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2060-2100

Global political and economic systems are in a period of immense transition

As the final decades of the 21st century unfold, humanity faces a crisis unparalleled in its history. Where previously had been resource scarcity, climate change has taken centre stage as the most immediate threat to world peace.* Natural and human systems alike face the prospect of permanent collapse. Of the nine planetary boundaries, three – biodiversity, climate change and nitrogen levels – had already been passed by the year 2000.* Now humanity has shot past its limit on land use, freshwater and ocean acidification, as well.* Population, having reached a peak in the 2050s, is now going into decline as millions perish due to war, starvation and environmental disasters. New and terrifying threats have also emerged, such as nanotechnology terrorism.** The global economy, already undergoing rapid change, has entered a period of intense disruption, with traditional free market capitalism beset with problems it is structurally incapable of addressing.* Corporations which have operated for many decades seem to disappear overnight, unable to adapt. So too will governments have to change, as increasingly angry and frightened citizens pile pressure on world leaders to either adjust or step down. Every organisation and institution survives or falls according to its response to this crisis. By 2100, the world will be unrecognisable compared to its earlier status. Political, economic, social, technological and environmental change will have hit so swiftly that these four decades will appear unlike any other period in history.

Much of the world in the 2060s has moved into a rapidly degrading geopolitical situation. Driving this crisis is the seemingly unending stream of climate refugees attempting to cross national borders.** Throughout this period, increasing numbers of equatorial countries are reclassified as failed states, with collapsed governments and directionless populations. Civil war is becoming common in many regions as a result.** For many of the countries adjacent to these equatorial regions, this is leading to severe political and social strife, as desperate measures are introduced to either keep refugees out or try to adjust.* This is a particular problem between Europe and Africa. The Mediterranean has become highly militarised – with Italy, Spain and Greece especially hard hit, resulting in hardline, nationalistic governments coming to power. Many European countries are in political deadlock over food and water sharing. At the other end of Africa, the previously stable country of South Africa is being overrun by refugees from Botswana, which has been almost entirely consumed by desertification.*

Similar problems are proliferating in Asia as well. Bangladesh is slowly being emptied of its populace, with many fleeing to neighbouring India. The latter, however, is unable to support this surge. As a result, vast shantytowns have formed along the Bangladesh-India border, home to many millions of people. Lawless, overcrowded, and with disease epidemics spreading rapidly, this region has become one of the most dangerous in the world.* China too is facing a political crisis as divisions grow between coastal areas and the eastern plateaus. The country's population has fallen into steady decline as many people move northward to more stable climates.* Russia is now negotiating with Beijing to stem this tide of Chinese refugees, further dividing the region. Meanwhile, much of the Middle East has been reduced to a wasteland of anarchy, with only a few semi-stable countries remaining.*

 

2060 end of the world isaac newton

 

North America has seen a dramatic shift in power. The United States and Canada have established a system whereby American citizens are employed temporarily in Canada – similar to the Mexican-American bracero program utilised over a century ago. This is due to both America's disastrous economic situation and Canada's ongoing rise* as a superpower. In any case, large numbers of Americans are moving to Canada permanently whether legal or not. This is creating a great deal of friction between the two countries. Canada's rise has prompted some to call for more aggressive action by the United States, possibly even war. Though not widely supported, the situation is exacerbated by growing violence originating in American enclaves throughout Canada.

At the southern border, the situation is much more pressing. A massive flow of immigrants from the Central American countries, but primarily Mexico, is entering the United States, radically shifting the demographics of southern states. This is encouraged to a certain extent, in response to the loss of American labour to Canada. However, the loss of jobs through mechanisation and the limited regional food production is now forcing American authorities to close off the flow of immigration, leaving a large population of Mexican Americans displaced. The fact that the majority of these people are stuck in the southwest only makes the situation worse. This area is now one of the most destitute in the country, with food and water rationing required almost permanently. Combined with often violent methods used to seal off the border, deep regional and cultural divides are erupting in the United States, the likes of which have not been seen since the Civil War.** American anti-immigration has grown in response, and by now has reached extreme levels. Previously confined to the more radical ends of the Republican Party, numerous off-shoots have sprung up, with new parties supporting extreme nationalistic and neo-fascist ideals. In light of the turmoil America is experiencing, some of these groups in recent elections have come closer to the presidency than any third party has before.

South America is in even worse shape. Though Brazil and Argentina have managed to retain a degree of stability, the mountainous northwestern countries are facing collapse through extreme drought. Some – like Peru and Bolivia – have degraded into a set of armed camps, each protecting their own respective water supply.** Because of geographic barriers, the vast majority of refugees move northward. However, endless droughts and civil wars found throughout Central America mean that only a small portion of these people actually make it to higher latitudes.*

Many of the islands in the South Pacific and Indian Ocean have been completely abandoned. Most of the survivors have moved to Australia.* Several new political organisations have formed out of the remaining island nations, attempting to get their voice heard on the world stage. On Papua New Guinea, shifting populations have led to hundreds of unique languages and cultures dying out.

