'Earth 2100': Note from the Producer

Could this be the final century of our civilization? A world in which cities are abandoned and our population is decimated may seem the stuff of science fiction, but according to some of the world's top scientists, it could be a real possibility unless we act now. Experts say over the next 100 years, the "perfect storm" of population growth, resource depletion and climate change could converge with catastrophic results. ABC News' "Earth 2100," hosted by Bob Woodruff, takes viewers on a journey through what the next century could have in store and shows viewers what can be done to avoid disaster.

ByABC News
June 02, 2009, 2:45 PM

June 2, 2009— -- The scenarios in Earth 2100 are not a prediction of what will happen but rather a warning about what might happen. They are based on the work of some of the world's top scientists and experts, as well as peer-reviewed articles from publications around the world. These notes are just a glimpse of the wide and diverse sources used to develop this program.

It is important to add that not all of the scientists we interviewed would agree with each specific scenario we present, or with our exact time frame. For example, some experts think that the more catastrophic events we depict would be unlikely to happen before the middle of the 22nd century, while others, like Jared Diamond, think that they could happen much sooner.

Though there is some disagreement about the specifics, there is widespread agreement among the 50-plus experts we spoke to in the course of our 18 months working on this show that if we do not change course in the near future, the collapse of our civilization is a real possibility.

When an insurance company, or an institution like the Pentagon, prepares for future threats, they always develop a worst case scenario -- a sober assessment, based on expert research, of the most serious possible risks. To avoid the worst, they believe, you must plan for it.

This program was developed to show the worst-case scenario for human civilization. Again, we are not saying that these events will happen -- rather, that if we fail to seriously address the complex problems of climate change, resource depletion and overpopulation, they are much more likely to happen.

-- Michael Bicks, Executive Producer

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events