Earth Matters

Earth day: Time to Look into the Face of Our Future

Monday April 22nd is Earth Day.

The dramatic and intense stare of this face makes me want to avert my eyes, like when you accidentally make eye contact with someone on the TTC. But it does get me thinking… if our future had a face, what would it look like? Since I was having trouble visualizing what the future might look like I turned to google to help me.
During this exercise I found myself exploring the very cool Canadian Geographic Online Atlas which speculates how Canadians might live in the year 2050. You can check it out here:
So let me paint you a picture of one version of what Canada might look like in 2050:
The environment is changing, winters continue to get warmer, our forests are hit hard by pine beetles and fires, water levels are declining, sea levels are rising, fish populations are migrating to new waters.
Our population is up to 35 million and almost 25% of us are seniors (myself included!), people are returning to cities where more people are working in knowledge intensive jobs and less people are working in farms, fisheries, forests and mines. Improvements in nutrition and medicine have us living longer and healthier and retirement has become an outmoded concept.
We are better educated! Canada’s skilled workforce was instrumental in developing our new low-carbon economy.  Lead scientists are developing innovative technologies that can use energy from renewable to fulfil our requirements for electricity, heating and cooling. 
And it is this last part that i find the most encouraging, The National Round Table on Energy and Economy has competitively ranked the G8 countries in their readiness to transition to a low carbon economy. Canada was ranked 1st in the category of post secondary graduate skills because Canada is currently investing in developing a skilled and relevant workforce needed for a low carbon transition. You can check out the full ranking here:
It’s important to spend some time to thinking about what’s in store for us in the future so we can be ready to face the challenges that may arise.  It’s never too early to start planning. Those who know me know I like to plan, and when you have an end goal its easier to choose the right steps to get there.

About the author

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Laura Berndt

Laura Berndt (Hough) is the Manager of Energy & Sustainability in Plant Operations at Sunnybrook.