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Chris Slatter

My Blog


Things to Come

Tags: future energy China war 
It was the mid-1990’s. I sat in the lecture hall listening to a panel of academics answer questions about the future There were the usual inane questions about Star Trek technology ‘will we ever be able to beam people up?’ as well as whimsical ones about robots, poverty and interstellar travel.
But the big question never got asked: ‘what, in the panel’s opinion, will be the changes in the coming century that will most affect humanity and our planet?’
Can you imagine sitting at a meeting of the Royal Society in 1895, before a panel of Fellows which might have included Thomas Edison, Robert Koch, Nikola Tesla, Ernest Rutherford, Alexander Graham Bell and asking them the same question? Would the panel have predicted rapid transit systems, the World Wide Web, tissue cloning, satellite technology, the International Space Station and the Voyager missions that all had their origins in the 20th Century? Would the scientists have predicted the rise and demise of apartheid, national socialism or Communism? And what about the globalisation of industry, finance and entertainment? Of course, it’s possible that some of them would have predicted one or two, but it’s unlikely anyone would have predicted them all.
So let’s turn our attention to the century before us. What life-altering events will people experience in the 21st Century? Here, in my opinion, are some of them.
The coming century will see our planet struck by a meteorite causing damage ranging from disastrous to catastrophic. The Apophis asteroid due in 2036 is a candidate, but suspect a bolt-out-of-the-blue.
Within the next 20 years the world will be in the grip of something we have all dreaded. A runaway climate change that will eventually cause nations to withdraw from coastlines, abandon low-lying areas and send millions on forced migrations. No escape from this. Not now.
The idea of protecting cities with domes will be floated. This is the age of the mega-city and the engineering implications are sobering.
Overpopulation (in excess of 11 billion) by the end of the century will see millions starving. Euthanasia is introduced.
A colony on Mars will be established in the mid 2000’s and after several disasters will become self- sustaining. The political implications of satellite worlds won’t be felt until the following century.
New industries will be set up to operate and facilitate space mining and exploration. Artificial Intelligence will become enormously powerful enabling industries to be run entirely by robots. Hitherto unknown jobs in robot psychology, neural programming and profiling will become commonplace.
A studio apartment in London will cost 3 million pounds in 2080.
Gaianism, now not much more than a cult, will become a world-wide religion with millions of followers inspired by species extinction and planetary devastation.
Designer babies will become a reality as the gene manipulation industry arises. After 2070 or so everyone born will be a designer baby.
Several wars will be fought over water resources as resource-rich nations divert rivers away from neighbours, causing famine.
Wars will be fought almost exclusively by drones – in the air, on the ground and on the sea it’s the robots which will claim the victories. Wars will become a new spectator sport, global entertainment for hundreds of millions.
Already a considerable presence, China’s influence in Africa will grow to be virtually unchallenged by the mid 2000’s.
China itself will become all-powerful in its region, though not belligerent elsewhere.
The USA will continue to dominate its hemisphere and will share trade with Europe. The decline of of western society has begun, though its collapse is still far off by the end of the century.


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About Me

I have been an advertising copywriter, film director, teacher of screenwriting and a television producer. I have worked for some of the world's largest advertising agencies in Australia and the UK before attending the London Film School for two years.

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