The Weather Channel has your forecast for 2050
Hello, America! There’s a hurricane 400 miles off the Florida coast — bad news for a still-flooding Miami. Chicago is gripped by a deadly heatwave. Redwall, New Mexico, and Kermacos, Texas, will run out of groundwater next week. But the 2060 Summer Olympics in Anchorage should be balmy!
Relax: This is the Weather Channel’s fictionalized forecast for September 23, 2050 — but by “fictionalized,” we mean true, kinda.
In the spot, high-profile TV meteorologists Sam Champion, Jim Cantore, and Stephanie Abrams offer doomsday scenarios rooted in data acknowledged by a consensus of climate scientists. The 2013 IPCC report and the National Climate Assessment have similar projections about sea level rise and megadroughts, for instance.
The Weather Channel’s PR stunt is part of a campaign launched by the World Meteorological Organization in advance of the UN Climate Summit on September 23. Considering all the overlap between extreme weather and climate change, getting an outfit like The Weather Channel to buy in — finally — goes a long way toward making things feel real.
Of course, such a campaign can’t help but attract a few deniers. From Mashable:
The WMO’s video series is not without its critics, who say it highlights fictional scenarios to manipulate people into favoring taking action on climate change.
Manipulating people into favoring taking action on climate change?! Oh no! Please! Anything but that!!