Tonawanda News

Opinion

January 27, 2013

DUVALL: Taking a look into the future

Tonawanda News — I really like it when people make predictions about the future — mostly because they’re never actually right.

No one ever seems to predict the really important things that happen, like a major financial collapse or the entire Middle East turning into a seething cauldron of riots and xenophobia. It would have been helpful, to say the least, if we’d seen those two things coming.

Still, I read with interest the story on page 12 of today’s paper, the predictions large and small made at the hoitey toitey Davos World Economic Forum. It’s the annual gathering of a bunch of really smart people who can afford to fly to Switzerland to hear other people — and also themselves — talk.

Read the AP’s account and make judgments for yourself on whether any of these things will happen. But if you don’t, I’ll do it for you:

The weather

On this topic it would seem all smart people can agree the world will continue to get warmer and the number of freakish weather events will become common enough that only a football-sized meteor smashing into earth and blocking out the sun for 40 years will seem really weird.

Helpfully, one of the Davos people has put a number on the odds of total global annihilation due to climate change: “Oxford University physicist Tim Palmer — who said as a scientist he preferred probabilities to prediction — noted there is a 10- to 15-percent chance that the Earth will warm by 6 degrees Celsius within a century, leading to ‘catastrophic consequences for humanity’ ranging from extreme weather to rising seas.”

So, don’t make too many plans for 2113. There’s a 15 percent chance the earth will be rendered uninhabitable. And a much higher chance we’ll all be dead by then anyway.

Traffic

Text Only
Opinion
  • adamczyk, ed.jpg ADAMCZYK: And now for something completely different... Last weekend I attended a local movie theater (a plushy, posh experience; they design these places now to get you out of your living room and away from your home electronics) to watch the sun set on the British Empire.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • OUR VIEW: Arson suspect never deserved bail Two of the 11 fires reported on Fifth Avenue could have been prevented with some jurisprudence in evaluating whether the suspect, Michelle Johnston, deserved to be offered bail. Given the obvious nature of a repeat offender who was charged with nine felony arson counts, bail never should have been offered in this case.

    July 25, 2014

  • wallace, amy.jpg WALLACE: Too much information? Is there such a thing as TMI or too much information anymore? Some might say yes.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: On reading and the lack thereof It was surprising to me a few weeks ago when a friend asked a group of us to estimate how many books we have each read over the last five years. The English teacher said 200 and he far and away led the pack. I was probably the median and my number was 20-25.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • confer, bob.jpg CONFER: A Con-Con would be a con game

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: Conflict in Ukraine now a concern of global proportions It seems increasingly clear Ukrainian separatists, with the help from the Russian military, are responsible for the tragedy. They, of course, have denied it. They've also denied access to the crash site to international investigators seeking to recover the dead and determine what happened. That's not something the innocent party does.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADAMCZYK: Personal development, rendered in steel Accepting the premise that everyone needs to fill the same amount of time every day (24 hours, every day), some people use theirs rebuilding things, tangible things, and thus fulfill a few intangible goals.

    July 18, 2014

  • WALLACE: Festival season is underway Summer is the season of fairs and festivals. From Canal Fest in the Tonawandas to the Allentown Art Festival and Italian Heritage Festival in Buffalo to the Erie County Fair in Hamburg, the Western New York area has no shortage of things to do with the family over the summer.

    July 17, 2014

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: King George's abdication leaves many questions I've covered Niagara County politics for 10 years and it's been a fascinating -- and often infuriating -- experience. With the news the man known with equal parts respect and cynicism as "King George" is walking away it's about to get more interesting.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Canal Fest, here we come This column should be titled "Roads and Streets." First of all, Meadow Drive is finally open. Although it took very long to be completed, it's beautiful. Riding by the other day brought into focus how many people will use this to cut across town. One less thing for residents to complain about.

    July 12, 2014