This article was scheduled to publish last week was pushed back a week due to the fast-unfolding situation in Iran.
Ten years on
Not too long after the start of the decade, Britain will see very cheap American chlorine chickens available; no doubt you’ll also be able to get your pork that’s been washed in acid, not to mention genetically modified beef. Why not? No more of those pesky interfering EU regulations forbidding it. Yum!
With the increase in medical advances over years, will we finally be able to cure most cancers, and stop the onset of dementia and other wicked conditions? There are real plans to be able to heal one of our biggest barriers to immortality by 2026 – reversing the aging of the human heart. Over the pond, the Harvard Stem Cell Institute expects to have finished clinical trials. That could add a whole year to our life expectancy. I wonder if they could do something similar for my liver…….
One of the great pastimes looking forward is predicting what will happen as far as space travel is concerned. We might well see footprints on Mars if Elon Musk’s Space X program goes to plan. In 2024, the orbits of Earth and Mars will be aligned to allow the simplest (!) possible interplanetary voyage, and if Elon Musk doesn’t manage it, the likelihood is that someone else will. Not NASA though; their plans are not nearly as grandiose.
I think there’s little doubt that over the next ten years, we are going to see a major shift in the global balance of power. Goldman Sachs reckons it’s inevitable that by mid-decade, it will be China, not the United States, that will hold the “largest economy” title. Other emerging markets, Brazil, Russia and India will join China to show a higher combined GDP than Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the U.K. and U.S.A. Just think, for the first time in our lifetimes, the balance of global power moves away from the West.
One of my biggest worries, and this is where I hope my predictions will be wide of the mark, are climate change and over population. I forecast a 26-year old activist from Sweden telling Britain that its eagerness to frack for shale gas, expand its airports, and search for dwindling oil and gas reserves in the North Sea is totally wrong. She will say: “You don’t listen to the science because you are only interested in solutions that will enable you to carry on like before. Like now. And those answers don’t exist anymore. Because you did not act in time.” The scary bit is those were Greta Thunberg’s exact words just a few months ago. Will anything change? I doubt it. Most governments will disagree about how to stop our planet’s inexorable stagger towards environmental disaster. There’s more chance of a solution in my divided home of Cyprus.
By the end of 2029, it’s expected that our planet’s population will reach 8.5 billion. That’s another huge problem, because we will need some 50 per cent more food and energy, and around 30 per cent more fresh water. If this situation is not dealt with properly, some analysts are predicting new wars as nations start to fight over farmland and water. Not a pretty thought.
I am following the rapid progress of Artificial Intelligence closely, and as I write this, there’s good news being announced that, already, AI outperforms doctors in diagnosing breast cancer. Brilliant. Let’s fast forward and imagine that by the end of this decade, the entire governments of Britain, America and Russia will be replaced by AI robots – we just might then see decisions made for the benefit of the people and the world in general. Sadly, it will never happen. That’s a shame, for every one of us.
10 years from now
This is 2030. Your kettle discusses with your phone when precisely tea time should start because you, driving your noiseless EV (Electric Vehicle), are going to be a bit late at home. Other smart things in your place, such as your satellite media centre and your Kitchen Chef, are getting the same information: yes, cooking time would also be delayed, as well as the TV time before you’re going to bed. The Chef actually just sent you a message: would you like to have your steak rare or medium rare, just like last time?
Yep, AI rules.
There’re 8.5 billion people now living on Earth but, of course, not everybody lives in the realms of the internet of things. But, on the other hand, the former Golden Billion now should be called ‘Golden Billion and a half’. And among those lucky people the number of senior citizens has grown up substantially.
The Artic is now ice-free in summer so the maritime trade is flourishing there. And, much more importantly, the discussion whether the ongoing global warming is caused by mostly natural or mostly human reasons is now finally solved in favour of the former. Period. We’re going through cosmic cycles of warming and cooling and the humanity should sigh with relief: we’re not that powerful when it comes to changing the planet’s climate. The new Ice age is still ahead, somewhere in the very distant future. Before that a hot discussion had been held, so many people lost their scientific reputation. They’ve lost their grants, too. I mean, you now get on the plane and do not feel guilty for its carbon dioxide exhaust.
But what had been caused, without a doubt by us, is global pollution; it is now time to clean up the world’s oceans. Global Cleaning is a very good business now.
The only things that haven’t changed are human nature and politics: conventional wars, trade wars, proxy wars… These things will always be the same. So nothing important has really changed.
Old Fools & Predictions
I’m one of those fools who continuously over-predicts the future. If you look back at the perditions made in the early seventies, we should have had a station on Mars and an entire village on the Moon by now. But noooo…
So in the next ten years we are supposed to have:
- Electric, Self-Driving Cars
- Mostly Wind/Solar Power
- Carbon Nano Tube Materials
- Cure for Demitia
- Cure for Most Cancers
- People on the Moon & Mars
- Quantum Computers
- Nano Technology
- Graphene Everywhere
- Fusion Electricity
YOU want to see those last two on the list, especially fusion power. See, fusion power equals cheap (really cheap), locally produced, safe electricity. The difference between fission and fusion is when when bad things happen, a fusion reactor stops producing power and nobody dies.
With miniaturized fusion power plants, your electric bill drops by two-thirds but that’s not the big deal: The smart guys call it the knock-on effect. Here’s an example; your car is mostly aluminum and those big smelters used to make aluminum run on electricity, like great heaping piles of the stuff. Electricity is a huge hidden cost in many things we buy, not just cars.
And speaking of cars and electricity, if our power bills drop by two-thirds, we will all run out and buy electric cars—duh. And you know what will happen to the price of those cars.
However being old and pitiful, I already know half the stuff on my top ten list won’t be here the thirty years let alone ten. The problem is, I don’t know which half.