Just because we’re 129 years old doesn’t mean we here at National Geographic can't laugh at ourselves. So when Bob Vulfov of McSweeney’s mocked up some satirical National Geographic headlines from the year 2030…well, we’ll admit it. We chuckled.
My personal favorite is “These Striking Photographs Show the Best On-Fire Lakes from Around the World”—it’s a spot-on impression of my own headline about climate change portraits that are, indeed, striking.
Tapping into Americans’ acute and partisan anxieties about climate change, Vulfov imagines 2030 as a dystopian desert wasteland where biker gangs and Trump hotels reign supreme. (Read up on this running list of ways Trump is changing the environment.)
National Geographic is “proudly non-partisan,” Editor-in-Chief Susan Goldberg wrote in our March issue. But she explains that on climate change (and everything else), we're on the side of facts—the facts being that yes, the world is getting warmer, and yes, it's because of humans.
Since 1888, we’ve believed in the power of science, exploration, and storytelling to change the world, and we plan to keep going for a good while yet. So while we hope you get a laugh out of these headlines, we’d also love it if you joined us in the effort to share climate science with the world. Maybe—even amongst all the pictures of cute baby animals—together we can make a change.
Here’s a look at some more of those, um, future headlines, and their real-world analogues:
Hey, Remember Forests? I Miss Forests
We really, really like forests too. So does this India man who’s spent the last three decades planting a forest bigger than Central Park, and this teenager who’s on track to plant a trillion trees.
Did Lemurs Have Personalities? If So, Were They Bummed Out When They Became Extinct?
Short answer: yes, lemurs have personalities. And while the IUCN does list several lemur species as endangered, none have yet gone extinct. But last year a small Australian rodent became the world’s first mammalian casualty of climate change. (Meet the endangered animals of the National Geographic Photo Ark.)
If you liked “Let’s Check In With the Billionaires Who Escaped to an Underground Bunker Nation As We Descended Into Pandemonium”…
…then peer inside the lives of the million people who actually do live in underground nuclear bunkers.
95 Degrees Fahrenheit in December — Is This the Coldest Winter in Years?
It’s true 2014 was the hottest year then on record. So was 2015, and 2016. Watch this video to learn how NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies analyzes temperature data to determine warming trends.
Weird and Fascinating Outdoor Hobbies People Used to Have Before Our Lives Became a Never-Ending Sprint from Death
Going to National Parks to play Pokémon Go is not the weirdest outdoor hobby people have ever had—far from it. From finger-wrestling in 1930s Estonia to hurdle-racing in Maori canoes, humans have pretty much always enjoyed alfresco entertainment. (So do your brain a favor, and spend some time in nature.)
If you laughed at “Five Ways the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Should Use Its $400 Budget”…
…then take a minute to learn about how the EPA actually uses its funding, and what the federal budget cuts could mean for the environment.
This Photojournalist Spent a Week Following the Band of Violent Bikers Who Now Rule Us, But He Was Killed So We Didn’t Receive Any Photos from Him
A week? Please. Try a decade—like Paul Salopek, who’s been documenting his slow walk around the world since 2013 and still has a long way to go. Then we can talk.
Recycling: Get Caught and This Illegal Activity Will Get You Thrown in Jail
A little time in the clink is worth it when recycling just makes so much sense.
Seven Stunning Natural Wonders That Are Now Trump Hotels
No hotels in sight at any of the world’s 17 most wild and beautiful places. And, since these seven stunning natural wonders are all in Asia, no Trump hotels there either.
Aww! A Robotic Monster Hound Capable of Firing Heat-Seeking Missiles Has Won the Westminster Dog Show — And Our Hearts
This year, the Westminster Dog Show also featured cats—why not robots next?
Help Us Caption This Photo of Underwater New York City
Global sea level would rise 215 feet if all the world's ice melted, meaning New York City would indeed be underwater—as would about 200 million people across the globe.
Jumping Into an Active Volcano Because You’ve Had Enough? Choose from Our List of the World’s Top Volcanoes
We’d recommend Santiaguito, which has erupted nearly every hour for 94 years.
Did Zebras Have Stripes On Their Skin? You Know What, Who Cares, I Ate a Sock for Dinner Tonight
Watch the Elaborate Courtship of Two Gray Whales Shortly Before They Were Poached for Their Delicious Meat
Rest assured, the three gray whales caught in this elaborate courtship ritual were not poached—though controversial whaling practices remain in Iceland, Norway, and Japan, and even South Korea.
If you snickered at “Photo of the Day: The Last Ice Cube on Earth”…
…then feast your eyes on our monthly best-of Photo of the Day roundups.
Take a Spectacular 360° Journey Through the Stadium Where Repeated Recyclers Are Forced to Fight to the Death
You could…or you could explore Chernobyl's haunting ruins in these 360-degree photos.
Enormous Three-Headed, Nuclear Waste-Spewing Alligator Caught on Video is Not a Hoax
And neither is this one (though it is the size of a small car).