• Ted Fraser

The Year is 2100

In the year 2100, the world is in despair; global warming is at the tipping point, with the occurrence of natural disasters increasing all across the world, ice caps melting and unusually mild January days. Despite the evidence of it literally surrounding them, some citizens and prominent figures in society still believe that climate change is a hoax. Thankfully, in years prior, there have been efforts made by politicians – in Canada and from across the globe – in an effort to reduce the impacts and prevent the catastrophic consequences of global warming. Ultimately, however, everyone knows, yet fails to acknowledge, that this responsibility falls on actual people, not abstract proposals or “binding agreements” or governments, but regular people.

In the year 2100, 97% of Canadians aged 18-49 have a phone, and close to everyone has some type of personal technology, whether it be a Blackberry, a laptop, an iPad, or a Walkman. However, despite its advantages, the next generation of Canadians will never know a world without social media and instant communication. Will face-to-face interaction become as obsolete as the landline? Will the overwhelming emphasis placed on followers and likes create a generation of narcissistic, impatient snobs who put more effort into coming up with a clever caption than coming up with a correct answer? Will iPhone chargers replace IVs, giving us a straight feed of the requisite, daily dose of dopamine that we need in order to survive, rivaled only by a couple hundred likes on Instagram? Only time will tell.

In the year 2100, the U.S. and other former pillars of democracy are turning into quasi-fascist regimes, stemming from the public’s widespread anguish and insecurity. Although the blatant racism, and irrational and unconstitutional policies seen in countries from the U.S. to Poland to France would ostensibly be off-putting to prospective voters and citizens, some have rallied around this divisive, immoral political movement. Maybe it’s the terrorist groups, infiltrating countries and waging war on freedom itself, that has rattled the people. Or maybe it’s the lackluster economic performance of key countries, including Canada, or stagnant middle-class income or skyrocketing household debt or ungodly high student debt or rising income inequality or all of the above.

In the year 2100, the obesity epidemic is the forefront issue facing health care systems and economies all over the world. Two-thirds of Canadians are overweight or obese. Numerous issues have arisen from this prototypical sedentary lifestyle; Type-2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer have been increasing for years, as well as mental illness such as depression and anxiety. The economic burden on the country is astounding, representing about 11% of Canada’s GDP. Despite the massive social and economic costs, the percentage of Canadians that are overweight continue to climb, with no successful or evident efforts made by the government to alter the trend.

The year is 2016, not 2100. All of these problems should be addressed and taken care of now, not later, when it's too late. Governments, organizations, and regular joes alike must work cooperatively and constructively to reverse these damaging social, political and economic trends. As Benjamin Franklin once said, “You will delay, but time will not.”