Eleven predictions for the year 2050 In answer to the question: What do you think the world will be like in 2050?

Valencia Massaro, 15, Sophmore at TZHS
The first thing that comes to mind is technological advancements. By 2050, technology will have grown to be even more entangled in our daily lives. However, I think at a certain point people will realize the lack of connection from the virtual world. I think that that will cause people to prioritize in-person conversations over virtual ones. I think it will be quite similar to how in the past year, more people have grown to value connecting with others as we are coming out of the COVID pandemic. In our hometown, I believe that Palisades will remain a tight-knit community, remaining constant in the ever-changing world of technology

Jack Mullahy, 16, Junior at TZHS
In 2050: We will laugh at the simplicity of smart phones. We will cringe over our obsession with WiFi. We will want to forget the clunky gas guzzling cars we used to drive as we hover in our zero-emission/zero-gravity pods. We will know we are only one of many life filled planets. It will finally help us let go of what divides us . . . but there will still be video games.

Cole Massaro, 18, Senior at TZHS
By the year 2050, I believe Palisades will continue to preserve all it has to offer. From the Strawberry Fest to our public library, Palisades is truly a model for the quintessential small- town experience. It is my hope that these values are reflected in 2050. I believe that local community groups native to Palisades, like The Children’s Shakespeare Theater, will be alive and well and have the full support of our community. To keep it simple, Palisades will certainly change by 2050, but not in the ways that matter most.

Gregory Nemesdy, 24, Associate at KPMG International (Audit, Tax and Advisory)
I think 2050 will look a lot like today. We will be absorbed with the new media, probably some sort of virtual reality, “metaverse” type media. We will all yearn for “the old days,” probably 1995, 2005, 2015 or 2025, while silently enjoying and craving the technology and convenience of 2050. People will become both more social and anti-social. The traditional community will be fragmented, and people will rely more and more online for their social- izing. In-person events will be gatekept, exclusionary, and generally uninviting of outsiders. Those within those groups will have a tight bond, but will feel nothing for those outside of it. Politics will look as ridiculous as ever. The economy will continue being cyclical and I think the average American will live an overall decent life. My biggest worry for 2050 is that we will either currently be in a “civil war” or recovering from one. If we are lucky, we will have avoided it, but not before some major hard- ship. The government will either have become so powerful to rip rights and freedoms from us in order to maintain control, or the government will have become so stagnant that they cannot enforce any progress. Both results are scary, and what is scarier is the uncertainty of which way this leans.

Marisa Cooke, 24, Congressional Staffer
It’s hard to say. I think we’re at a crossroads right now and the decisions we make in the coming years will decide what kind of world we have in 2050. I think we have the potential to do a lot - defend the planet, enshrine abortion rights and LGBTQ+ rights, and protect the constitutional right to vote. I don’t know how realistic that is, but I don’t want to believe that a better world is impossible.

Paul Riccobono, 38, father of two young children, small business owner
Only seven more Summer Olympics and boom - it will be 2050. I don’t think that 2050 will be much different than today. Maybe a moon base or two but no flying cars for the masses. We will face the same challenges as we have always had: pandemics, proxy wars, climate change with a few droughts and a famine tossed into the mix. Humans have always adapted to change and technology has only helped us get better at adapting faster. I am very optimistic about the future and the world my children will live in.

Laura Tirch, 43, clinical psychologist with three-year-old daughter
I have a hard time picturing what our world will look like in the year 2050. I imagine many parts of it will feel faster, louder and a bit more crowded. While I cannot fathom their exact nature, I am clear on what I hope for our world during these inevitable changes. I hope that we begin to remember how much we need each other and this planet. In turn, learn to take better care of ourselves, one another and our environment. I hope that our societies begin to see the value in connection, care, and nurturance the way we do in competition and success. I hope that we use our wisdom to develop more compassionate approaches to suffering, old age and death. That we find more skillful ways of navigating the tragedies of living, and continue to discover more pro- found ways to connect with one another and celebrate in each other’s joys. There is no doubt we will see changes and challenges; it is my hope that we continue to get better at meeting them with courage and compassion.

Orlando Perez, 60, Technical Operations Manager, ConvergeOne
I think technology will continue to advance in the areas of artificial intelligence, information and entertainment. Palisades will see a significant turnover in its residents as taxes continue to rise, the population ages and seniors find it too costly to live here. The big question will be energy. Many years ago electricity replaced oil in the homes. But oil was still used to produce electricity for the homes. The demand required it. Will we now replace gas in cars with electricity and create bigger power plants? Who knows, but we’re also going to need more copper to upgrade the already failing grid.

Marjorie Galen, 61, realtor
By 2050 I hope the world will be a kinder and gentler place, Will we have healed from the angry division between Americans fueled by Donald Trump’s presidency? Will we have taken on the challenge of global warming? Will we have stopped shooting children in school? Will we have learned to treat one another with respect regardless of our superficial differences? With so much anger and violence in the air right now, that feels like a lot to hope for…but I am hopeful. I imagine there will be lots of electric cars and solar panels on every roof. I imagine that even more people will be working from home, and that this will encourage many who are concentrated around the major metropolitan areas to spread out across the country. And I imagine that there will be a trend toward smaller houses since they use less energy to heat and cool.

Jeanne DiMeglio, 63, Florist
From the oceans to the trees, earth and people, through GOD in heaven, the world will have recovered from a gross upset caused by the good, the bad and the ugly. No borders, no coun- tries, no law and order, no common sense principles. No history of which our base of beliefs formed our identity. In 2050, people will look into each other’s eyes again and realize calm and peace, common ground and delight in life, are good.

Hannes Bruechner, 82, Adjunct Senior Research Scientist at LDEO, Professor Emeritus at Queens College and The Graduate Center of The City University of New York
The present climate of distrust and hostility amongst us makes it difficult to be optimistic about the future. The growth of dishonesty on the internet and cable news has made many of us unable to distinguish lies and misinformation from truth, and, worse, some of us don’t seem to care. I fear a collapse of not just democracy, but even civilization, either cataclysmically or through catastrophic environmental degradation. There are well over 10,000 fusion-capable nuclear warheads worldwide, each with the ability to completely obliterate a New York City. Exploding a mere 100 of them worldwide would destroy civilization.

Alternatively, the progressive degradation and destruction of our waterways, our fertile soils, the depletions of life in our lakes, rivers and seas, the clear-cutting of our green forests and, finally, the greenhouse gas driven increases in extreme heat, humidity and violent weather will make life on this planet ever more difficult. The inevitable mass migrations of desperate refugees from areas devastated by climate change will result in cultural clashes and hatreds that are already underway and will continue to grow. They might make the existence of stable democracies impossible and the likelihood of future wars more likely.

I do derive hope that here, in 10964, we do get along, don’t we? We have our differences, but overall aren’t we are a tolerant community? Let us hope that our mutual respect, and even affection, towards each other, will grow beyond our borders and infect the rest of this divided world. Perhaps we can avoid our future cataclysmic fate.