Yakov Kovalev                                                                                              

ESL91

Spring, 2003

 

 

My own version of year 2050

 

I am a believer.  I strongly believe that human race will survive; despite all climatical, geological

and political changes. In fact, the human race is the top branch of evolution. It means  that we are

the fittest species in the whole world. We will survive, unless we screw up so badly that we blow

ourselves off the face of mother Earth.

 

I will build my version of year 2050 on the “greenhouse” effect and, as one of its outcomes,  Polar ice melting.  Human beings were born to face extreme situations: Ice Ages, now Polar ice melting, floods, draughts, wars, epidemics.  Humanity is still surviving.  I think that we, humans, have to be put  against the wall in order to survive, otherwise we become soft, unable to stand for ourselves. We will lose survival skills. Every human being needs an extremity, a thrill in his or her life, to make it more colorful.  And the Polar ice melting is not the worse possible scenario we can imagine. At least it gives us some possibilities for survival which I will discus further down.. 

 

As you might know, because of the “greenhouse” effect, the temperature of surface of our planet is rising. Therefore polar ice caps are starting to melt. As it says in the article “Answers to Sea Level Rise are Locked in Ice” by Jack Williams in USATODAY.com “Imagine the 48 states and maybe half of Mexico covered with ice and you have Antarctica. It is a continent of about 5.4 million square miles. Ice, averaging 1.6 miles deep, covers 97.6 % of Antarctica, giving it 90% of the world’s ice and 70% of all of the globe’s fresh water-in the form of ice. If all of this ice melted, sea levels around the world would rise by about 200 feet.” The result of this melting can be devastating to all human beings.

 

 Historically, from the very ancient times human beings had a tendency to settle down on lowlands, near a river or an ocean. It even became genetically.  Look where we live now. All of our big cities are built near the ocean or a river.  Now we have cars, airplanes, railroads, and the water has lost its meaning as a major transportation path. But, we keep living near the water.  In the future, there is a big chance that we might suffer from such irresponsible act. When the polar ice caps start melting, the sea level will rise, forcing us to move to the highlands. We will have to leave lowlands which have rich soils, drinking water, woods, and we will need to slowly migrate to the less attractive highlands with extreme weather conditions, poor food and water supply. The human race will struggle to survive. Millions will die during cataclysmic events, others from starvation and fights over a good piece of land. Humanity will be thrown into chaos, the stone age.  But we will survive. We will combine our forces and think of a way out of it.  

 

     There are many possible ways of our future evolving.  I would like to discuss one of them.Billions of years ago life was born in the water. Basically we are all children of water. I do not know why the evolution turned toward creating an intelligent life on the surface and not in the water. Also I don’t know why we have a great fear of the water. I think that we have to turn our eyes to ¾  of our planet, the oceans. We should consider a possibility that the oceans might become our second home.

 

     We need to advance our marine technologies, start to explore, integrate ourselves into the oceans, become a part of them. If we are able to do that, a whole lot of possibilities might open in front of us.

 

     Oceanic water is full of food: plankton (a pure protein), various kind of fish, algae and seaweeds, and it holds almost all elements of the chemical table. Also if the depletion of the ozone layer continues, we might get protection under water thickness. We do not have to depend on the weather conditions because underwater there are no seasons, no extreme temperature changes; almost perfect conditions for us to survive.

    

     Of course the ocean is a new environment for us, almost unexplored.  Nobody is waiting for us there with open hands.  We have to make sure that we integrate ourselves into the new environment with as little harm as possible.  And who knows, we might start a new branch of the human race- homoamphibious.  Some day we might call the ocean – Our Home.