The World in 100 Years

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  • Sun, Jul 29, 2018 - 08:29pm



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    My25-year (OK, maybe 100-year) vision


My Vision: What Life Will Look Like in 2040

These are some objective characteristics of everyday living 25 years from now.  This vision describes key features of the life-style of individuals and families, and the neighborhoods and communities in which they live.  The structural foundation of this vision is based on the “What Should I Do?” guide (Martenson, 2016, ).

Financial – Our mediums of exchange.  We have a variety of “money” systems.  There are different currencies in local/regional jurisdictions as well as national currencies.  These are separate but usually interchangeable.  The local currencies are used primarily for frequent, small purchases (e.g., groceries, haircuts, etc.), while national currencies are typically used for larger purchases (e.g., taxes, mortgages, etc.).  Banks are small local and regional institutions.  These various currencies help assure a democratic financial system, one that enables individual independence, and avoids inappropriate control by larger entities (e.g., large corporations, powerful governments).

        Informal exchange is common; it is more common than exchanges involving currency.  Bartering is an everyday activity.  The gift economy, in which giving away one’s energy and resources is seen as an indicator of wealth and capability and is respected and admired, is frequently practiced.

        The USD is used much as it is now.  However, its use is carefully regulated so that compensation and income is fair and equitable.  Profit and larger incomes incentivizes extra effort and wise investment, but progressive taxation mitigates greedy accumulation of resources and control.

Living – Our life-style: health, nutrition and food sources, sleep, and fitness.

        Most food is locally sourced.  Most families grow gardens, and get part of their food from this backyard source.  Most families who don’t have gardens get food from CSAs or farmers markets. Most food is grown using permaculture principles.  Backyard and balcony gardening is commonplace.  While “supermarkets” exist, they are small and focus on specialty foods and foods that cannot be grown locally.  Most animal products come from local/regional farms, and are distributed primarily through CSAs, farmers markets, and supermarkets.  Most people are personally acquainted with those who grow or distribute their food.

        The typical diet consists mostly of whole vegetable, grain, and protein foods.  Locally grown, it is organic and rich in trace minerals and probiotics.  Processed foods are rare; they seem quaint and nostalgic.  Children relish the current foods, and they often utter expressions of disgust when hearing descriptions of the high salt, sugary, fat-laden foods that some adults recall having eaten.

        Most people are of normal weight; obesity is rare.  Current dietary preferences as well as exercise from gardening and other physical labor contribute to optimum health.

        Work: The majority of people work from home.  Telecommuting is common.  Most families work at home either full-time or part-time (e.g., furniture making, egg production) or in their local community (e.g., school teaching, primary care health services, small factories).

        Communication: The Internet works well.  Due to overwhelming popular demand and worldwide governmental recognition of its importance, sufficient sovereign resources are devoted to its development and maintenance.  It is an essential hub of commercial, educational, and cultural (e.g., news, movies) activity.

        Infrastructure: Residential areas are organized into communities (about 5000 residents) and neighborhoods (about 100 residents).  Each community and neighborhood usually has a “node”, a building that serves multiple functions.  For example, school activities, adult education, and other civic functions are held in these nodes.  Most nodes have a small general store and farmers market.  Neighborhood nodes usually have post office and parcel distribution services; residents are notified by email of package and mail arrival whereupon they walk or bike to pick it up. 

Material – the tangible things we use in our daily lives including the practical qualities they produce

        Energy: Energy use is modest.  Fossil fuels are costly to buy, and are used sparingly.  In contrast, the cost of electricity is modest since it comes almost exclusively from wind and solar sources.  Buildings are well insulated; heating, cooling, and ventilation are carefully monitored and controlled.

        Transportation: Electrically powered cars and trucks are used almost exclusively when long-distance or load-hauling transportation is needed.  Transportation over shorter distances is frequently by bicycle or often by walking.

        Water: Water is sourced primarily from public utilities, but most families have developed back-up sources as well.  Rain catchment systems and small wells are common.

        Tools: Most adults are skilled in a variety of handcrafts (e.g., carpentry, electrical repair, gardening, sewing) and have access to the tools needed in these activities.  Most people have a collection of tools that are used daily (e.g., garden hoes, hammers, screwdrivers), and have access to larger tools (e.g., tractors, band saws) and those used less often (e.g., winches, pressure sprayers) via Internet-based neighborhood tool banks such as a Library of Things (Johnson, 2016).

        Security: Most communities and neighborhoods feel safe and secure.  This is a by-product of community cohesion.  Neighborhood watch programs are ubiquitous.  Some communities have organized citizen patrols that communicate closely with local law enforcement officials.

        Governance: The role of national and international governments has been minimized following the collapse of “the one-percent” and the role of local government has increased.  People value self-determination and fairness, and are involved especially in local governance.  Most decision-making occurs at the community level.  Transparency characterizes governmental functions at all levels.  People are well educated about how governments function, and most people participate in governmental decision-making.

