Congratulations! If you’re reading this, then you are a survivor of the human race. Be thankful that Manhattan has not submerged, milk doesn’t cose $12.99 a carton, and gas isn’t $9 a gallon. Because, according to viewer-informed predictions from ABC, all of those things could have happened by June 12, 2015.
Newsbusters flagged ABC’s amazing video from 2008, which looks like more like the trailer for Armageddon than it does a cable news package. (The segment that Newsbusters shows ends with a Blair Witch Project-esque scene in which a teenage boy stares into the camera saying, “I’m scared [bleep] right now, but I have to get this out.”) The segment aimed to put “participants in the future and asks them to report back about what it is like to live in this future world,” looking at 2015, 2050, 2070 and 2100 as seen through the eyes of both experts and (for some bizarre reason) non-experts.
Their specific predictions, while certainly hyperbolic, are not wrong in one area: we need to address climate change soon if we want to stop or slow its damage. According to the UN, we have about 15 years to get global temperatures under control. “If left unaddressed,” explains MSNBC, “it poses an enormous threat to mankind, with the potential to cause wars and mass migrations.”
While there have certainly been catastrophic weather events this year, it’s hard to determine whether any one of them is specifically linked to climate change, because climatologists look at weather patterns over time. We’re not disputing that global warming is real (it certainly is), but it’s maniacal to imply that the world will end or turn into some unlivable hellscape in the next few years.
But hey, it’s Friday, so let’s celebrate the fact that Manhattan hasn’t sunk yet.