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Ten years hence

Ten Points about Future Trends

March 31, 2006

On March 31, 2006, futurist John Petersen presented "Four Paths to Four Futures," which contained the following excerpts:

  • A rapid warm-up over the course of a few years could create a powerful convection resulting in a massive storm and ushering in a mini ice age.
  • It is estimated that within the present century, we will reach the "oil peak," or the point after which we start to run out of extractable oil. Prices may reach up to $250 per barrel.
  • As the supply of fossil fuels is exhausted, the transportation industry will move away from the current trend of hybrid and ethanol fuel technologies toward vehicles powered exclusively with electricity.
  • Scientists will work toward developing cleaner sources of energy to manufacture electricity. Research in cold fusion and zero-point energy may lead to the discovery of inexhaustible, non-pollutant energy sources that could help alleviate the fuel and global warming crises.
  • Quantum computing will eventually replace silicon-based computing. Technological innovations may produce computers that will far surpass the boundaries of human intelligence, allowing for the possibility of computers taking over the human world.
  • Scientists are currently working on contact lenses that will allow the wearer to read a book or watch a movie with his or her eyes closed.
  • While population growth is relatively stagnant in the United States and Europe, the growth rate will continue to skyrocket in India and China, resulting in the two countries' economic dominance. The United States will be third in the world's economic hierarchy.
  • Corporate sponsors will plaster advertisements on the exteriors and interiors of buildings.
  • According to epidemiologists, increasing urbanization and crowded living conditions make the probability of a worldwide epidemic 100 hundred percent. The spread of an airborne pathogen could result in as many as 180 million to 360 million casualties within a six-month period.
  • Biotechnology will allow parents the choice of selecting the genetic traits of their offspring and will enable scientists to engineer "perfect humans" resistant to certain diseases.


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