What would your world be like if you lived in the year 2088? As my novel goes 75-100 years into the future, I’m imagining the details of my great-granddaughter’s existence and that of the planet. I was struck by a recent report in Nature magazine: Approaching a State-Shift in Earth’s Biosphere. An international team of scientists concludes that our planet’s ecosystems are careening towards an imminent, irreversible collapse much sooner and much worse than currently thought.
Lots of novels and films have depicted a dystopic, future world: Soylent Green, Day of the Triffids, Feed, Waterworld, 2012, The Day after Tomorrow, On the Beach, Logan’s Run, the Matrix, The World without Us, Wall-E, The Great Bay, Canticle for Leibowitz, Andromeda Strain, the Stand, and my favorite written in 1949, Earth Abides – to name a few. Causes vary from rogue viruses, aliens, asteroids, technology gone amuck to nuclear disaster.
Given both the positive and negative trends already underway, suppose mankind is unable to do enough to ward off an irreversible, planetary-scale tipping point. What’s the outlook for our great-grandchildren if the corporate bottom-line continues to lead us into the future, or GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) continue to alter the biology of our foods and bodies? How will man communicate or move around the planet when there’s little left to extract from the earth for energy or manufacturing? Extreme heat and rising sea levels will probably eliminate traditional ways to grow food or live. What if man himself has tipped the earth so far that it’s no longer hospitable to humans?
I’m looking for images, ideas, imaginings. Tell me how you think a person would get through their day 75-100 years from now. I’m curious about details. With your permission, it might make it into “The Desk.” Leave a comment here or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!
© All materials copyright Shirley DicKard, 2012 – 2013, except as otherwise noted.