A century of history flashes before your eyes. Not the past, but the future. And now you know how life would unfold over the next 100 years. What changes would happen to the planet over that time? What countries would become world leaders? And why would you not want to live in California?
There are so many things that could happen The population of the planet could continue to grow. Technologies would change. Diseases could be eradicated. The human impacts of climate change could worsen. But no one can see the future. Except for you, of course. And you’re about to witness it all.
By the year 2025, you’d see how India surpassed China and became the most populated country in the world. Its population would grow to over 1.44 billion people. You’d also see some of the continued effects of global warming. The Arctic would become ice-free for several months of the year. Between July and November, polar bears would struggle to live on the disappearing ice sheets.
And while the Earth would undergo these dramatic changes, we’d also lose contact with the Voyager I reporting back from space. This deep space probe has been carrying a gold-plated disk containing sounds and images from Earth since its launch in 1977.
By the year 2030, you’d get a small dose of positive news. The battle against malaria would be close to victory. In 2017, there were around 216 million cases of the disease. But the widespread use of mosquito nets, treated with insecticides, would almost eliminate it.
But things would get seriously shaken up in California. A major earthquake would hit along the roughly 1,300 km (800 mi) long San Andreas Fault. The damage would be enormous, with thousands of deaths and injuries, as well as billions of dollars in losses.
Jumping ahead to the year 2050, and you’d find that robots have taken over many jobs. They’d be running the hospitals, transportation and security. Your wages would go down. And traditional manufacturing jobs would likely be non-existent. On the bright side, based on current research, you could see a universal basic income implemented in many parts of the world.
Hopefully, you’d also see a complete transition of energy resources from fossil fuels to carbon-neutral ones. Wind or solar power could be providing nearly all of the world’s electricity.
Despite all efforts to move to green and renewable energy, global warming wouldn’t go anywhere. And by the year 2060, global temperatures would increase by over 3 °C (5.5 °F). If you lived along the coastline, you’d see your home devastated by rising sea levels and intense storms. New York City would likely build massive sea walls to protect from frequent mass flooding. And that would cost hundreds of billions of dollars.
Fast-forwarding a few years to 2068, and you would see humans get faster thanks to optimized workouts, innovative technological implants and muscle-enhancing devices. You’d witness an impossible world record set in the 100 m (328 ft) sprint.
At this point, people could become bionic. Your body could carry all kinds of nanotechnologies that monitor health or do fun things like make your skin glow with different patterns or colors.
Before the 2090s, humans would get creative about ingesting their proteins. There’d be no more consumption of traditional meats like beef or pork. They’d be out of fashion due to their enormous carbon footprint that now accounts for 14.5% of the world’s greenhouse gases. Instead, you’d be eating fully lab-grown or plant-based meat.
But livestock industries wouldn’t be the only thing facing extinction. Many languages would disappear by the year 2090. English and Mandarin would likely compete as the two most dominant languages spoken everywhere on the planet.
At the dawn of the next century, you could witness technology that would allow us to control extreme seismic events like earthquakes and tsunamis. We’d have an incredible knowledge of what’s going on below the surface and could accurately predict where and when these events would occur.
Finally, at the end of your journey through the future, in the year 2121, you’d reach the point where you could upload your mind to a computer. Congratulations, you’ve achieved immortality. Now, get back to the present and help make some of those good things happen. After all, if you could see the future, could you change it?
- “Fossil Fuels Should Be Phased Out By 2100 Says IPCC”. Matt McGrath. 2014. bbc.com.
- “Voyager 1: Earth’s Farthest Spacecraft”. Elizabeth Howell. 2018. space.com.
- “Voyager – The Golden Record”. 2021. voyager.jpl.nasa.gov.
- “2020-2029 Future Timeline” Will Fox. 2021. futuretimeline.net.