Nov. 20, 2008 -- Imagine you are living on planet Earth in the year 2100. What will it look like?
Prominent scientists caution that if we continue on our current course, we will certainly see a devastated landscape. Recent reports from groups, like the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, depict a future that is bleak at best, terror-inducing at worst.
But not everyone is resigned to a disastrous fate.
"It's a fascinating time to be alive," marveled Peter Gleick, president of the Pacific Institute. "We have a chance to move from a disconnected, inefficient, badly designed world of fighting populations, to a sustainable planet."
If we take immediate global action to shift our patterns of emission and consumption, Gleick said, we could be looking at a future full of possibilities.
Optimistic experts agree, seeing our current crisis as a pivotal moment in the human narrative.
"It's really hard for us to re-imagine the world," said Heidi Cullen, a senior research scientist with Climate Central. "But by virtue of tackling the climate change problem, you can actually create a world that looks so much better."
"Imagine a city," she added, "where there's no traffic, because the transportation infrastructure is perfect. It's quiet, the air is clean. We can build all of this."
In order to solve the problems facing our species, we will have to re-imagine the ways we construct our homes, grow our food, use our water. International relations, family structures and our core values all have the potential to shift during the coming century.
There is a new path to imagine -- one to a cleaner, more equitable, more interesting world. That's a future few people have examined in detail.
"Even in the best case, if we make all the right choices, we're still going to be living through difficult times," author Richard Heinberg said. "They will be exciting times because they will be times of enormous change and challenge."
"We have a chance to move in the right direction now," Gleick said, "and I don't think that window of opportunity's going to be open very long."
Earlier this year, using the predictions of climate change experts as background, ABC News viewers submitted videos detailing what it might look like and feel like to live in a society destabilized by global warming, resource shortages and overpopulation.
View the results and submit your own video HERE.
Now, ABC News is calling on you to give us something to look forward to.
Until Dec. 8, 2008, you can upload a short video telling us what changes you think would lead to a better future for our planet.
Will people move to urban centers to live in buildings covered in paper-thin solar cells, topped with green roofs and sporting individual wind turbines? Or will they move to rural areas to explore new, sustainable methods of food production?
How will they move around -- on foot, high-speed train, a method we haven't even imagined yet? Will cars communicate with the road, or will appliances communicate with each other to increase efficiency -- and if so, how? How will people communicate?
If you live in the sustainable future, how did you get there? What sacrifices did you make? What kept you moving in the right direction? What spurred the global community to action?
You can also show us what you are doing right now to make a positive change. You might be growing a vegetable garden, biking around town, using collected rainwater. Your house might get its energy from solar panels or wind turbines. Or maybe you're even in the process of inventing a revolutionary new device.
The videos can be as simple as sitting in front of a camera and explaining what is happening in the world outside your window, or as elaborate as you care to make them. The most compelling videos will be featured alongside expert predictions in an upcoming two-hour ABC News primetime special, "Earth 2100," airing in early 2009.