No wilderness in 2052?

Posted: December 9, 2012 in Books
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I was sad. In order to prepare for and be happy in the year 2052, we need to learn to like what we will be able to have. Tip number 4 of Jorgen Randers is
‘Don’t teach your children to love the wilderness.’
There will be little wilderness left, and kids who grow up not knowing and loving wilderness will not miss it when it is gone. A tip to being happy in the year 2052. Useful: maybe. Sad: definitely.

2052 by Jorgen Randers.

2052 by Jorgen Randers

2052 by Jorgen Randers

What will the world be like in 40 years? Not, how would we like it to be. Not, how could it be if we were to get our act together. But, how will it probably be? Jorgen Randers has a detailed model of the future, taking into account many key variables including population, GDP, emissions, food production and many others, and puts them into a consistent and realistic model. Life in the year 2052 is unpleasant, not as good as it could have been, but not catastrophic. Not yet. With the earth 2.8°C warmer than pre-industrial temperatures, but emissions and population already peaked, the jury is out on whether or not we get runaway global warming.

But, in 2052, many more live in megacities. There is little wilderness left. And nature has been severely degraded. It is a sad story. Especially since all the technical solutions exist today to avoid this. And they are not even that expensive. Due to political short-termism, and the current distribution of power, a better outcome is unlikely.

The book was interesting reading but didn’t get me too excited. Not until the last chapter when Randers gave his advise on how to be happy in the year 2052. In a crowded, changed world with little untouched and non-degraded wilderness, you should not bring up your kids to love the wilderness. That way, they will not miss it, and be able to be happy.

I love the wilderness. The icy cold winds across the arctic tundra. The lonely roads. The pointed peaks. The beautiful light. The endless joy of being there. Alone. With nature. Feeling it. Now. That future generations may never know this makes me sad.

Let’s hope and act to make the world of 2052 better than what is likely..

  1. I take heart in the work that many organisations are doing to protect the last stands of wilderness, but as for population growth, and global warming, that’s going to beat us …. !

  2. There will be something left. It is just up to us as to how much and to what state it will be in..

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