Geopolitical power has seen a drastic restructuring on a global scale. With the United States focusing on its own internal problems, and China and India having stalled in the face of deteriorating environmental conditions, a new group of countries is emerging to take over. The most prominent are those few nations who have actually benefited from climate change – such as Canada, Russia, Iceland and the Scandinavian countries.** These nations are developing into relatively prosperous eco-technological societies, with some even able to accommodate significant numbers of incoming refugees. The United Kingdom,* New Zealand* and Japan* have managed to stabilise by cutting themselves off from the mainland completely and becoming self-sufficient.

 

ecotechnic future 2060 end of the world isaac newton 2060 predictions future timeline technology

 

In the harder-hit regions, countries that have been able to adapt have found themselves in new positions of power. Mexico, for example, has attained some degree of stability thanks to mass deployment of desalination technology and the use of salt-tolerant biofuels. This is largely thanks to American efforts in earlier decades to control and stabilise Latin America and, by extension, its southern border. Turkey is another example, having escaped the worst of peak oil relatively unscathed due to its large oil and natural gas reserves.* It is now a major regional power, sealing off its borders and hiding behind a shield of nuclear weapons. In many cases, countries have been split into both stable and chaotic regions. Examples of collapsed regions include southern Mexico, southern Italy, and northern India. As a result of all this change, and the collapse of many of their members, organisations such as the UN and NATO have either disappeared entirely, or lost all of their influence. New coalitions are forming based around the rapidly evolving power structure.

While geopolitics has evolved immensely, political practice is undergoing its own revolution. The children and grandchildren of the Baby Boomers are now entirely in control of the political and economic systems, and it is obvious that neither system is functional. Being born in a rapidly degrading world, most of these new world leaders are openly acknowledging the failure of older methods, and are actively seeking a new path forward. The traditional growth economy – still clung to in the 2050s – is finally abandoned during this period, though the transition is long and difficult.** The emergence of the new regional powers to the north – for now seemingly immune to the worst effects of climate change – is creating a more cooperative international community in this part of the world. For the remainder of this century, the world enters into a vast mobilisation of green technology and geo-engineering in the face of disastrous climate change. In terms of scale and effort, it is greater than the industrial output seen during the World Wars, and involves an unprecedented degree of government intervention, in ways that would have been politically impossible in the past.* As the World Wars had proved, resistance to such action quickly evaporates in a life or death situation. Humanity from the 2060s onward is in survival mode.

The growth of AI and robotics – in parallel with bio- and nanotechnology – is offering some hope, making the crisis more manageable than it would otherwise have been.* Human-like AI, previously confined to more strategic and planning roles, is now shifting into more direct control of the world's governments and corporations. With vastly greater capacities for foresight and detail, while lacking human emotions or prejudices, these artificial beings prove an integral part of the adaptation effort.* As well as coordination, they are also used to develop new technologies and to model future climate patterns (along with their social/demographic effects) to ultra-high levels of accuracy. The soaring influence of AI causes public concern early on, many people still viewing such entities with suspicion. However, the more immediate threat of climate change soon overshadows this fear. The fact that humans are upgrading and merging in various ways with AI has made the average person more receptive to their existence than before. Indeed, global warming is offering a path towards wider acceptance of AI in general, now that they are needed in order to sustain civilisation. By the end of this century, their influence will have surpassed humanity's.

Altogether, the new stock of politicians, the emergence of strong AI, the changing geopolitical map, and the sheer difficulty of overcoming the climate crisis, are mobilising whichever countries are able to do so to both address the immediate concerns of global warming and to fix the root underlying problems in the political and economic system. Generally, there are two responses over this period.* The first is the old economy trying to apply traditional mechanisms and assumptions in order to adapt some new form of capitalism to the world. This stance, taken mainly by the old corporate interests, and the more endangered governments, attempts to leverage existing political and market action to try and combat the looming threat of climate catastrophe. The second response is a more radical departure from traditional thinking, looking to reshape the basic fabric of society. This stance – taken by the younger generations, more dynamic corporations, relatively stable governments, and vast majority of AI programs – focuses on long term action and shifting to an entirely new type of economic paradigm.

The first proves to be the dominant response in the early years of this transition, as most countries do not have sufficient energy or resources to address both the immediate effects and underlying causes. Many still incorrectly believe that older economic models could continue if only they were decoupled from CO2 emissions. For now though, a government-regulated, World War II-scale industrial mobilisation proves the best at addressing such a rapidly growing problem in the short-term.* Efforts to address global warming had of course been pursued since the beginning of the century. These measures proved to be woefully inadequate. Now however, action is stepped up by an order of magnitude. Since human CO2 output has dropped to insignificant levels, work is now directed towards geo-engineering to reverse the damage done by emissions in earlier decades and centuries.*

 

correlation co2 temperature graph 2050 2060 future trend graph chart data

 

The survival response to global warming is originally confined to the more stable countries, but quickly follows in almost every other country that can. Because of the huge time lag between deployment of clean energy and a slowdown in warming, the carbon itself must be addressed.** A variety of methods are used. Carbon sequestration, which began to get underway in the late 2020s, is now deployed on scales large enough to remove billions of tonnes of CO2 each year.* This is often done in conjunction with food production, offering a controlled supply of CO2 gas for plants.* In addition to removing carbon, some geoengineering techniques are undertaken that directly address the temperature rise, but not the CO2 level itself. The most common is painting roofs or large open spaces white, thereby reflecting more sunlight and lowering temperature (darker colours absorb more heat).

