Why does television predict the worst for 2050?
2050, let’s open our eyes! on BFM TV, France at 50° in 2050 and 2050: My life without oil in Correspondent on France 2, 2050, climate: can we still avoid the worst? on W9 or the updated weather projections on the weather map ofEvelyne Dheliatweather presenter TF1… Television projects us more and more regularly 28 years after 2022.
Enough to suggest that a shift is coming, like the apprehension that gripped the nineties at the dawn of the year 2000. Theories were going well on this transition to a new century. But will the middle of the century also be marked by a changeover? In any case, this is what the television dystopias that are multiplying suggest, projecting their scenarios always on the same year: 2050.
So what is 2050 the name of? Why channels are increasingly taking over this fateful year on the climate plan and should we prepare for a sudden changeover between December 31, 2049 and January 1, 2050? 20 minutes asked the question to Myriam Alma, head of the reporting department Red line of BFM TV and Agathe Lanté, independent journalist-director specializing in climate and environment themes.
A scientific deadline
The unilateral projection in 2050 is not due to chance. “It is the scientists who project us in 2050 because most climate reports point to this year to establish projections”, comments Agathe Lanté, director of the reports France at 50° in 2050 and 2050: My life without oil broadcast in 2021 and 2022 in the show Correspondent. As for the temperature map for 2050, recently updated by Évelyne Dhéliat, it is also because this year was chosen by the meteorologists of the World Meteorological Organization, that the presenter stopped on this date. “Some time ago, I asked Météo-France if there were new projections for this same year in order to make a comparison with the forecasts made in 2014”, specifies the weather presenter of TF1.
It is also the last resort established by scientists from the IPCC, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, to limit the rise in temperatures to +2.5°C compared to the pre-industrial era.
Myriam Alma, who worked on the dystopia produced for BFM TV, specifies that 2050 is the deadline when the most significant effects of global warming predicted in the IPCC report will begin to be most visible.
Near future “
Looking ahead to 2050 and not beyond also makes it possible to imagine, on the basis of scientific and climatic statements, a “near future”, adds Myriam Alma. “It’s a date that remains accessible to viewers,” she comments. We hesitated for a while because big changes will be even more visible from 2085 but we really wanted it to stay close for the French men and women. »
The show, built in two parts, therefore imagines two scenarios for the year 2050, one optimistic if real measures are taken in favor of a more sober and environmentally friendly society and the other more catastrophic, if nothing changes.
Agathe Lanté specifies that this future “plans for a long time, antinomic with the society in which we live today”. “We are in unbridled consumption, immediacy in all areas… Political time is also very short with limited mandates. All interests are short-termist, ”said the journalist. Seizing the year 2050 is for her a way of moving towards a longer projection in which “a reality that we already know will be amplified”.
“2050 is now”
28 years separate 2022 and 2050. But for Agathe Lanté who regularly exchanges with climate experts on the subject. “This future is today,” she says. She believes that “all the solutions for 2050 are solutions that we have today”, apart from a few technological innovations that have yet to be implemented. Scientific knowledge of the consequences of global warming for 2050 could be undermined if real changes are undertaken from 2022. This is why the director, passionate about these projections into the future, believes that “2050 questions our denial because it is the future but at the same time it is influenced by the choices we make now”.
Apocalyptic or mastered future? This is the question posed by television projections that question our immobility in the face of global warming. “Projecting people into 2050 creates both an apocalyptic vision but also shows that we have the control to choose whether this scenario will come true… Because the sum of everyone’s choices can weigh on the course of history”, insists Agathe Lanté. It is also for this reason that she closes each of her reports with an optimistic note, to show the viewer that all is not lost.
For Myriam Alma, the objective of these dystopian projections is also “to avoid the catastrophic scenario”. “We need to have keys, deadlines”, according to her.
“It’s all started”
If the project 2050, let’s open our eyes! was launched the day after the film’s release Don’t look up on Netflix, Myriam Alma says that the BFM TV teams have already been caught up in reality several times. “We had imagined a” carbon night “with fires as far as Brittany and it really happened this summer”, says the journalist. She also specifies that she has consulted many scientists to consider a plausible event to generate a trigger that will trigger the changes necessary to limit global warming. “They agreed on the scenario of a mega heat wave, it’s a bit like what we also experienced this summer. Will it have been enough to become this trigger?
Agathe Lanté confirms that many scenarios envisaged in this type of production have already been partially realized. “The bunkering of the rich, Elon Musk who wants to people Mars… It all started. On the other hand, little is going in the direction of a change in the opposite direction of climate change. Yet “change is extremely long,” she laments. “It takes 20 years to renew an aircraft fleet, 20 years to transform a city, 20 years to renew a car fleet, 20 years to renew rail infrastructure and 16 years for a wind turbine to emerge from the ground. »
But the projection exercise also presents unknowns such as “the impact on democracies” or “the way populations will react”, lists the director. Especially since thesummer 2022 proved that certain changes are more than ever already initiated in France. “We know that certain domino effects could accelerate the movement. I just hope we don’t have to say “we should have said 2030”. »
Far from the unknown of the year 2000
When we draw a parallel between the transition to the year 2000, Agathe Lanté is surprised. For her, the comparison is absurd. “The 2000s were a kind of unknown,” she recalls. 2050 could have been except that there, we know exactly what will happen. »
If the scenarios depicted in her reports can be scary, she sees something exciting in them. “In each of them, I slip something that allows us to say that today, we can build a society for 2050 that is perhaps better than the one scientists predict…” A world full of opportunities, because envisaging the worst makes it possible to concretize the future and to draw the consequences…
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