that the question of how to prepare our kids for the horrors to come is collateral to the problem of how to deal as adults with the damage we’ve stewarded them into. What helped me see this was a road sign—one of those LED billboards you normally spot on a highway alerting drivers to a hazard. Oddly, the sign was standing on the grass of a public park. How did that get there, I wondered.