Scientists From Around the Globe Join ABC News in a Forum on Surviving the Century
Join the Debate: We Want Your Thoughts, Videos on the Earth's Future
By SARAH NAMIAS
June 12, 2008
Are we living in the last century of our civilization? Is it possible that all of our technology, knowledge and wealth cannot save us from ourselves? Could our society actually be heading towards collapse?
According to many of the world's top scientists, the answer is yes, unless we take action now.
This September, in Earth 2100, a dramatic ABC News 2-hour broadcast
, the greatest minds across the globe will join together in a countdown to the year 2100 to tell us what we must do to survive the next century … And what may happen if we don't.
The time to act is now, says Peter Gleick, president of the Pacific Institute.
"The 21st century is going to be the century which determine[s] whether we live or die as a sustainable species," Gleick said. "As populations grow, as our use of resources grows, I think we get closer and closer to that edge."
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CLICK EARTH 2100
Planet Earth 2008: Global Warming
Experts say that extreme changes in climate, combined with dwindling resources, famine, war and disease have the potential to create a post-apocalyptic world in less than a hundred years. Harvard University and Woods Hole climatologist John Holdrens says we cannot continue going down the same path.
"If we continue on business as usual, we are going to see more floods, more droughts, more heat waves, more wildfires, more ice melting, faster sea level rise," Holdren said.
"We really have less than a decade to start getting this right. If we're still dragging our feet in 2015 I think it really becomes at that point almost impossible for the world to avert a degree of climate change that we simply will not be able to manage without intolerable cost and consequences."
In order to avoid this chilling future, we have to first imagine it. In an unprecedented Internet event, ABC is inviting people from around the world to bring the future to life.