The World in 100 Years

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Phil Williams
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The World in 100 Years

Hey Everyone,

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

https://www.amazon.com/Phil-M.-Williams/e/B013IP5US0/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1532625853&sr=8-1

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Possible Ideas

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.

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Universal Basic Income
Quote:

 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.

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Re: Universal Basic Income & 100 Years in Future

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 centralizing\concentrating authority into the hands of the very few, and forcing the general population to be dependant on the gov't. 

Phil Asked:

"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 age\health 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.

 

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TechGuy

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?

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You guys are optimists!

Here are my visions:

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Re: How difficult it is to decommission a nuclear plan

Phil Asked:

" 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. 

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Lol I'm in an airport and as

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.

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I should point out that my

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. 

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What it be like?

Ok so I'll put my $.02 worth in here since I have speculated on how this may play out many times in my thoughts.

First, I assume that all of the potential scenarios mentioned have a good likelyhood of occurring but even if they do not I think resource depletion, esp. the master resource (oil)will dictate the outcome.

The exhaustion of fossil fuels (when it finally begins in earnest) will severly impact available food both in production and distribution. That coupled with the depletion of ocean fisheries translates into mass starvation for the majority of mammals on the planet. By 2118 I would expect only small enclaves of humans to exist and they would be clustered where existing hydropower was still functioning.

What happens between now and then is very likely unimaginable to us. It would be interesting to have a time capsule of what happened on Easter Island or in Myan Central America. Will it be different this time?

Coop

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question about nuclear plant

When you say "it's reasonable safe"  Does it take continuous electricity to keep the spent fuel rods from melting down?  I am wondering if you get intermittant power or no power will the spent fuel rods be unmaintainable?

Thanks!

Karen

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Positive sub plots please

Have a look through history from the start to now. There where some pretty tough down trends, slavery, black death, communisim, mass invasions, mass colonisations, massive wars. We came through each and every time.

Could it be that we will come through this time as well? Maybe there will be another tough lesson to be learnt, but in 100 years we will have an exponential curve, in tech, knowldged and more wisdom from failed experiments.

Unfortunatley on PP there is a concentrated focus on the downtrends, luckily a few years ago I cut the umbillical cord from this website that held me back from many things. One of my main obstacles was I never found a large enough group of like minded individuals, which could make an project viable and moving is not an option and I am also getting old ...

Yes there will be a collapse or a massive crash, but I can same the same thing about a car accident in my street, there will eventually be one. (The fact is how much can I do today to immunize myself from it?

I stil have my eye on the ball, and have my "insurance" but this is about 1% of my life now.

In your novel, could you put some positives please?

  • One idea could be where a group of countries basically seal themselves off from the rest to pursue a different way. They would have permaculture cities, high end life extnesion tech and genetically selected childred (maybe to resist some specific disease or nuclear contamination?)
  • Floating / Underwater / underground cities

Humans need hope, as a service to society, your book should shift minds in that direction. Give them some hope for a positive future.

The book the Mandibles could also give some insights.

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gemel, the issue is that all

gemel, the issue is that all of the previous rebounds after crashes happened with as a result of new discoveries of greater and easier sources of energy (hydrocarbons). Now, I think it is clear that there will be no more better sources of energy.

While it might be true that hummanity bounces back after major population declines, it won't be anything resembling today's society because we will be limmited by the surplus resources and energy that the immediate ecosystems can provide, which is orders of magnitude less than what we have now. Hydro will also be able to provide us with energy, and likely there will be some coal left over. It seems that everything else that we are pinning our hopes on today doesn't provide enough net surplus energy and is just being subsidized by the remaining fossil fuels.

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the world in 100 million years

I better not get into what I think it will be like in 100 years.  I think it will be worst than any of us can imagine.

How about this for your next book.  100 million years from now a new humanoid species creates the science of archeology and decides to dig to find out what the past was all about.  But instead of discovering the 5th great extinction's iridium layer he finds the 6th great extinction's layer of highly toxic junk.  Since the half life of uranium 238 is 4.5 billion years, this junk will send the newly created Gieger counter off the charts............

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You may be right.

OK, you maybe right that this might happen in the next 20 years. Will it be a sudden shock or a slow decline? 

