We're Spending the Next Two Weeks Envisioning Our Future Earth

By Alissa Walker on at

Right now, leaders from 195 countries are meeting in Paris to map out a plan for the planet’s future. Nothing like this has ever happened in our lifetimes and it’s surely just the beginning of a long process that will consume the years ahead.

As Gizmodo’s Maddie Stone puts it in her must-read introduction to why the COP21 climate conference matters: “Climate change is a big story — the biggest of our generation — and it’s one that touches everything from our forests to our cities to our technology.”

Whatever climate resolution comes out of these talks is an important topic for Gizmodo to cover, and for the next two weeks we’ll be focusing on it. That’s why we’ll have our contributing editor Jamie Condliffe on the ground in Paris reporting on the negotiations and also getting up close and personal with the next generation of clean energy tech. We’ll be tracking why cities are working together on their own set of climate goals and how Bill Gates and his band of tech billionaires are going to fund the research necessary to power our growing civilisation.

But we also realise that this is an important opportunity to reinvent the way we talk about the future of our planet. While we’ll cover the repercussions of our current reality — how we’re learning to live with more superstorms, floods, droughts, and the Godzilla Cthulhu Sauron Bruce Lee Chris Farley El Niño — we’ll move beyond the current conversation. Because although apocalyptic climate porn dominates the news cycle, we know that a renewable energy future is not only possible — it’s imminent.

We’ll be looking at what our ideal future Earth looks like, and how we can get there, fast. We’ll be taking a peek at the incredible scientific research happening right now in our oceans and our glaciers and our rain forests, to help all species adapt to the changes to our planet. We’ll be travelling the globe to see how designers and engineers are working to making our transportation and infrastructure more resilient. And of course we’ll be examining notable works of science fiction, which have always played an important role in helping us to envision seemingly impossible real-life change.

Because no matter what kind of deal is brokered in Paris next week, there’s still plenty we can all do to determine exactly what kind of a future humans will inhabit — both on and off this planet. Stay tuned.

Read more in our Future Earth series.

Architect Vincent Callebaut’s vision of a Paris engineered to combat climate change in the year 2050