Other more radical methods are employed. One involves seeding marine stratocumulus clouds with water droplets or nanotechnology particles, making them more reflective to incoming light. Another emulates the cooling effect of volcanic eruptions through the deliberate release of sulfur dioxide into the stratosphere. This is so potent that a single kilogram has the potential to offset several hundred thousand kilograms of CO2.* These approaches caused much debate in earlier decades, due to unpredictability about effects on rainfall.* The science has since improved, however, while simulations provided by quantum computers have removed any lingering uncertainty over the best methods and locations to use.

Other problems are tackled. Ocean acidification is now wreaking havoc on marine environments, with potentially deadly results. The gradual disappearance of algae, for example, threatens a significant loss in oxygen production,* while fishing has become almost non-existent. One answer to this is the introduction of ground-up olivine rock into certain areas of the ocean, which binds to carbonic acid to form bicarbonate. This actually fertilises coral while reducing overall acidification.* Lime is also used in a similar way, on a large enough scale that it actually reverts some parts of the ocean into carbon sinks.* Along with natural means, artificial substances and synthetic organisms together with nanotech are utilised to even greater effect. Despite this, the sheer scale and speed of the problem means that it will be decades before humanity gains full control over the situation.

As the equatorial regions are gradually depopulated, the more stable northerly nations are moving in to develop land for renewable energy and carbon sequestration projects, as well as resource recovery. Farmland is also taken advantage of, though with controversy over whether doing so actually benefits the remaining local population.* Along with mining of asteroids and the Moon, fresh metal and mineral supplies are now becoming available on Earth, thanks to advances in nanotechnology which enable machines to perfectly separate each individual substance out of a rock sample. Phosphorus reserves, for example, are secure now, since even the abundant low quality sources can be mined. Recycling is expanded yet further during this period, reaching 100% in some countries,* once again thanks to nanotechnology. Entire cities, abandoned due to climate change, can in a sense be "recycled" via swarms of automated robots programmed to extract and process useful materials from decaying infrastructure. Landfill sites are particularly rich in this regard.* An additional factor in the easing of resource scarcity is, of course, the collapse in economic demand as the old "growth" paradigm finally grinds to a halt.**

 

2060 end of the world isaac newton

 

As this effort continues, the second response to the disruption – which supports an entirely new and different kind of socio-economic system – begins to take hold.* Though it had a slower start than the more traditional approach, by the final decades of the 21st century this second view inevitably comes to dominate. The older model proves again and again unable to yield a sufficient long term solution, despite the ruling elite doing everything in its power to maintain the status quo. Many countries have to endure violent revolutions and periods of semi-anarchy before genuine progress is made, but a new zeitgeist begins to solidify, aided by the spread of information technology. Though not yet advanced enough to wholly reverse climate change, humanity is able to establish an equilibrium, preventing a worst case scenario and avoiding a collapse of civilisation. Meanwhile, the refugee problem eases during the 2080s, since most have either reached their destination or died trying. With those nations able to save themselves having already done so, and with few nations left to fail, the world enters into a kind of chaotic peace; humans confined to stable northern enclaves amid a ruined and devastated environment.

With this relative stability, the final transition unfolds. Efforts to assign blame for the catastrophe mark this period, with surviving corporate and political figures targeted by members of the younger generations. Most of the worst affected countries see the original industrial nations as the source of their misery. Those which have maintained a coherent government demand to be compensated. As debates rage over a permanent solution to future progress, many call for drastic reform of the global monetary system, or even the elimination of money itself. It is clear that the economy must be based on physical or human capital, rather than assumed value. GDP is gradually dropped as a measure of a nation's wealth, replaced by more genuine markers of human well-being and success. One such model adds life expectancy to overall life satisfaction and divides the result by the ecological footprint, giving an idea of the current generation's quality of life and its effect on the quality of their children's lives.* Artificial intelligence now takes on even more advanced roles – fully controlling the guidance of farming, mining, manufacturing and energy production in order to maximise efficiency and minimise environmental risks.*

The end result of the first response was a form of steady state economics* in the developed world. In light of material constraints and increasing automation, people were buying less, working less and paying less. The effects of this transition are now causing a shift in focus – away from materialism, to more altruistic concepts of family, community and creativity. This is undermining the older established view that money and individual success are vital for happiness.** People have more leisure time and consume far fewer resources. Technology is helping this trend in myriad ways. Virtual reality, for example, allows people to use goods and services that have little or no impact on the real world. Governments are beginning to establish limits on inequality, recognising the drain it has on society,** made clear by AI and quantum computers running simulations and forecasts in precise demographic detail. The basic necessities of life are becoming a shared commons. Crime, poverty and other social problems are gradually being reduced as a result.