Knowledge – the mastery of information and skills with which one creates value that’s exchanged for needed goods and services.

Educational activities are commonplace.  While formal educational programs are available, most are coordinated and delivered to individual homes and community meeting places via the Internet. 

Universities and professional schools sponsor programs of higher education in which information is accessed primarily online.  Professors’ lectures, graphic images, videos, and e-books, for example, provide educational content.   Similarly, students’ educational creations are submitted to their professors via the Internet. 

However, there is a substantial emphasis on skill development that is best accomplished with “hands-on” instruction.  Almost all students, therefore, have one or more mentors for this purpose.  While most of these knowledge acquisition and skill development activities occur in the student’s locale, students travel to the site of the sponsoring university for comprehensive exams.

Common education (K-12) is similarly structured.  Each neighborhood has a building, a “node”, which serves many functions; it is used almost every day for educational activities.  Students walk or bike to school each day.  Teachers’ efforts focus on coordination and facilitation of educational activities more than direct instruction.

Continuing education for adults is common.  Recognizing the need for adults to develop skills in many home care and small manufacturing efforts, governmental entities support a variety of enhanced Internet-based and direct instructional programs through the Extension Service that agricultural colleges have had in place for many years.  Extension Service personnel periodically travel to neighborhood nodes to bring instructional materials and provide direct instruction and mentoring.  Recognizing the importance of individual and family self-reliance, most adults participate in these skill development activities.

Emotional – This refers to the development of one’s mental and emotional resources that enhance enjoyment of life’s activities and improve resilience to stressful circumstances. 

Recognizing the importance of social support, most people can name their intimates, close friends, and those they can call on and provide support to in times of need. 

Most people can also describe their favorite exercise practices in which they regularly engage to enhance their health. 

People readily describe stress management practices and engage regularly in them.

People routinely engage in their preferred religious, spiritual, and insight development pursuits.

Social – Most people can identify the community and neighborhood in which they reside by name, and often attend community and neighborhood events.

        Many people develop connections and communication with neighbors by taking frequent walks in the neighborhood and stopping for brief chats when encountering a neighbor.  Neighbors also use online email blasts and services like to facilitate communication.

        Organized community activities are quite common. Most of these are held in the community node, a larger facility than the neighborhood nodes (e.g., large church, old school building, warehouse).  Educational events (e.g., “re-skilling fairs” to teach skills our grandparents knew and are relevant again; permaculture classes) and organizational activities (e.g., neighborhood watch, food bank, tool bank) develop self-reliance, resilience, and cohesion.

Cultural – A benefit of these social activities is that people can increasingly describe their neighbors’ ethnic, cultural, and educational/occupational backgrounds.  Motivated by curiosity and respect, people often seek out information about others’ religious traditions, ethnic history, and cultural institutions.  A spirit of openness and admiration of these backgrounds is pervasive.

Time – Life is slow-paced.  People take time to soak up and enjoy the momentary environment and what they are doing in it.  People value being “in the zone” in their activities.

They can describe the qualities of life into which they want to grow (i.e., their “vision”) and the steps they plan to take to develop these qualities.  They often reflect on and revise their vision and plans; they do so individually and in conversations with family and friends.  This intentional use of time maximizes their sense of hope, fulfillment, and enjoyment of each day.


  1. Johnson, L. (2016). “Sacramento’s Library of Things shares more than books”  (Accessed: January 26, 2016)
  1. Martenson, C. (2016).  “What should I do?”.  Accessed: January 19, 2016.
  1. Wiggs, D. (2016). “Welcoming In the Sinners“.  Sermon at Boston Avenue United Methodist Church, March 6, 2016. (Accessed: April 19, 2016)


  • Sun, Jul 29, 2018 - 08:37pm



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    A positive 25-year vision

Phil, thanks for your request for input.  I agree wholeheartedly that we need a vision of where we want to go or else we’ll wind up in a place according to someone else’s vision.  And I choose a positive vision, not a dystopian one.

I wrote this vision a couple of years ago, and it has held up when reviewed.  While it was conceived as a 25-year vision, I think it’s applicable in a longer time frame, too.

My post (#31, above) is lengthy, but I hope it’s helpful to you and to other PP readers.

  • Sun, Jul 29, 2018 - 09:48pm



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    Recommend a novel

I am re-reading a novel of one way a future could unfold.  I believe that it is well done and catches many of the elements we are seeing and discussing here on PP.

Tribulation:  A Novel of the Near Future by Thomas Lewis

When you go to, this novel will NOT pop up with the autofill feature.  You must type its name exactly, in order to find it.  (This is similar to the way some youtube videos are hidden without being “hidden.”)