In case of a sudden shock there is no amount of planning and prep that an individual can do to save himself in Europe at least. This would cause a societal shift with no return ... if that shift comes then civilisation will be suspended or it will be a very thin veil to cover the actions of the few to benefit a very small group of people.

Why? Because once individuals holding weapons realise that the cataclysm is a one way ticket they will use it to their own benefit. 

Do you think that the weapons in government armoires will lie idle while this tragedy unfolds? A man will hungry kids is choices, put a group of them together and the rest of us have a major problem.

Who is the best organised group with the training, in-group loyalty and coordination to water, secure arable land (and their previous owner as their slaves)?

And those small pockets which will be temporarily shielded will have other groups to contend with. Here in Europe we have some sub groups who have very strong in group preference and loyalty they have proven time and again that they are ruthless and willing to harm others for much lesser reasons.

Tell me when faced with these ods why bother?

Of course there are 9 billion reason to warn all the others before but if you have been trying to do this with family and friends for a few years you know the cost and how hard it is.

I have come to the realisation that the situation is baked in. The cake is rolling down the conveyor belt and at each stage it is impossible to separate the previously mixed ingredients.

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You May be right

OK, you maybe right that this might happen in the next 20 years. Will it be a sudden shock or a slow decline? 

In case of a sudden shock there is no amount of planning and prep that an individual can do to save himself in Europe at least. This would cause a societal shift with no return ... if that shift comes then civilisation will be suspended or it will be a very thin veil to cover the actions of the few to benefit a very small group of people.

Why? Because once individuals holding weapons realise that the cataclysm is a one way ticket they will use it to their own benefit. 

Do you think that the weapons in government armoires will lie idle while this tragedy unfolds? A man will hungry kids is choices, put a group of them together and the rest of us have a major problem.

Who is the best organised group with the training, in-group loyalty and coordination to water, secure arable land (and their previous owner as their slaves)?

And those small pockets which will be temporarily shielded will have other groups to contend with. Here in Europe we have some sub groups who have very strong in group preference and loyalty they have proven time and again that they are ruthless and willing to harm others for much lesser reasons.

Tell me when faced with these ods why bother?

Of course there are 9 billion reason to warn all the others before but if you have been trying to do this with family and friends for a few years you know the cost and how hard it is.

I have come to the realisation that the situation is baked in. The cake is rolling down the conveyor belt and at each stage it is impossible to separate the previously mixed ingredients.

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I think there will be a major

I think there will be a major initial shock, when the financial system resets. This could happen anytime. One might wonder: if things are relatively stable today, then how could they suddenly shock downwards and result in major social decay the next week? Nothing physical has changed in the economy, and pretty much everone is fed, so how could the situation change so quickly? It is because of the end of the illusionary social "welfare" system that has been propping us up for decades. I'm not saying "welfare" in a disparaging way, but over the decades we have built up redundant or "useless" economic systems and jobs to absorb the legions of people who would otherwise be unemployed and homeless due to automation displacing jobs with technology. This would basically constitute the entire financial system which doesn't really do much useful for society except administer the debt-based wealth extraction machine against the masses via mortgages and loans and blowing bubbles. It also drives the economic growth we have seen over the hast half century by pushing people into debt slavery which forces them to work and grow the economy in order to make money for themselves which ultimately just gets transferred to the elites through their debt based finanical system. When debt based money ends or resets, the vast majority of those jobs in the financial sector will disappear, and that is s significant part of the population which currently works in that sector.

Add to this, after the financial shock, economic growth will end because that finanical pozi shcheme driving growth and all the employment it provides to, for example, construciton workers, will quickly cease.

And also add job losses from resetting currencies so that the western countries can no longer run trade deficits and consume stuff made in China simply by printing up imaginary treasury notes.

And add to this losses in government jobs because government tax revenues will be dramatically slashed as half the rest of the workforce loses their jobs.

What I describe above would lead to a sort of Mad Max scenario but I don't see a viable way out of it that the elites are willing to take (the only way would be for them to voluntarily give up trillions of their accumulated wealth, divide it up and give it bak to the citizens, which I see as a slim to nil chance of happening). This situation is a direct result of the ponzi scheme the elites have built up over the last 50 years and the terrible directions it has taken the economy over those years. It will all come undone quickly.

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Thank You

Thank you to everyone for your input. Lots of great ideas.

