Imagine a scenario like this, and do not think of it as a pretty picture, and certainly not in technicolor:
It's year 2500 A.D., some 30 generations from now and the world's population, which once climbed as high as 25 billion people, has been reduced to about 200,000 desperate souls trying to survive in several isolated settlements in Alaska, Canada and Siberia.
This is "A Few Centuries After 'The Day After Tomorrow,'" and it's coming to a theater near your great-great-great-grandchildren's homes some six human generations from now, around 2200 A.D.
But it's just a movie, so don't worry. For now, in 2011, it's a wonderful world and life is marvelous. We all know that. This can go on and on and on.
After Google and Facebook, we'll come up with other ways to chat and think, and the tablet reading device has a long and secured future. We know that. Surely this wonderful world will never end, and we will go on forever and forever, as our ancestors did in Africa and Europe before the big migrations.
Life is so nice now, why spoil it? We have plenty of fusion and ethnic foods to nosh on, sleek shiny 747s to take us to exotic locations (even if some of the exotic islands are sinking beneath the sea) and air-conditioning for the hot summers and central heating for the cool winters. O lucky us, children of the 21st Century!
It really is a wonderful world. and while it's true that you can't take it with you, we can leave it to our kids and grandkids and great-grandkids. There is nothing to worry about. Cue the projectionist.
But fast forward to 2500 A.D. some 30 generations from now. Just 200,000 hopeless souls eking out a life in desolate "polar cities" scattered across the Arctic, with a few of them located in New Zealand and Tasmania as well. You don't want to see this movie. This movie's not good. This movie's not worth reviewing.
Are you ready for such a black-and-white scenario just 30 generations from now? I'm not. I love life, I love this life now, I don't ever want to see this script come to fruition. I hope it stays in development hell forever. It's Cormac McCarthy's "The Road' on steroids. It's the "Mad Max" franchise in a nightmare funk.
It's everything Roland Emmerich and James Cameron and Steven Spielberg warned us against. And yet, here we go.
It's not a place we want to go, this future I am describing. Carbon dioxide emissions be damned, let's enjoy this life God gave us, and to hell with future generations down the road. If humankind is on the brink of extinction some 500 years from now, let's party like it's still 1999. James Lovelock, be damned. James Hansen, be damned.
Margaret Atwood, be damned.
Let the climate denialists hide their heads in the sands of time and paint us into a corner we might never be able to get out of and which mean several things: no more Hollywood, no more Lower 48, no more Mexico or Africa or France or Italy, no more China or Japan.
Climate change and global warming are not just some savvy scriptwriter's ultimate franchise series. They are a runaway train at the edge of the world.
We are in that train.
What do we do next?
Where will your descendants be 30 generations from now, in 2500 A.D?
Watching TV on glassy tablets? Screening movies implanted in their skin? Or facing "The Day After Tomorrow: The Finale" in a terrible reality not even movies can prepare us for?
Are you ready for what very well might be coming down the road?