Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The sunny side of Earth 2050

I paused momentarily on seeing a Yahoo headline that read: “Scientists: Earth 2050 will be unrecognizable.” 
I thought, gee, why on Earth 2011 would I want to read a downer like that?
Then I felt shame for my knee-jerk pessimism. I was making the common mistake of confusing change with something detrimental.
It didn’t have to be that way.
In fact, the story, which I never bothered to read, could be a rosy development. Really, there are day-old diapers that don’t need changing as badly as does much of the planet.
But just in case my first impression was correct, I’m re-writing the story from the view of someone who isn’t averse to change and anticipates improvements the less visionary cannot fathom. Here you go:
“Earth will be unrecognizable in the year 2050 -- and you better start hoping you live to enjoy it.
Because it’s going to be safer, happier, healthier and hairier.
The munitions industry will perfect smart bullets that only hit people who really have it coming. The instant one leaves the barrel, new smart bullets will begin to determine if the target is hostile or psychotic enough to deserve lethal ventilation. If it concludes he or she is not, the bullet will automatically select a more worthy target.
“In fact,” says one scientist, “many smart bullets will get within a foot or two of the intended target and decide the world will be better off if it reversed and struck the person who fired it in the first place.” 
Starvation will be eliminated by advances in fax machine that will allow restaurants to fax leftovers to the hungry.
“These fax machines will allow restaurants to, rather than wasting so much food,  fax them to homes throughout the world where people are hungry. At first,  starving families may complain about static menus -- ‘What! Pizza Hut AGAIN!’ -- but variety will increase as even mom ‘n’ pop diners become acquainted with how to fax things like T-Bones and mashed potatoes without without jamming the machines.”
A simple cure for the common cold will have an unexpectedly beneficial effect on rain forest preservation. Without the sniffles or other unseemly nastiness, the need for acres and acres of tree-devouring tissues or TP will be greatly reduced. Trees will thrive. Air will become cleaner.
The growth of landfills will reverse as engineers refine green ways to use all human waste, biological and consumer, to run collapsible Cadillacs that grow and shrink depending on nearby traffic conditions.
“A car will grow to spacious dimensions on interstates, and will reduce in city traffic to more manageable sizes. By 2050, urban parking garages will all have become butterfly gardens as collapsible cars will be folded up and carried around in shirt pockets and purses until they’re needed for the drive home.”
By the year 2050, hair will be farmed like soy, wheat and alfalfa. Bald men will, for a nominal fee, be allowed to harvest whatever color and texture hair they desire from organic neighborhood hair farms.”
So there.
We are in for dramatic changes and most of it will be beneficial to all mankind.
Personally, I’m hoping that some prestigious and still-thriving news magazine will in 2050 eventually unearth these bold predictions and someplace like that will publish something like this, citing me and my sunny foresights from all those years ago.
Maybe these very revelations will in 39 years vault me from obscurity to the forefront of public consciousness. I will be considered relevant and witty all across Earth 2050.
Of course, I’ll be 87 and about nine years past my life expectancy by the time that heady recognition finally arrives.
I’m optimistic I’ll enjoy a couple of good weeks of prosperity and flattering attention before my demise. 
See, we all have something to look forward to!


Averil Dean said...

Well then. Leftovers by fax machine. (??) I like this new world of hairy men and healthy rain forests! Hopefully I'll be the proverbial creaking gate and live to enjoy it.

Chris Rodell said...

Have you eaten yet, or can I fax you some scrambled eggs? Yes, it'll be a wonderous future. The one I'm really hoping for is the boomerang bullets. You can bet everyone's manners will improve when that hits the market.

Hope the new job's going well. And I hope you're reading this while you're on the clock. Nothing beats being a professional blog reader!

Averil Dean said...

I do sneak my iphone under the desk now and then, and try to type out a quick note if at all possible. Anything to hang onto those last threads of sanity.