The world is far from a utopia, of course. Global warming and sea levels remain a significant threat,* and progress does not occur at the same speed everywhere, or in the same way, due to the differing cultures around the world. There are still many challenges to overcome, but civilisation as a whole is proving more adaptable and innovative than it once was – thanks to the ongoing march of science, which is greatly expanding humanity's intellectual and educational base. This transition will continue into the 22nd century, culminating in a true model of sustainability.*

 

2060

Flood barriers are erected in New York

Sea level rises and storm surges have begun to threaten even the business, financial and cultural heart of America. By 2060, what used to be a once-in-a-century type of flood is becoming a regular occurence.* This has led to the construction of sea walls, breakwaters and locks to the south of Manhattan, including one very big lock at the harbour entrance.* JFK Airport and other parts of the island are receiving protection too. This is one of the largest public works projects in US history, and comes at huge cost. However, the costs of not acting would have been unimaginably greater. Many other cities around the world are enacting similar measures now.

 

new york city manhattan flooding sea level rises barrier defences defenses
Credit: NASA

 

 

Tropical cyclones are wreaking havoc in the Mediterranean

Until now, the near-landlocked Mediterranean Sea was largely immune to the more violent forms of ocean weather. The worst storms that the sea experienced were the so-called "Medicanes" – comparatively tame versions of the much larger and more destructive Atlantic hurricanes. The most notable example occurred in 1995, when a storm created a hurricane-like spiral for a short period of time, complete with an eye.

By 2060, however, normal weather patterns around the world are evolving drastically as a result of climate change. With global temperatures over 3°C (5.5°F) above the 20th century average, the Mediterranean Sea is now home to a prolific hurricane basin.** Warming seawater, combined with increasingly common low pressure systems, is turning the region into an ideal incubator for tropical cyclones. These are now devastating coastal communities throughout the southern coast of Europe and the northern coast of Africa.

These areas were already facing collapse due to heatwaves, chronic drought and sea level rise. Most of Venice has been abandoned, after failed attempts to save it from sinking.** Cities such as Athens, Barcelona, Tripoli, Tunis and Alexandria will soon be following.

 

future cyclone predictions 2050 2060 global warming climate change mediterranean sea

 

 

Global extinction rates are peaking

Environmental destruction is reaching its apex now. Tropical forests are being especially hard hit, with 0.5% of animal and plant species going extinct per year – nearly ten times the rate seen in 2000.* As a result of so much tree loss, more and more carbon is being added to the atmosphere, further increasing the pace of global warming.

 

global extinction rates 2050 2060 future graph chart trend world timeline

 

 

An aging population

In the early 21st century, around one in five of the European population was aged over 65. This meant that the pension costs, public health and transportation needs (and sometimes the housing and social-welfare requirements) of each senior citizen were supported by taxes and other deductions from the incomes of four working-age people (aged 15 to 64).

However, birth rates stayed low throughout the first half and into the second half of the century, whilst longevity was extending through better medicine, gene therapy, nanotechnology, improved lifestyles and so on. This meant that the ratio of young to old began to shrink dramatically. By 2060 there are 50m fewer workers and 67m more seniors, so the ratio is changed to one in three. In other words, only two working-age people to support each senior.

This has impacted hugely on government budgets, leading to a radical overhaul of social welfare. A similar pattern has emerged in other parts of the world. Japan has faced the biggest change of all, with 40% of its population now aged over 65, double the figure in 2006.

 

aging ageing population elderly old age future 2050 2060

 

 

Helium-3 mining on the Moon

A number of private ventures now have automated mining operations on the Moon.* One of the primary resources for extraction is Helium-3, for use in the reactors of fusion power plants. This material is rare on Earth, but plentiful on the lunar surface. It is exceedingly valuable, with a single shuttle-load being enough to power an entire country for months.

 

mining moon fusion

 

 

Technology has transformed modern education

Exponential progress in the fields of communication, information technology and computer science continues to reshape society. Some of the most important advances have occurred in education. Although many countries are being ravaged by global warming, access to learning is now so effortless and inexpensive that – paradoxically – even the poorest and most destitute of places can take advantage of it.

Schools and classrooms as people from the 20th century would know them have largely disappeared by 2060. Networking has replaced in-person learning for the vast majority of students, who now take part in decentralised, online and virtual classes. Strong AI has supplanted most of the roles that were formerly held by human teachers. These artificial instructors have instant access to vast repositories of data and knowledge, greatly expanding the horizons of learning environments. Students are exposed to a much wider variety of culture and ideas, since classes are no longer limited by geographical proximity. Connectivity allows young people with similar interests and abilities to learn together and be optimally matched in terms of personality types. Universal translators have removed any language barriers such international classrooms would have experienced in the past.