The author captures the drama of the reluctant spouse magnificiently.  The husband sees that the ecological and energy supply systems are in decay and can read the writing on the wall. He knows where it is headed.  The wife just will not.  She just wants to be happy and have a normal life.  Not only can she not prepare, she is absolutely allergic to any and all discussion of the topic.  In order to avoid this frightening vision of the future, she divorces.

The author follows the mechanics of rising social stressors and the breakdown of a couple of key elements with the final straw being a weather event.  The buffers are exhausted and a huricaine that destroys the port in New Orleans (and the 10 oil refineries along the lower Mississippi) tips the balance into a nation that has no petroleum products. 

One character, the protagonist’s father, is in politics, and we see the politicians view and frustration of being unable to make enough effective changes due to the lock that self-interested-big-money has on the decision making process.  

The mechanics of maitaining a mountain retreat, located along the Virginia / West Virginia border.  It is very well hidden (passive security) and occasionally must be actively defended.

He invisions that those remaining in the cities who have not prepared are in very very severe conditions.

Several years after the collapse, the chaos quiets down.  Another isolated farming community makes tentative contact.  Very, very cautiously, they decide to talk.   The other community has settled on horses and horse drawn plows and carts as their main tool of adaptation.   This begins the process of rebuilding a post industrial, localized way of living.

The author, Thomas Lewis, also has a website that is similar to PeakProsperity in many ways.

  • Sun, Jul 29, 2018 - 11:27pm



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    The World in 100 Years


  • Mon, Jul 30, 2018 - 04:42pm


    Phil Williams

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    Tons of great advice!


Tons of great advice. Thank you to everyone that’s posted! I appreciate it.

I think JHK did a nice job with the World Made by Hand series, and I think Orlov’s book is very telling. I do agree that complex systems simplify as they collapse, and the more complex the system the more vulnerable to collapse. Jared Diamond’s book, Collapse was interesting. The civilizations that he detailed all collapsed because of a lack of resources, or a destruction of the environment leading to a lack of resources. Many of these people were able to migrate to other civilizations that hadn’t exhausted crucial resources. Now, the resources being exhausted are global. No place to migrate to. I wonder if that’s why some are obsessed with space travel. I saw this article about a bunch of people that volunteered to colonize Mars. They could just go to Death Valley and try that out first!

I don’t think technology is coming to the rescue, and I think that will come as a shock to many.

The trick for me is to create characters that people can identify and root for. Ultimately, regardless of the setting, it’s the characters that drive the story. Ideally, the setting doesn’t kill them all!

The comments and advice have been great. Thanks again.



  • Mon, Jul 30, 2018 - 11:47pm



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    I’d Focus on What Life Will Be Like in 10 Years

How can anyone truly believe humans will be around in 100 years?  We’re seeing the collapse of bats, bees and plankton (among many other species) right in front of us!  As the ravages of increasing greenhouse gasses ramp up, plankton could all but disappear  (possibly within a decade), destroying the oceans’ web of life.  Good luck surviving that, homo-sapiens.

As much as I love the idea of permaculture, it is no match for the climate change we’ve set in motion.

TechGuy wrote:

….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.

I agree (boradly) with your observations about the rise in hatered propaganda towards both Russia and China. A small correction, though — Russia actually cut its military budget by about 20% last year. 

chipshot wrote:

How can anyone truly believe humans will be around in 100 years?  We’re seeing the collapse of bats, bees and plankton (among many other species) right in front of us!  As the ravages of increasing greenhouse gasses ramp up, plankton could all but disappear  (possibly within a decade), destroying the oceans’ web of life.  Good luck surviving that, homo-sapiens.

As much as I love the idea of permaculture, it is no match for the climate change we’ve set in motion.

This is simple nonsense. The problems that you describe are real, but have essentially nothing to do with any climate change caused by humans. The earth was warmer a thousand years ago and much warmer in the previousl interglacial period about 120 thousand years ago. Our pressing problems have everything to do with the fact that we are awash in biologically active chemicals produced by humans. In addition, we are stressing the earth’s resources and even taxing the fecundity of the oceans. The carbon dioxide that we are putting into the atmosphere is probably having a net beneficial effect in the greening of the planet.

  • Tue, Jul 31, 2018 - 03:54pm   (Reply to #36)



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    Stan, You Cannot Be Serious

“The carbon dioxide that we are putting into the atmosphere is probably having a net beneficial effect in the greening of the planet.”

Right.  Except for acidification of the oceans, loss of mountain top ice throughout the globe, vanishing arctic ice, increasing wildfires from California to Siberia to Indonesia, change in the jet stream, slowing down of ocean currents, increasing desertification, the spread of infectious diseases, the triggering of numerous feedback loops… 

  • Wed, Aug 01, 2018 - 12:24pm



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    Culture changes…

The biggest changes we’ve experienced in the last 30 years have been techno-cultural. People communicate differently.  They meet and date differently. I would look to address this in your book.  

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