If you think that the events of the last few weeks have been unprecedented, they are mild compared to the bumper roller-coaster ride you are in store for because of climate change.

A set of possible future scenarios for 2030 envisages refugees in Antarctica, a virtual Olympics,  and bio-warfare over water.  Developed by the British think-tank Forum for the Future and researchers from Hewlett-Packard Labs, they are designed to stir debate about how to avert the worst effects of climate change.

“Climate change will affect the economy at least as much as the ‘credit crunch’,” their 76-page report, called Climate Futures, argues. The report examines five different scenarios for the future, ranging from “Efficiency First” where technological innovation has helped solve climate change, to “Environmental Wars,” where we fight over water.

In the Efficiency First scenario, this is where: “Rapid innovation in energy efficiency and novel technologies has enabled a low-carbon economy with almost no need for changes in lifestyle or business practice”. So the Sahara has been turned green by desalination plants and the eastern US is “protected by eco-concrete wall that generate power from waves and tidal surges”.

Other scenarios include “Service Transformation” where “a high price of carbon has ushered in a revolution in how people’s needs are satisfied”. People no longer own cars but use bicycles and public transport. “Central Australia and Oklahoma have been abandoned due to water shortages. Athletes stay at home in the world’s first virtual Olympics, competing against each other in virtual space with billions of spectators,”

Next is Redefining Progress where “A high price of carbon has ushered in a revolution in how people’s needs are satisfied.” People have more modest life-styles. In the United States, people “do 25 hours of work a week and up to 10 hours voluntary work.”

In contrast, if the world fails to act now, the scenarios look bleak. There is the “Environmental War Economy”, where the world failed to act on climate change. Licences are required to have children in some countries; Refugees from Bangladesh and the Pacific make up 18 per cent of New Zealand’s population. Others are being relocated to permanent settlements on the Antarctic Peninsula, which is projected to have a population of 3.5 million by 2040. The oil price is over $400 a barrel.

Finally there is the “Protectionist World” where globalization has gone into retreat and countries focus on security and access to resources at any cost. “Conflicts over water have triggered devastating bio-chemical warfare in the Middle East and Africa. Soldiers fighting for nations and businesses are waging war over new sources of oil, gas and gold in the melting North-West passage. New diseases and pandemics, incubated by a warmer world, force the closure of borders.”

If this all sounds too far-fetched, only last week did the Wildlife Conservation Society say that 12 “Deadly Diseases” would get more prevalent because of climate change.

But all is not lost, if we act now.  “We still have the chance to alter the future,” argues Peter Madden, head of the Forum.


  • It is almost the warning to all the human being living on this planet & every body knows the future but no one is interested to bind the world together to act for bringing down the warming affect on our earth planet.All the nations poor or rich are in the race to build latest war equipment to fight over territory issues.All the nations premier to make a memorandum of understanding that no war for next ten years.No manufacturing of war equipments for next ten years.One day rest in a week for using Air space to travel from one place to another ,one day rest for vehicles ,no testing of missiles ,giving one day rest to our oceans .These types of parameters can help us in reducing the stress on our planets temperature.

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