September 10, 2012 § 2 Comments
Upon the completion of my time machine, I would travel to the illustrious year 2100. At first glance, one might be wondering why I would pick such a “bleh” year to travel to.
You might ask, “Pranav, why wouldn’t you pick some year so far in the past that mammals have yet to leave their mark? Or why not choose some year that is so far into the future that humans are no longer the dominant species?
To this I would respond: “Curiosity”.
Simply put I am curious. Curious about the achievements of our generation. Curious as to what the consequences of the decisions we make today will be at that point in the future. Curious if there will be a civilization.
Alright, so that last one might sound extremely pessimistic and defeatist. When I was younger I watched a television program on ABC that frightened me (see link).
This 1-hour television program painted a doomsday scenario for humans living in the year 2100. Basically, the creators of the program decided to take every possible environmental catastrophe that could happen in the future and fuse it with Murphy’s Law. Basically every problem related to global warming that could go wrong did go wrong. The program itself was depressing. Disappearance of oil and gas had led to riots in the Southwest (the area where the narrator was originally from) and as a result the family had to relocate to the Northeast, specifically New York City. The program ends with the sea levels becoming too high and lower Manhattan being flooded despite the levies, a quite sobering ending for a young child watching. Now I don’t entirely believe that every single one of these instances will occur, but any one occurring would seriously alter the future.
Travelling to the year 2100 and simply noting how many of these instances had actually occurred would shed light on my generation because it is our generation that will make (or not make) the technological advancements and policy breakthroughs that will decide the future. In contrast, travelling to some year so far displaced from our current civilization would lend little significance to our generation.
Call me self-centered but I truly believe these next 10-15 years are among the most important 10-15 year stretches in history. The progress we make now will define the structure of society for many generations. I guess you could call it Generation Z Problems, but our generation needs to step up in order to compensate for the environmental problems the past generations have put us in.