June 12, 2008 -- Are we living in the last century of our civilization? Is it possible that all of our technology, knowledge and wealth cannot save us from ourselves? Could our society actually be heading towards collapse?
According to many of the world's top scientists, the answer is yes, unless we take action now.
This September, in Earth 2100, a dramatic ABC News 2-hour broadcast, the greatest minds across the globe will join together in a countdown to the year 2100 to tell us what we must do to survive the next century … And what may happen if we don't.
The time to act is now, says Peter Gleick, president of the Pacific Institute.
"The 21st century is going to be the century which determine[s] whether we live or die as a sustainable species," Gleick said. "As populations grow, as our use of resources grows, I think we get closer and closer to that edge."
Experts say that extreme changes in climate, combined with dwindling resources, famine, war and disease have the potential to create a post-apocalyptic world in less than a hundred years. Harvard University and Woods Hole climatologist John Holdrens says we cannot continue going down the same path.
"If we continue on business as usual, we are going to see more floods, more droughts, more heat waves, more wildfires, more ice melting, faster sea level rise," Holdren said.
"We really have less than a decade to start getting this right. If we're still dragging our feet in 2015 I think it really becomes at that point almost impossible for the world to avert a degree of climate change that we simply will not be able to manage without intolerable cost and consequences."
In order to avoid this chilling future, we have to first imagine it. In an unprecedented Internet event, ABC is inviting people from around the world to bring the future to life.
We are asking you to use your imagination to create short videos about what it would be like to live through the next century if we stay on our current path. Using predictions from top experts, we will brief participants on global conditions in the years 2015, 2050, 2070 and 2100 -- and we want you to describe the dangers that are unfolding before your eyes.
Submitted videos will be combined with the projections of top scientists, historians, and economists to form a powerful Web-based narrative about the perils of our future. We will also select the most compelling reports to form the backbone of our two-hour primetime ABC News broadcast: Earth 2100, airing this fall.
Click HERE for more about how to get involved.