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In the wake of the latest IPCC report on climate change, New Scientist magazine has illustrated 4 possible futures. Which do you think we’ll choose?

My optimistic side hopes for 2 but I’m afraid it will be closer to 3.


Poll
Based on how humanity will have responded to climate change, what kind of world will exist in 2100?
1: Geoengineered safety
2: Slight delay
3: Too little, too late
4: Addicted to carbon
None of the above
Don't know/Don't care
      59 answers
Poll created by tesuji


Explanations:

1: Geoengineered safety
We acted early in the 21st century, invested aggressively in renewable energies and crucially, geoengineering

It wasn't easy, but by investing heavily in R&D, we have built systems for sucking carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and storing it underground. At the same time, we have invested in renewable energies and virtually weaned ourselves off fossil fuels. The net result: annual carbon emissions have plummeted, and atmospheric concentrations of CO2 are finally dropping.


2: Slight delay
We delayed both the transition to renewable energies, and the implementation of climate treaties

As a whole, we are a more efficient society than in 2013, using less energy and fewer materials to produce more. We are also good recyclers. All of this makes for better management of natural resources. Earlier on in the century, gas was the transition fuel of choice. Now most of our energy comes from renewables and nuclear. Incentives and better international institutions mean green technologies spread rapidly. We have made the transition to a low-carbon economy. We eat far less meat than in 2013, to cut the emissions generated by livestock farming. So pastures have shrunk and agriculture is more efficient. Forests are growing, boosting the amount of CO2 stored in trees around the world.


3: Too little, too late
We cut emissions, but not until late in the century

The first half of the century was spent mostly carrying on business as usual: we relied heavily on fossil fuels. We did not introduce any dramatic changes to our life styles or activities in terms of consumption, travel and the number of children we have. Then, towards the middle of the century, the consequences of climate change became too difficult to ignore. As a result, our governments slowly began introducing some unambitious policies to regulate emissions.


4: Addicted to carbon
The world economy is booming, but it's fuelled by coal and oil. The global population continued to grow rapidly throughout the century, pushing emissions ever higher

Welcome to the globalised, high-tech, consumerist future: one where we are still hooked on fossil fuels. Emissions have gone through the roof, and human health and the environment are the casualties. Biodiversity crashes are threatening the normal operation of "ecosystem services" – natural processes such as water recycling through rain and rivers, and pollination.


More explanation of the 4 scenarios at
Earth, 2100 AD: Four futures of environment and society
http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22029372.700-earth-210...


For perspective, you may want to examine the following statistics


http://www.economist.com/blogs/dailychart/2010/11/energy_dem...

On this chart, coal is by far the biggest contributor to carbon emissions.
 
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Jonny Lawless
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Four crazy kids and happy as a clam!
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My name is Glenn! Long have I carried Cyrus's hopes and dreams, and now I bear the Masamune as well! Henceforth, I claim them as my own! I shall slay the Fiendlord Magus and restore our honor!
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Option #5:

I am still alive, but consist mostly of robot parts.
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Born To Lose, Live To Win
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"Captain, although your abilities intrigue me, you are quite honestly inferior"
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Option #6:

I become a bounty hunter, seeking and destroying mostly-robot ex-humans who roam the landscape emotionlessly taking what they want.
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Grand Admiral Thrawn
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TheChin! wrote:
Option #6:

I become a bounty hunter, seeking and destroying mostly-robot ex-humans who roam the landscape emotionlessly taking what they want.


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Grand Admiral Thrawn
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tesuji wrote:
4: Addicted to carbon
Welcome to the globalised, high-tech, consumerist future: one where we are still hooked on fossil fuels. Emissions have gone through the roof, and human health and the environment are the casualties. Biodiversity crashes are threatening the normal operation of "ecosystem services" – natural processes such as water recycling through rain and rivers, and pollination.


I predict 4, but hope also for the return of magic, rise of metahumans, and a possible election of a dragon as president of the US.
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einsteinidahosu wrote:

I predict 4, but hope also for the return of magic, rise of metahumans, and a possible election of a dragon as president of the US.


I think frakking ruined the ley lines for that possibility.
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Born To Lose, Live To Win
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einsteinidahosu wrote:

I predict 4, but hope also for the return of magic, rise of metahumans, and a possible election of a dragon as president of the US.

 
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jeremy cobert
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none of the above.

people will go on as usual because the earth gets hotter then cooler and nothing much changes. solar winds change, sea levels change and man is just a blip on the radar.
 
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rico
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einsteinidahosu wrote:

I predict 4, but hope also for the return of magic, rise of metahumans, and a possible election of a dragon as president of the US.

First we need a near miss by a comet to clear out the polluted atmosphere and to free up the magic locked deep within the moon.

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Truly an underrated classic.
 
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I'm an optimist, so I went with #3.
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Uh...Highlanders...with telepathic sabretooth tigers...and post apocalypse escaped interbred science experiments...eh.


No...this is too embarrassing to explain anymore than that.
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Andy Daglish
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tesuji wrote:
The global population continued to grow rapidly throughout the century, pushing emissions ever higher


Growth of the population will slow to a maximum of 9 billion around 2070, after which it will contract, due to fewer children born presently.
 
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Welcome Rolling Stones
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Republicans for the win!
 
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Mega-cities with a high degree of recycling (unavoidably), surrounded by wasteland. Nobody will care though because GTA 27 is really awesome.
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Simon Mueller wrote:
Mega-cities with a high degree of recycling (unavoidably), surrounded by wasteland. Nobody will care though because GTA 27 is really awesome.


Because in megacity, I am the law!
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