The World in 100 Years
Good add. I think 2-3x is a stretch, but increased lifespan is a real threat. So much so that Legal&General list it as one of their top 5 watershed risks to our economy. But this kind of progress is only possible to the extent that Jersey Mike is wrong. There are lots of big opposing forces at play, and predicting which ones win will be the key to understanding the distant future. The forces, as I see them, are 1.) Science/Technology 2.) Political Stability 3.) Religion, and 4.) Resources/Ecology
The science and technology necessary to double our lifespan only works if the opposing force of religion fails, and if the enabling political stability exists. For political stability to exist, resources/ecology need to be in good order.
… and when resources/ecology are a struggle, and after political stability breaks down, religion will come in to abuse and mislead what’s left. See “Handmaid’s Tale” for that one.
I think dialing up/down on these four forces gives you the various types of futures we face:
There’s the liberal/socialist utopia of “Demolition Man” where you’re not allowed to curse and a band of underground capitalists eat rat burgers.
There’s the religious right orgy of “Handmaid’s Tale”, where religion comes in to explain a terrifying ecological failure that science currently can’t explain convincingly enough (since facts have lost their luster).
There’s the structured authoritarian futurescape of “The Hunger Games”, where attractive teens fight to the death to keep fear alive in support of a dictatorship.
And finally there is the technological hellscape of “The Matrix” where robots save the day, by enslaving all things biological.
Each of these can be explained/described but moving those four dials and pulling the lever.
I’ve written a blog post on what Frederick County, MD will be like in 100 years. Here you go:
We face a great many possible roads to extinction and all imminently but I conjecture there will be survivors. Plagues and wars in the past have never led to total annihilation and if this time is different then there will be no human story to write.
For a down-to-earth post apocalyptic saga I recommend the BBC’s 38 episode series “Survivors” but I mean strictly the 1975-8 original version and not the shallow, cringe-worthy jazzed up remake of 2008.
This is a down-to-earth epic account of plague survivors. Its realism is amplified by its lack of dramatization. For example, there’s no musical backing just birdsong and the sounds of the countryside. There are no zombies, no alien interventions just a modern world fading away. There are heroes and villains and all of these are very credible characters but for the most part the story is about ordinary people put into previously unimaginable situations.. The series explores different challenges and opportunities. And, if you don’t like the ending then read the book “Survivors” by Terry Nation which concludes, I think, more satisfactorily. The 1975-8 BBC series used to be available free on youtube and may be still. Otherwise you may find it on some corner of the internet or buy the DVD set from the BBC. See too http://www.survivorstvseries.com/What_Is_Survivors.htm
I suggest that 100 years from now the human situation will be very similar to that of the BBC survivors. I’ll resist giving spoilers.
I believe we have two basic scenarios that may play out. Clearly the business as usual cannot continue with the resource depletion and pollution of our ecosystem placing clear limits on that trajectory. Assuming no nuclear global war, I think the options post economic, environmental, and energy crash will cause a major population die off and return to a low energy lifestyle based on human, animal, biomass, and water/wind powered energy sources as we had in the 1800’s as option one. That was a small community based on local agriculture. The other option, although optimistic, is the development of an energy source based on generation of electricity through magnetics, much like Nicola Tessla pioneered. If this scenario develops soon enough, we could mitigate some of the more disastrous outcomes of the first scenario above, but would have a reduced global population and more localized economy as the environment would still be significantly impaired and we would still face the same resource limits. However we might be able to sustain an early 19th century primarily agrarian life style based on rail and water transportation of some goods.
Just some speculation as to what it might might look like. Some of James Howard Kunstler’s books might give you a different glimpse. As well, John Michael Greer has some interesting insights as to what it might be like as well.