It is the year 2079 and humanity has solved many of its most pressing problems. The world economy has made a huge transition from a focus on constant growth to a recognition that quality of life should be the measure for our wealth. Carbon emissions have been nearly eliminated and the most devastating consequences of climate change have been avoided. Hunger has become a thing of the past as scientists have collaborated with farmers to create safe genetically engineered crops that are grown using sustainable farming methods.
Nevertheless, human beings continue to forget one important piece of indiginous knowledge that would, if put into practice, improve our quality of life. For all of human existence prior to the 20th century cities, towns, and villages were built in close proximity to bodies of water. This was done for practical purposes that are obvious given that water is required in order to sustain life. But in the 20th century, and even more so in the 21st century, humanity has insisted on building new communities in places that barely have enough water to support wildlife, let alone bustling metropolises.
Yes, it is 2079 and we have all of the technology that we need to sustain life and even grow perfect green lawns on land that was once desert, but just because we can do something doesn't mean that we should. Building townships and cities in the desert requires spending money on infrastructure. This is money could be much better spent improving our existing municipalities.
There may also be an argument to be made for the affect that water has on the human psyche. Long after living near water was no longer a biological or commercial necessity people continued to buy waterfront property, often as a location for their dream home. And despite the fact that nearly every city in the world now has an artificial "ocean dome" (http://bit.ly/bzqEwI
) people still flock to the natural sand beaches of the Caribbean. Our technology cannot yet recreate the rocky shores of Maine or the green lushness of the Everglades. One day we may be able to create landscapes even more beautiful that those that we inherited, but until then I'll take my home in Buffalo, NY alongside of one of the worlds great rivers, the Mighty Niagara (http://novan.com/niagara.htm