The World in 100 Years
I'm writing a novel that takes place 100 years from now. As Yogi Berra said, "It's tough to make predictions, especially about the future." I'm a fan of The Crash Course, and would like for this novel to reflect the trends predicted by the video series. The people that frequent this site think about the future quite a lot, and I think y'all have some fantastic ideas.
I was hoping you guys would give me some input on what you believe is likely to happen over the next 100 years in any of the following areas: politics, markets, resources, technology, the environment, culture, language, sport, or anything else you can think of.
I have tremendous respect for the readers of Peak Prosperity. Thank you in advance for your thoughts!
Phil M. Williams
These are a few things that I’m considering. I’m still very early in the process of research and plotting, so feel free to criticize. Some of these items are not necessarily what I believe will happen, but what might be an entertaining plot point.
Economy- Stock market collapse in mid-2020’s followed by a currency collapse, leading eventually to a global crypto currency. No more physical cash. People are embedded with microchips to make payments and to be identified, also to be given or prevented access. People cannot make any transactions in the economy without a functioning chip. Anyone that causes problems can be found and can have their chips suspended. The wealth gap is staggering. Most of the planet is scraping by, with a tiny fraction living in unbelievable wealth, with robotics in their homes, short work days, and excellent health care such as bionic body parts and nanotechnology to fight disease. These great inventions are not available to 99.9%.
Politics- The US moves toward Democratic Socialism as a response to the increasing wealth gap that’s caused by an ever shrinking resource pie. Bankers still reign supreme with Democratic Socialism. This compounds the issue leading to mass poverty, starvation, and death. Universal Basic Income is used to keep people quiet, but it is barely enough to buy necessities.
Depopulation- With robotics, many people are not necessary in the new economy. In fact, they are a terrible drain on the limited and dwindling resources. For those in power, what to do? Chemicals are pumped into public waters to increase sterility. People die from myriad diseases, poor health, drug addiction, alcoholism like in the former Soviet Union, and war. Communities become bifurcated. Wealthy and not. Gated and not. The poor live a very low energy lifestyle out of necessity. The wealthy simply take more of the shrinking pie, leaving less crumbs.
Crime- The top .01% are protected by police and private security. The rest are left to their own devices. There are massive “no go” zones in the US, with a crumbling infrastructure. Roads are no longer passable. With no money for security, people are forced to take care of their own. These areas are very tribal.
Crime is nearly nonexistent in wealthy areas. Anyone caught committing a crime in a wealthy area are subjected to a DNA scan. For third offenses or if you’ve been determined to contain the genetic marker for sociopathy, you’re automatically shipped to one of nine islands throughout the world. These islands are primative. “Criminals” are left to sort themselves out. Drones and naval vessels insure no development or escape. (I’m not sure how realistic this would be, but it would be cool to put a bunch of psychopaths on an island and to see what happens! Of course, dissenters might find themselves here too.)
Environment- It’s on average four degrees warmer, which doesn’t sound like much, but it has a huge impact. Desertification continues unchecked. 40% of land mass now desert, up from 20% today. Oceans very acidic. Fishing very limited. Algae blooms and jellyfish rule. Some low lying cities abandoned as levie and sea walls get to be too expensive. Sorry Miami, New Orleans, etc… Factory farming collapses in favor of small self-sufficient farms. Healthy food is extremely expensive. And only for the wealthy, and those with the land and skills to farm self-sufficiently. But even those farmers live a poor, low energy lifestyle.
Travel- Only the wealthy have cars or travel by airplane. The poor walk. Some ride bikes.
War- Iran is the last major war, and the last country without a Rothschild central bank. With a global currency, every country with a central bank, and people controlled by their chips, world finally at “peace”. Many third world countries are forced to deindustrialize. This is painful as the land is not as fruitful as it was. First world countries also deindustrialize to a certain extent as their populations decline. They still maintain the manufacturing of goods needed by the elite, despite the limited resources. Tribal warfare is commonplace in the third world. Large militaries are a thing of the past, as governments use their resources to control their own populations. Uprisings are quickly quelled in the first world by powerful military-like police forces, and of course people are found and eliminated because of their chips.
The .01% are not all bad, and the 99.9% are not all good. Plenty of both in these categories. Lots of hard choices to be made in a declining energy future.
Universal Basic Income is used to keep people quiet, but it is barely enough to buy necessities.
That is as it should be. UBI should put bread on your table, but you have to earn your own beer.
Universal Basic Income is just vote buying. Most poor people will vote for it, but the politicians will only offer UBI to a very small number, just enough to keep them voting. Socialism, it about centralizingconcentrating authority into the hands of the very few, and forcing the general population to be dependant on the gov’t.
