What would Marty McFly say about the world we live in today?
In Back to the Future Part II (1989), the protagonist travels to 2015 to stop his son from getting involved with a rotten employer. Included in this depiction of 2015 are some extremely accurate technological and sociological similarities to the culture in which we now live: the omnipresence of cameras (although it is usually smartphones with cameras today), flat screen televisions mounted on the walls, the ability to watch (at least) six channels simultaneously, hands-free video games (hello, Microsoft Kinect), and more instances of plastic surgery. The film also has flying cars, hover skateboards, and Nike shoes that lace themselves, which we all know are not currently in existence in the real world.
Everyone loves technological advances, what about energy-related ones?
Solar, wind, and renewable energy seem pretty futuristic, especially in the face of fossil fuels that date back centuries, and that we know cause pollution and bad health. So why have we not embraced them as a culture? Scientists have made some pretty dramatic and amazing discoveries since Marty McFly made his debut, and one thing is certain: we have to take care of our planet; it is the only we one we have and we are slowly, but surely stripping it of all its resources.
One giant step in the direction of the future is President Obama announcing in his inaugural address that climate change will be a significant priority in his second term. There are some who promote, study, and endorse living a sustainable lifestyle who are planning to hold a rally, the Forward on Climate Rally, which is expected to be the largest climate rally in U.S. history. They are planning on flooding Washington, D.C. to encourage the President to take a firmer stand for the climate by rejecting the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, which would carry the dirtiest oil on the planet from Canada to America’s Gulf Coast’s refineries and ports, and then most of it would most likely be exported overseas.
Many think that President Obama should say “no” to dirty fuel in lieu of sticking to his word and expanding the United States’ alternative energy efforts. This expansion could cut fossil fuel pollution, lessening smog and improving the health of American citizens, as well as provide jobs to thousands of Americans and perhaps save some families significant money. In fact, The Natural Resources Defense Council has created a plan that will allegedly do the aforementioned things.
The bottom line is, we need to make a future that our kids will be proud to inhabit and thrive in, and that begins now. Also, once we can get our renewable power, our clean energy, instead of the outdated and dirty fossil fuels at the forefront of importance in America, maybe we can cut back on pollution and the destruction of our only home.
Then, and only then, can scientists even think about looking into flying cars.