Full immersion virtual reality allows modern "schools" to exist as purely online institutions, with a seemingly infinite variety of classes and subjects. These can be experienced through self-guiding neural implants – or more commonly, by simply wearing an external device like a headset or visor. Free software and the negligible cost of hardware have brought unprecedented levels of education to Third World countries. The lack of required physical infrastructure and reduced need to pay teachers* has given even the poorest neighbourhoods access to a range of study far beyond anything seen in the past. While schools and colleges still exist in the physical world, these are declining in number and have been heavily influenced by information technology. Instead of paper or textbooks, students make use of portable tablet devices with essentially limitless power and bandwidth, again at negligible cost. As a consequence, global illiteracy has fallen below 1%.**

 

global illiteracy rate

 

As well as technology, the process of education itself has evolved to meet the changing needs of society. With the continuing trend of mechanisation, the bulk of manufacturing and physical labour has been relegated to machines. Even many white collar jobs have disappeared thanks to the emergence of strong AI. As a result, human work is increasingly confined to subjective, abstract and/or creative professions – such as science, art, design, law, etc. This has turned high education into an absolute necessity in many countries. Methods for teaching students have changed in response.

In the past, most systems of education consisted of a set period of time that people would move through school. The grades they received played a large role in determining what opportunities they would have later in life. Regardless of how well students did in school, and regardless of whether they even understood the material, they would all complete their education at roughly the same time with whatever skill level they had managed to acquire. Now, this method has been reversed.* In the most developed countries, semester-based learning has been replaced with a go-at-your-own-pace style of learning. The proliferation of virtual teachers has made it possible for a person's education to be exactly tailored to their own learning abilities and interests. This avoids the issue of exceptional students being held back, and struggling students being left behind. The overall result is that time spent in school has become variable, while the level of knowledge and skill one gets out of school has been given a floor.

The physical (and virtual) classroom environment itself has also changed. It is common now to have a single class be taught by more than one teacher, allowing them to play off their individual strengths and give students a broader base of information. Teaching is much more reciprocal, with students learning from teachers, learning from other students, or even imparting their own knowledge back onto the teacher. Also, the classic lecture environment has been replaced by a more hands-on approach. Much more of schooling involves practical application with teachers demonstrating exactly how their material can be used in the real world.

Technology is bringing further innovations to education. A profound and world-altering paradigm – referred to in earlier decades as the 'Singularity' – appears to be on the cusp of emerging. For increasing numbers of people, direct merger of their brain with cloud-based, non-biological artificial intelligence* has become necessary in order to keep up with the truly staggering amount of new information appearing each day.* These upgrades are having a significant impact on the process of learning. Personal AI can guide a person's educational progression using detailed knowledge of their brain structure and learning abilities. By the end of the century, this method of assisted learning will evolve into a system of downloads, with new skills and facts seamlessly inserted directly into a person's brain. This will ultimately lead to the end of education in the traditional sense, with a new species of transhuman emerging based on automatic, instantaneous accumulation of knowledge and vastly amplified intelligence.

 

education year 2060

 

 

 

2061

Halley's Comet returns

The most famous of the periodic comets, Halley's Comet last appeared in the inner solar system in 1986. Like most comets, it has a highly elliptical orbit – taking it close to the Sun for only a short time. Several unmanned probes are sent to explore it during this year, including the first robotic lander.

 

manned mission halleys comet 2061 future timeline space travel exploration technology 21st century

 

The UK population reaches 80 million

The UK is now the most populous country in Western Europe, with more people than France (72 million), Germany (71 million) and Spain (52 million).** The population of Europe, as a whole, has been declining since the 2030s. However, strong growth from immigration and a younger average population, combined with favourable environmental conditions have allowed the UK to prosper and become the leading economic power in the region.

The country's ethnic makeup has changed dramatically over the last 50 years, becoming far more diverse and geographically integrated. In particular, black and Asian persons in the most affluent areas have greatly increased.*

London has become a true mega-city. Its urban population (in the continuous built-up area surrounding the city) has swelled to almost 12m, while its total metropolitan area now encompasses the entire southern half of England. An extensive network of high-speed rail joins its various satellite cities. Other infrastructure being planned includes a series of tunnels spanning the Irish Sea.*

 

uk population 2050 2060 future london united kingdom britain england

 


2062

Nanofabricators are a mainstream consumer product*

These all-purpose, desktop machines can reproduce a seemingly infinite variety of items. In effect, they are like miniature factories – more advanced versions of 3D printers seen in earlier decades. They have been around in certain military, corporate and medical environments for a while, but are now a mainstream consumer product.

In appearance, they resemble a combined washing machine/microwave oven. Raw materials are purchased separately and can be loaded in solid, liquid or powder form. An interior compartment is accessed via a small hatch, where objects are constructed atom-by-atom. The process takes a matter of minutes and the assembled items can be used immediately. New schematics can be accessed from the web and programmed into the machine.

 

 


2064

IT's share of the US economy reaches 20%

Even during periods of economic crisis, information technology has continued to improve with consistent growth for over a century.*By 2100, over a quarter of the US economy will be based on IT.

 

IT share of US economy 2000-2065

 


2065

Longevity treatments that can halt aging

Following decades of research and development, treatments are now available that can halt the aging process at low cost. This landmark in the field of gerontology – achieved some years earlier for the rich – is now affordable to the average person.