Mark and Gemel's discussion is very helpful to me. I think you both bring up excellent points. My number one concern with this novel is that I want it to be realistic, but there has to be hope. Otherwise, what's the point?

I think if I can come up with a scenario that is possible, it doesn't even have to be likely, but at least possible, then maybe this book can have hope. I've been practicing permaculture for a decade now, and there are a ton of things that could be done to help the environment. Reforestation, earthworks, etc... Of course, by and large human beings aren't doing them.

The big question I suppose is, how do human beings move from dense, high net energy sources, to low net evergy sources? With a massive drop in their standard of living!

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Life finds a way

Tell me when faced with these ods why bother?

People WILL survive, though maybe not any with your apparent level of determination to do so. surprise Psychological, emotional and spiritual sturdiness and resilience will be the most important characteristics found in the survivors. Always have been. wink

 

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Historical examples

There are lots of historical examples of relatively advanced societies that underwent serious collapse, not quickly followed by a discovery of a cheaper energy source, and yet not everyone died. The Maya built no more grand temples and had no more kings, but they continued on at a lower population level, practicing a similar but less intensive agriculture, still speaking but not writing their language. The Easter Islanders (though there were many fewer of them) still knew how to put up a statue, but no longer bothered, because they needed to use their labor differently in their depleted environment. There's now some evidence that the Yanomamo, at first thought to represent "man in his primitive state," were the remnant of a great civilization which planted the Amazon. Then again, the Greenland Norse all died, and the Ik of Uganda maybe wish they had (or maybe not. Anthropology isn't a hard science.) If I were trying to write fiction about the next hundred years, I would read Jared Diamond's Collapse, Charles Mann's 1491, and Dimitry Orlov's 5 Stages of Collapse before I started, just to get a feel for the different ways it can go.

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100 years of decline

Hi Phil,

If you have not read them yet, I recommend 1491 and 1493, by Charles Mann.

Then take a 3 day vacation at Colonial Williamsburg. Leave the car and all gatgets, including time keepers, at home. Arive by taxi at the gate. Have no aggenda other than to explore life in colonial times on foot for 3 days.

A lot can happen in the next 100 years, but we can make some reasonable assumptions:

The well documented uncurable fungus will arrive at some time in Asia and wipe out all the rubber tree plantations. Little to no natural vulcanized rubber - no O rings or hoses. Ergo, no modern engines, and especially a huge reduction in high-tech electronics because of the complex chemical processes used. Lube oil? Very hard to get and maybe worth it's weight in gold. Sure there is some oil left around and a few refineries might still have a little output, if they haven't been fought over to destruction. But oil is far too valuable to BURN!  Aluminum, also very hard to get. Aluminum can not be made in a forge, you need an oxegen free arc furnace. Hope you can keep those hydro electric dams running. They need maintenance and replacement parts. Got a source for those? Ice storm take your power lines down? Replacement conductive wire is probably being canablized from the network so the service area is shrinking. Flying may be limited to certain one way Hang Glider trips on rickety cloth and bamboo contraptions.International shipping is all done by wood clipper ships, providing you can find the old-growth logs to build them with. Iron ships have all long since rusted for lack of copper based paint. Rusting steel and rebar reinforced concrete structures and bridges are death traps in the process of collapsing, so survivors live in small compact villages much like old towns in southern Europe. Hope you have the manpower to build aquaducts so you have some water pressure without electric pumps. You might see wooden windmills instead. Population levels will be much smaller than today, and climate changes will put them in different places.

Why am I so pessimistic? A complex society contracts by becoming simpler. As interdependencies fail, the items dependent on them cease to function. The thing you thought was a need becomes a want that you can't fullfill, so you let it go and make do without. Millions of people currently live in areas of essental desert. Their water up to now has come from highly complex systems for distribution, sometimes from hundreds of miles away. That is unlikely to last. Indeed, the likelyhood of these things going sour in the next 100 years is really high. The internet and electronics 100 years from now? I doubt it.

The nice thing about writing future fiction is it doen't have to try and be real. Have fun with your story.

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Nuclear disaster already baked in.

My husband lived and worked at the HNR/Hanford Nuclear Reservation as a research scientist in Eastern Washington State back in the 90s.  Long enough to know he did not want to live their long term, or anywhere downwind. 

