Forum on the Future recently released a report, "derived from published studies and consultations with more than 60 climate-change specialists," that describes five possible scenarios for how climate change might affect our collective future. Here’s the happy one, as described by AFP:
ENERGY EFFICIENCY: A swift, peaceful transition to a consumerist economy where heat-trapping carbon emissions are low.
“Artificially-grown flesh feeds hundreds of millions, supercomputers advise governments, and eco-concrete walls protect the USA’s eastern seaboard, generating power from the waves and tides,” the report suggests.
Mmm … artificially grown flesh …
The other four are rather more grim. Try this one on for size:
ENVIRONMENTAL WAR ECONOMY: Efforts to craft a post-Kyoto Protocol climate pact beyond 2012 break down.
The treaty is signed only in 2017, and lost time and worsening climate problems force governments to take extraordinary measures, placing their economies on a war footing to tackle greenhouse-gas emissions.
“Civil liberties have been stripped away. You need a licence to have children in some countries, and if you go over your household energy quota the carbon monitor will turn off your appliances,” this scenario suggests.
“Climate refugees from Bangladesh and the Pacific islands make up 18 percent of New Zealand’s population and are expected to boost Antarctica’s population to 3.5 million by 2040.”
But remember: renewable energy is "expensive"!