By Erin Marquis
Could civilization end in less than a century? That’s what the two hour special: Earth 2100 supposes. This special was produced for ABC, but eventually purchased by the History Channel. We follow the life of Lucy, a woman who is born in 2010 who survives the floods, famine and diseases that come with extreme climate change. Things get progressively worse for the planet, eventually leading to total collapse.
What Earth 2100 does right is that it doesn’t just tell us cold hard facts about some distant future. Instead, we really get to see the world where our children and grandchildren will be living in. The emotional connection the audience fosters with Lucy and her family makes the journey from normality to devastation even more gripping. Newscasts from the future chime in periodically to tell us what’s happening on a global scale. The element that has the most impact throughout the show is the population counter, which rises to nine billion and then sharply falls to a mere three billion as calamity after calamity befalls humanity.
Earth 2100 is a chilling glimpse into the future, where everything has gone completely wrong for humanity. However, all is not loss. Once Lucy and her family are struggling to make it through a new Dark Age, the show goes back and shows what needed to be done to prevent this calamitous future. Things like a worldwide commitment to clean energy and local food production could save us just in the nick of time. The message of Earth 2100 cannot be lost on anyone, we are at that critical moment where we can chose life or oblivion.