HNR is where the military made all the plutonium needed for our nuclear weapons during WW2 and into the 1970s.  Everyone was in such a rush to win the arms race, not a lot of attention was paid to waste disposal.  HNR is proabbly one of the most toxic places on earth as a result.  There are estiated 53 million gallons of radioactive waste buried in tanks near the Columbia river.  These tanks need constant monitering, they burp flammable hydrogen gas on a regular basis.  Without competent management and oversight, they could explode.  As it is, they are leaking and the radioactive plume is making its way to the Columbia.  

So we dont need a nuclear war or a terrorist dirty bomb to experience a catastrophic radioactive event. We just need to let the time clock on HAnford to run down without any oversight (or the tremndous amount of high tech interventions/energy input) to prevent the inevitable. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanford_Site

and here is scary article about how Trump's DOE is taking care of HNR.

https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2017/07/department-of-energy-risks-micha...

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Gyurash?

That scenario doesn’t sound in the least depressing to me living in the 1700’s is only poor to those addicted to modernity. In one of Kuntzlers novels an older gal in a knitting circle said she preferred life in the post collapse era?

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Try Jim Kunstler

I have read one of his books but not all. I do follow his articles weekly.  I think his "World made by hand" trilogy sounds feasable. In my own opinion I would count on a lot less tech, less central control, most probably a complete breakdown of all supply chains leading to a very local world as in times past.  Basic skills to keep fed, housed, and warm will be the most important.  Getting to that point will quite likely be very chaotic and very probably violent for most folks.  We can have some successes as Chris has preached for but they will be few and far between.  I wish Robie Robinson had an open house teaching sessions to show us what we are all going to need to know.  I know it has been a awhile since the peak oil idea was considered probable in the general public if ever, but I personally believe that will be the game killer and there are no long term tech solutions to avoid that end of cheap, easy and available energy. With that said, as long as the neocons and warmongers refrain from the letting the missiles fly some of us or are progeny will still be around living as human beings and scraping away to make it through the next day.  Good luck with the book Phil, great subject.

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Society

will be greatly pained by the improbability of our 20/21st century life styles working in the 22nd. 

 

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Here's one for you

Seems to be a hot topic lately...with plenty of entrants into the field:

William T. Vollmann has been writing big, iconoclastic novels for 30 years, but he’s never imagined a dystopia as terrifying as the one he conjures in two immense new nonfiction books about the damage we’re doing to the environment.

“No Immediate Danger” and “No Good Alternative” are addressed to readers who will be born a few centuries from now.

As envisioned by Vollmann, theirs is a barely habitable planet. They flee from “methane fireballs and murderous hurricanes,” live underground during blistering summers and subsist on “recycled urine.” What “you from the future, who understandably despise us,” should know, he says, is that by 2018, climate change was an obvious emergency. Unfortunately, we just didn’t do enough about it.

https://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Carbon-Ideologies-by-William-T-Vollm...

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Trump's DOE

Things have been a soup sandwich at the DOE long before Trump starting personally running the orgaization on a day-to-day basis. . .

Rector

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Trump's DOE

Things have been a soup sandwich at the DOE long before Trump starting personally running the orgaization on a day-to-day basis. . .

Rector

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The outcome

Phil,

I like your approach and I think that Permaculture as a strategy and lifestyle definately is a hopeful approach to our predicament. Going forward, I find the most happiness in doing the things that would improve the situation which does include an ongoing effort to communcate the facts of the matter coupled with actions that can be taken to care for our earthship.

No matter the outcome, being the change you wish to see, doing the things that help change our species approach to our assumed squatters rights on this planet and having a life to live is what my nutshell is all about.

I'll be interested to read your book and have it on my shelf!

Coop

drbost's picture
drbost
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 18 2010
Posts: 66
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, http://www.peakprosperity.com/page/what-should-i-do ).

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 www.nextdoor.com 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.

References:

  1. Johnson, L. (2016). “Sacramento’s Library of Things shares more than bookshttp://www.resilience.org/stories/2016-01-20/sacramento-s-library-of-things-shares-more-than-books”  (Accessed: January 26, 2016)
  1. Martenson, C. (2016).  “What should I do?”. http://www.peakprosperity.com/page/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.  http://www.bostonavenue.org/worship/sermons2 (Accessed: April 19, 2016)

 

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