More hot-air horror stories that do nothing to advance the discussion on climate or to promote realistic energy policies. These courtesy of Forum for the Future, a British think-tank, and researchers from Hewlett-Packard Labs:
Refugees are moving to Antarctica by 2030, the Olympics are held only in cyberspace and central Australia has been abandoned as too dry, according to exotic scenarios for climate change on Monday.
“Climate change will affect the economy at least as much as the ‘credit crunch’,” their 76-page report study said.
It gave the following five scenarios:
EFFICIENCY FIRST — Technological innovation will help solve climate change and spur strong growth and consumerism. The Sahara is green and the eastern seabord of the United States, for instance, is “protected by eco-concrete wall that generate power from waves and tidal surges”.
SERVICE TRANSFORMATION — Sky-high prices for emitting carbon dioxide have led to a shift to a service-based economy. People no longer own cars but use bicycles. “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.”
REDEFINING PROGRESS — A global depression from 2009-18 forces people into more modest lifestyles and focus on well-being and quality of life. In the United States, people “do 25 hours of work a week and up to 10 hours voluntary work.”
ENVIRONMENTAL WAR ECONOMY — The world has failed to act on climate change, world trade has collapsed after oil prices break through $400 a barrel. Electrical appliances get automatically turned off when households exceed energy quotas. Refugees are moving to Antarctica, with the population set to reach 3.5 million people by 2040.
PROTECTIONIST WORLD — Globalisation is in retreat after a poorly coordinated response to climate change. Morocco has been asked to join the European Union in exchange for exclusive access to solar energy supplies until 2050.