Rather than being a single process, aging was found to be caused by seven key types of damage.*

1. Junk – inside cells
2. Junk – outside cells

3. Cells – too few being produced
4. Cells – too many being produced
5. Mutations – chromosomes
6. Mutations – mitochondria
7. Protein crosslinks

Various combinations of drugs were developed in order to combat these types of damage. In 2010, it was possible to slow aging by only two months per year. Over the subsequent decades, however, the "actuarial escape velocity" of twelve months per year was eventually reached. Exponential progress was made thanks to the growth of information technology in medicine, combined with advances in nanotechnology which led to ever smaller and more sophisticated procedures.

Debates rage over the morality of this treatment and its consequences for the global population, but there is generally strong support from the public. Further refinement makes it possible not only to halt the aging process but to actually reverse it.

 

 

longevity treatment halt aging ageing future dna genetics 2050 2060s timeline

 

 

Self-assembling buildings made entirely from nanotech

Nanotechnology – the control of matter on an atom-by-atom basis – has swept the world, transforming society in myriad ways.* At the same time, new methods of automation are displacing the need for human labour on ever increasing scales. A growing number of industries have seen their workforce shrink dramatically, with robots and AI handling the bulk of operations. Unemployment is soaring around the world during this time.

Now, even construction companies are being affected. By the middle of this decade, it's becoming possible to build entire homes and offices using nanotechnology alone. For a typical square or rectangular plot of land, this takes the form of self-assembling machinery, based around a scaffold system that initially resembles a giant, four poster bed. Vertical columns, one in each corner of the site, support a platform that gradually rises from the ground, adding successive layers of material beneath it. The columns rise in tandem with the platform, whilst also relaying material, until the building is finally topped out.

In effect, these machines are like substantially bigger versions of 3D printers and nanofabricators. For some of the more "unique" building designs or features, traditional methods of construction and engineering are still incorporated. Even these will eventually be replaced by self-assemblers as the technology advances further.

Atom by atom, these intelligent machines lay the foundations, core, framework, flooring, electrics, doors and other components – while robots inspect the interior, perform safety checks and make adjustments where necessary.

By the 2070s, even skyscrapers and other tall structures can be erected using this method. The process is so rapid, it takes a matter of weeks from groundwork to final completion – or days, in some cases. Humans are rarely if ever needed on site.

 

nanotechnology picotechnology femtotechnology future construction nanotech picotech femtotech nanoengineering picoengineering femtoengineering

 

 

Invisibility suits are in military use

Once considered purely theoretical, advances in metamaterials have enabled the creation of truly invisible camouflage suits.* When activated, these render the wearer completely transparent.

Breakthroughs in earlier decades showed that objects utilising metamaterials could be made invisible to microwave radiation. This was followed some years later by infrared radiation, until eventually all the frequencies of visible light on the spectrum could be filtered. When combined with advances in nanotech, this made it possible to produce lightweight fabrics that could bend light in three dimensions.

A complex "mosaic" of nano-implants is embedded into the suit. These mosaics are stacked in layers: one for each frequency of the visible light spectrum. The effect is similar to that of a river flowing around a boulder. Light flows around the suit, before continuing in a straight line towards the onlooker.

The layers are so thin, and the implants so small, that the fabrics offer the wearer complete freedom of movement and flexibility. These suits are expensive, however, and are used mainly by special forces in covert operations.

The only obvious vulnerability is when the suits are used in heavy rain, or if crossing a body of water.

 

invisibility future technology military timeline

Cloaking device active: Light is deflected around the object, causing it to be invisible.
Credit: Birck Nanotechnology Center, Purdue University

 

invisibility future technology military timeline

Cloaking device deactivated: Light is reflected and absorbed, causing it to be visible.
Credit: Birck Nanotechnology Center, Purdue University

 

 

Insurance crisis

Damage wrought by accelerating climate change has led to most insurance firms filing for bankruptcy.* In the United States, widespread flooding has resulted in hundreds of billions of dollars' worth of damage. Coastal cities are particularly badly hit. Much of the infrastructure in the southern states has been destroyed by category 5 hurricanes, with Houston and New Orleans virtually abandoned. Along the west coast, gigantic forest fires spread by the tinder-dry ground have ravaged much of the land. The economy of California is in tatters. Many of the biggest insurance firms are nationalised by the government in a bid to avert economic collapse.

 

forest fire california climate change insurance crisis future timeline

 

 

 

2067

The first generation of antimatter-powered spacecraft is emerging

A hundred years have passed since humans first ventured into space. For much of that time, manned craft were limited to the Earth-Moon system with only small, incremental advances in propulsion systems. After the legendary Apollo missions, it had seemed like anything was possible – even travel to the stars.* But disappointment followed, as the Space Race ended and priorities shifted elsewhere. The goal of colonising the Moon, putting men on Mars and exploring the outer Solar System became a distant prospect: relegated to the realm of science fiction.