“I was hoping you guys would give me some input on what you believe is likely to happen over the next 100 years in any of the following areas: politics, markets, resources, technology, the environment, culture, language, sport, or anything else you can think of.”
Global nuclear war is very very likely in the next two decades. We are facing a triple crisis: Debt, Resource depletion & the demographics cliff. These crisis appear to be merging in the 2020’s as global Oil producton will peak and start decline at between 4% and 9% per year. Global Debt is at $247T and rising about 12% per year. What happened to Greece will follow into most of the other industrialized world. Then there is the demographics cliff. As Boomers retire and start extracting pensions & entitlements. Currently in the US there are 154M social security recipients and only 162M workers supporting them. For the present, Boomers have been postponing retirement due to lack of savings, but they will soon be forced into retirement as agehealth related issues prevent them from performing job tasks. The Demographics cliff isn’t limited to the USA, as it also greately impacts Asia & Europe too.
Once all three crisis merge its going to create a lot of very unhappy people. In turn the population will select leaders that make grand promises (ie Make America Great Again, Free Healthcare, UBI, etc) as if minor policy changes can fix these problems. Most of these policy just excerbate the problems. Its likely that the nations with the bigest militaries will use there muscle to take control over the dwinding resources, while the weaken nations collapse into civil war, anarchy as their gov’ts are no longer able to hold their nations together. Sooner, or later the big military powers or (nuclear powers) will engage in direct conflict. Once one nations launches it nukes, the rest will follow which will devistate the entire planet.
WW 3 likely already has begun as the US started its Oil resource conquest on the Middle Aast and has initiated proxy wars with Russia in Syria & Ukraine. We can see a rise of hatred propagana against Russia and China by the US & Europe, setting the stage for future direct conflict. Both China and Russia have responded with substaintial increases in Military spending. All the Nations (USA, China, Russia) seem to also be using Military Keynesium to assist there economies with domestic military production as well as selling arms to allies. In the past two world wars, there will an arms race.
Once the Nukes fly its the end of Western civilization. Its possible that humans as well as most mammals go extinct due to the extreme pollutiion created as well as deployed bioweapons . After the war, Cities will burn for months releasing enormous amounts of toxins that are dispersed by air, and into rivers, lakes & oceans. The 440+ operating nuclear power plants will melt down unleashing large amount of radioactive isotopes rendering vast amounts of land un-inhabitable as well as contamining surface water. Its very possible that the planet will become too toxic to support human life. At best such an enviroment would dramatically shorten human lifespans and collapse fertiality rates, or humans may be limited to survival in a few isolated pockets of land, or on isolated islands.
Thank you for your insights. It’s much appreciated. I just had this conversation with someone about the possibilty of a nuclear strike. I wonder how difficult it is to decommission a nuclear plant?
” I wonder how difficult it is to decommission a nuclear plant?”
It takes several billions dollars, a safe place to store conamintated materials, and lots of time. However. Even a limited decommissioned plant is sufficent. Once the reactor is shutdown and the fuel & spend fuel rods are removed, its reasonable safe. The danager comes from an operational plant, in which it cannot be secured in time, resulting in a meltdown and exposed spent fuel rods that spread contaminated materials into the enviroment.
That said the USA is unlikely to shutdown any operational Nuclear power plants until they are forced to do so (ie operating losses & too expensive maintenance costs). The US has begun to shutdown some of plants, but I doubt all of them will be shutdown prior to a global nuclear war. Some states like PA & NY are subsidizing there nuclear power plants to avoid shutdowns. Also its doubtful Japan or China have any plans to shutdown their plants. China has 18 plants under construction and 38 relatively new operational plants.
Lol I’m in an airport and as I read this post trump was on tv in the background boasting about 4% economic growth. I agree with most of what has already been said above. I see a big population reduction coming either as a result of war or because of the breakdown of the precarious social and economic systems that have supported population explosions and high densities. I don’t think humans will be wiped out but I think the main urban centres will lose the majority of their population. Northern areas in canada may still be ok. I don’t envision that the RFID tagging and DNA identification predicted by the op will become a reality because technology will not be that organized. It will be regressing. I also don’t think that the Rothschild empire will survive on a platform of central banking because fiat empires require participation by the masses and their confidence. They require economic growth, or at least the illusion of economic growth via understating the inflation rate. You can only lie about inflation so much. In a social collapse scenario we will revert back to some kind of hard asset money system. Instead the Rothschilds will try to hang on to power via militaristic control if the population. We have been seeing this trend since 9/11.
I should point out that my above comment is my optimistic scenario. As stated by another poster if there is a global nuclear war then it will get much worse. There may be people surviving but it will be hellish and not something really worth exploring other than out of pure speculation because anything is on the table then.