Forecast for the future

Forecast for the future
Terrafugia TF-X

Can we agree the weather's been kind of extreme lately?  Tornadoes, heavy rain, flooding. Severe drought in California, snow in Fargo, ND.  Many meteorologists and climate scientists cite these examples as evidence of  global warming,  accelerated by human activity.

Understanding and  living in this changing environment was a major theme of the Fermilab Severe Storms and Tornadoes Seminar on April 5. You can read more about the topics and speakers, here.

Last week, meteorologist Eric Holthaus wrote on Slate.com that climate change is the new reality and PEW Research Center released their report on Americans' predictions and dreams for the future. Biotechnology and      3-D printing were once the stuff of science fiction. Now, they are changing the world.

So, where's the flying cars?  They are  the classic sci-fi vision of the future.  It's freedom, and Utopia. Blue skies from now on. In reality, there are prototypes of flying cars, today.  The one pictured above, for example, the Terrafugia TF-X.  It doesn't exist, yet. The projected price tag of $280,000  would make it a vehicle for the very, very rich.  So much for that  future.

But we are already living in a future world. We have internet! Internet access is almost considered a basic human right. Just look at all the smartphones, laptops and tablets. They are virtual necessities, now.

This future is unevenly distributed, we know that.  There are people who don't have clean, running water, a place to live, enough food, access to education, freedom of choice, even here.

There are potholes, here. There are no flying cars to take us to a new and better world. But we can do better with this one.

What's the forecast for the future?  Here is the website for the National Climate Assessment Report, which went live, today. It's all about  global warming, and the impact for the U. S.  The science is there. Earth's climate is changing, and so is the weather.  It's not science fiction. The future is here, and now.

 

CHIBERIA was science fiction, or was it?

 

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  • I think you're right, the internet is what I thought future times would bring. I still would like the flying cars, however!

  • In reply to Kathy Mathews:

    Thanks for reading, Kathy. The internet is a wonderful tool for connection, and change, for sure. Computer models can forecast weather conditions with astonishing accuracy and compare patterns over time, too. But they can't program the weather--yet!

    Yes, there's something about flying cars...

  • The 50th anniversary of the New York World's Fair resulted in some retrospectives, including that the only invention that has now become common is the picture phone, although not the clunky thing that AT&T was then pushing, but Skype. The Ford Mustang is also celebrating its 50th. One source is here, although not where I first heard it.

    The real problem that would now be encountered with the Jetsons' space mobile is essentially air traffic control: besides how would one establish lanes for travel in the air, some drunk is going to crash into some Trump Tower, causing a terrorism alert.

    But I'm still wondering about us still being in the Polar Vortex on Monday and Tuesday this week (and basically on Monday and Tuesday on alternating weeks since the first of this year), with Skilling's only explanation being "the polar areas are not as cold this time of year." Trees are starting to leaf, but as pointed out in the crosstown series, the ivy at Wrigley still hasn't.

  • In reply to jack:

    Thanks for stopping by, Jack. In so many ways, flying cars would be accidents waiting to happen! There are self-driving cars on the drawing board, maybe if they were green...

    We do have long, cold springs, here, but this is unusual. Many things damaged by the past winter, as well. But magnolias have been especially glorious. Lovely daffodils and tulips, too. Now, there are violets--and dandelions.

    And, I have seen some bees!

  • In reply to Weather Girl:

    As to whether self driving cars will be practical or green, we'll have to wait to see if what Google developed is either. There is of course the debate, again on the current Drive She Said, about Ford's hybrids not meeting mileage claims.

    Better to have seen some bees than felt them.

  • "So, where's the flying cars?"

    You haven't seen "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang"?

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    Good point, AW. Blade Runner had some wonderful flying cars. And the flying taxicabs in Fifth Element were excellent!

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