100 years from now
What will happen? What will have happened? What can we expect to happen?
I’m a 16 year old teenager who doesn't smoke and has never done drugs, or had to take any medications. At the current level of health and my physical activity doctors have told me I will reach close to, or just over, 90 years of age. This means I will live until (roughly) the year 2090, such a perfect number. Our current world has already made multiple advances into agriculture, medicine, technology, exploration, and research. In the last 30 years computers have changed from boxes that took up half of your small desk, to things that fit in your pocket (yes that would be cell phones); what can we expect to happen in 100 years?
Most likely we’ll have chips implanted in our brains that we can access at a moment’s notice whenever and wherever we are. Every device has an 18 month product obsolescence beginning at the release date. Essentially when a product is released you will buy it and after a period of time (usually less than 10 months) the product will no longer be for sale, 18 months after the release date they will stop selling parts to that device. This indicates how fast technology is leaping ahead, at this rate we will have had roughly 66 new updates and devices hit the market. This is assuming the current sale rate; it’s a probability that the actual research is several decades ahead of the latest device. For example quantum computers are just recently becoming the next step; whereas research towards it was most likely started 20 years ago when someone had an idea of an idea. It cannot be said if we will have access to Quantum computers in the next 100 years, although it is entirely plausible to say that we will have standard 128-bit computers available to medium income families.
Agriculturally we will have had to modify our food sources because we will have run out of land (I’ll get into this more under population). Advances have been made into developing algae for human consumption and energy, however with the increase in Global Climate, population, and food demand; we will most likely be experiencing severe food issues in the next 100 years. Another issue is fresh water; why is this an issue? Here’s a little experiment for you to try, grab a one cup of water, one tablespoon of table salt, and any plant. Water that plant with your “salt water” and see how long it takes for the plant to die. In short form, we can’t use salt water to water our plants and we are fast running out of natural fresh water due to pollution, abuse, over consumption, and general waste. The average family flushes their toilet 12 times a day, that’s equal to around 24 liters of water. Add to that your showers, the dishes, the cooking, the plant watering, the animal water, the water used to mop the floors, the water in your boiler downstairs. Add all of these contributing factors and we’re easily draining one of the great lakes every day in North America alone.
Let’s talk about population now. There are currently around 7 billion people on Earth today. Let’s say One Billion of us decide to have exactly 2 kids. Well in the space of a year we've gone from 7 billion to 9 billion. Now, I find it hard to put the number billion into perspective, so let’s try this out. 1 billion minutes is equal to 16,666,666.7 hours which is equal to 694,444 days which is equal to 1902.6 years. If the average life of a person is 90 then 20 people will have died and 22 will have been born in one family line, assuming they only had one child each generation. Not such a big number is it? Well if all 7 billion people had only one child each, then in the next 1 billion minutes the world’s population will have increased to 154,000,000,000 billion people. Hopefully you understand the picture now. According to scientists (and other learned men) we will have reached the maximum population that Earth can sustain in the next 100 years at our current rate of increasing population. The consequences are fairly straightforward. Disease will increase, food will become more expensive and difficult to grow, Wild areas (hah) will become even sparser and first world activities such as skiing and hiking will cease to exist, even more resources will be needed to meet the population’s growing demand. I think I've talked about this enough. We can either stop having kids, or we can expand into space like parasites and take over other worlds.
Now, in population I mentioned the fact that resources will be running out. Well they already are. Forestry and gas are the two largest industries in my home province of British Columbia. I once had the pleasure of taking a hike one day through a forest. I walked nearly ten miles on that trip, I never saw any roads, or any sign of humans. Two years later, those ten miles of forest land had been logged to create space for a gas line. Allow me to put ten miles into perspective for those of us who have trouble with distance. 10 miles is equal to roughly 52,800 feet (if my conversion is correct). This is equal to roughly, assuming everyone is exactly 6 feet tall, 8800 humans stacked head to toe. For those of you who use the metric system that’s 15,840 meters with humans 1.80 meters tall. In other ways, it’s a hell of a long way. In the part of BC where I live there is a forestry service road running East-West with a two kilometer distance between them, and a forestry service road running South-North with a one kilometer distance between them. Now I say forestry service road, but that’s the smallest kind, some of these roads are Highways, or roads, or some other variation, but the land here is divided up by roads. All of these roads are designed to get workers into the oilfields, or the gas mines to feed the growing demand of our nations. So what happens when we run out? Let’s say the world runs out of gas tomorrow, and no one has any left in their vehicles or stored anywhere. You can’t drive anywhere with your fuel powered car, you can’t fly anywhere, you can’t use an outboard engine to power a boat, several of us wouldn't be able to start a fire (yes it uses gas), many stovetops are gas powered, several kinds of production using a machine would stop because there is no fuel to power them, oh and the best news, We can’t mine any more resources because we use machines for that too! We would be forced to change our lifestyle in a matter of days, or we would die. And the ways we use resources is in an uncontrolled, excessive, and extremely quickly rate. At the rate we’re going we’ll be strapped for resources, common resources, within the next hundred years.
Now we come to the real question; how can we resolve all of these problems? Sadly it’s not as easy as talking about them as I have. However a real problem is that many of us don’t know that it’s actually a problem, many of us know it’s a problem and don’t do anything (this would be me), and a small few of us try to do what they can. If you really want to make a difference you can realize that this is a problem, and you can adjust your lifestyle. Recycle instead of trash, turn off lights you don’t need, don’t leave water running for an unnecessary amount of time. These are all little things, but if every person on Earth did them, well it would turn into a big thing.
Thanks for taking the time to read folks,