As the early years of the 21st century unfolded there was a perception among many that this trend would continue. A number of setbacks reinforced this view – such as the retirement of the Space Shuttle, the cancellation of NASA's Constellation program and the relative lack of excitement around the International Space Station, along with an emerging financial crisis.

In reality, however, great strides were being made in a number of areas. For a start, information technology was growing at an exponential rate; a pattern that had remained consistent for many decades and showed little sign of slowing down. Computer processing power, memory, data storage, bandwidth and a host of other measures were doubling in performance every 12-18 months, whilst declining dramatically in cost. This greatly accelerated the pace of research and development, as knowledge could be shared quickly and easily around the world. Billions of people gained access to the World Wide Web, fostering education and innovation on an unprecedented scale.**

Previously restricted to government agencies, space began to open up, becoming commercialised and industrialised. Entrepreneurial efforts by wealthy individuals led to a thriving market for space tourism,* while crowdfunding and other creative options gave rise to many smaller-scale enterprises. The emergence of new players such as China and India further helped in reinvigorating space research.

As the decades passed, a new generation of rockets was developed. Materials based on nanotechnology enabled stronger, lighter and cheaper spacecraft. Artificial intelligence was another byproduct of the information revolution, enabling systems to effectively design themselves.* By the middle of the century, launch costs had been reduced by orders of magnitude.*

Alongside all of this, many important breakthroughs were made in the understanding of scientific processes and physical phenomena. Among the most significant of these was in antimatter production and confinement. In 2010, particles of antimatter were trapped for the first time at CERN in Geneva. Researchers produced, trapped and then released a few dozen atoms of antihydrogen for around two-tenths of a second.* The following year, this feat was achieved again but for 17 minutes – nearly four orders of magnitude longer than before.*

 

antimatter spacecraft propulsion future now

 

With stupendously high energy density (roughly 10 billion times more powerful than chemical reactions such as hydrogen and oxygen combustion),* antimatter held potential as the ultimate source of spacecraft propulsion. Unfortunately, it was extraordinarily difficult and expensive to produce, with a few grams costing trillions of dollars* and total production from 1950 to 2010 being just 10 nanograms.

However, scientific and technological progress in the early-mid 21st century was occurring at an exponential rate.* Anti-proton production began to increase substantially, aided by ever-more sophisticated models and simulations, together with AI programs that were beginning to match – and even exceed – human intelligence.** This happened in parallel with rapid advances in engine design, materials science and fusion power. By the late 2060s, the first prototype antimatter-powered spacecraft is demonstrated.*

The "fuel" for this vessel consists of tiny pellets containing deuterium and tritium – heavy isotopes of hydrogen with one or two neutrons, respectively, in their nuclei (hydrogen normally has no neutrons). Inside each pellet, this fuel is surrounded by uranium. A beam of anti-protons, with an electrical charge of minus-1, is then fired at the pellets. When the anti-protons collide with the uranium nuclei, they annihilate, generating vast amounts of energy which triggers fusion reactions in the fuel. This provides thrust via magnetic confinement and a magnetic nozzle.

Using this propulsion system, a trip to Jupiter can be achieved in just four months, using 1.16 grams of anti-protons. By the 2080s, a number of manned missions are being conducted. Further advances in antimatter and ship designs will pave the way for interstellar travel in the 22nd and 23rd centuries.

 

future antimatter engines 2050 2060 technology timeline
Artist's concept of antimatter propulsion system. Credit: NASA

 

 

Male and female salaries are reaching parity

In the developed world, the gender gap has narrowed to such an extent that salaries and rights are pretty much equal for both sexes. Women are now playing a greater role in business and government than ever before. Just one consequence has been a significant reduction in military spending. The money and resources saved are being diverted to education, healthcare, transport and environmental programmes, improving the living standards and opportunities for many. With less male aggression in world affairs, more balanced and rational discourse is taking place on international issues. The world of capitalism, too, is undergoing some of the biggest changes in its history, with less pursuit of short term profits and a greater emphasis on long-term sustainability.

Other factors have been responsible for this shift in focus – such as the terrifying depletion of natural resources, which has forced a radical change of priorities. Widespread use of AI in neutral, passive, consultative roles is also helping to strengthen cooperation by providing more "logical" solutions to global problems.

 

male female men women salaries equal equality parity earnings 2050 2100

 


2068

A major landmark in the world of athletics*

At the 2068 Olympics, a major landmark is passed when a black male athlete completes the 100m sprint in less than nine seconds. Improved lifestyles and training techniques – including use of VR for mental enhancement – has seen the world record continue to fall during the last few decades. However, these records will soon be hitting a barrier as it becomes physically impossible for humans to run any faster without the use of biotechnological aids.*

A new breed of "super athlete" emerges, as the authorities begin to legalise certain implants, drugs and muscle-enhancing devices. There is talk of splitting the games into three separate events – the Paralympics for those with disabilities; a "classic" group for natural, unenhanced athletes; and a third "cyber" category for those with biotechnology enhancements.

The Paralympics will eventually disappear altogether as literally all physical and visual disabilities are overcome.

 

100m sprint record olympic athlete future 9 nine second barrier

 


2069

100th anniversary of Apollo 11

Exactly a century has passed since Neil Armstrong made the first historic landing on the Moon. This anniversary is marked by celebrations in the lunar colonies. It later becomes the first off-Earth national holiday. By this date, Apollo 11's landing site has been turned into a UNESCO world heritage site and tourist destination. Visitors can walk around the lunar module and see the famous footprints left by the astronauts. However, although the spacecraft is perfectly preserved, the American flag has been long since bleached white by UV radiation on the lunar surface. The flag was also displaced from its original location when the astronauts blasted off.*

 

apollo 11 landing site
Credit: NASA

 

 

The U.S. population reaches half a billion*

Deteriorating environmental conditions have led much of the population to shift north. The southern states have become dominated by Mexican immigrants.**

 

future us population trends 2050 2100

 

 

 
   
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References

1 Royal Society Special Issue on Global Warming Details 'Hellish Vision' of 7°F (4°C) World — Which We May Face in the 2060s!, Climate Progress:
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2011/06/02/234291/royal-society-7f-4c-world/
Accessed 21st July 2012.

2 Don't Panic: Earth's Nine Threats to Humanity, Bloomberg:
http://www.bloomberg.com/slideshow/2011-12-12/don-t-panic-earth-s-nine-threats-to-humanity.html#slide1
Accessed 21st July 2012.

3 The God Species, by Mark Lynas:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/God-Species-Humans-Really-Planet/dp/000731342X/
Accessed 21st July 2012.

4 Engines of Creation: The Coming Era of Nanotechnology, by Eric Drexler:
http://www.amazon.com/Engines-Creation-Coming-Era-Nanotechnology/dp/0385199732/
Accessed 21st July 2012.

5 Grey goo, Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grey_goo
Accessed 21st July 2012.

6 Peter Joseph Radio Lecture "A Profile of Collapse", The Zeitgeist Movement ]:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bil6ZTEvC8M
Accessed 21st July 2012.

7 Major migration challenge by 2060, experts warn, The Telegraph:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/8836567/Major-migration-challenge-by-2060-experts-warn.html
Accessed 21st July 2012.

8 Where will they go when the Sea rises?, New Scientist:
http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg18624983.800-where-will-they-go-when-the-sea-rises.html
Accessed 21st July 2012.

9 In Northern Africa, Climate Change Could Make A Current Refugee Crisis Even Worse, Climate Progress:
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2012/05/31/492382/northern-africa-climate-change-refugee-crisis/
Accessed 21st July 2012.

10 Climate change will lead to civil wars in Africa, says research, The Telegraph:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/6653298/Climate-change-will-lead-to-civil-wars-in-Africa-says-research.html
Accessed 21st July 2012.

11 The Geopolitics of Climate Change, Gwynne Dyer:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aRLg8No0RVQ
Accessed 21st July 2012.

12 "Even at the coarse resolution of a computer model grid, Botswana's fate is clear – the entire country is covered by 'active' dunes after about 2070."
See
Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet, by Mark Lynas:
http://www.amazon.com/Six-Degrees-Future-Hotter-Planet/dp/0007209053/
Accessed 21st July 2012.

13 2084: An Oral History of the Great Warming, by James Powell:
http://www.amazon.com/2084-History-Warming-Kindle-ebook/dp/B004TAD8G0/
Accessed 21st July 2012.

14 Glaciers in Southwest China Feel the Brunt of Climate Change, Science Daily:
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111025210906.htm
Accessed 21st July 2012.

15 See 2035.

16 Could global warming turn Canada into a superpower?, CTV News:
http://www.ctvnews.ca/could-global-warming-turn-canada-into-a-superpower-1.556373
Accessed 21st July 2012.

17 The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century, by George Friedman:
http://www.amazon.com/The-Next-100-Years-Forecast/dp/0767923057/
Accessed 21st July 2012.

18 See 2082.

19 2084: An Oral History of the Great Warming, by James Powell:
http://www.amazon.com/2084-History-Warming-Kindle-ebook/dp/B004TAD8G0/
Accessed 21st July 2012.

20 Catastrophic Drought Looms for Capital City of Bolivia, Science Daily:
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101112141332.htm
Accessed 21st July 2012.

21 Climate Migration in Latin America: A Future 'Flood of Refugees' to the North?, Council on Hemispheric Affairs:
http://www.coha.org/climate-migration-in-latin-america-part-1/
Accessed 21st July 2012.

22 To Escape Rising Seas, Maldives President May Move His Entire Island Nation to Australia, Tree Hugger:
http://www.treehugger.com/climate-change/sea-levels-rise-maldives-president-may-move-his-entire-island-nation-australia.html
Accessed 21st July 2012.

23 Surviving in a warmer world, New Scientist:
http://www.newscientist.com/embedded/mg20126971700-surviving-in-a-warmer-world
Accessed 21st July 2012.

24 See 2035-2040.

25 See 2056.

26 Refugees Join List of Climate-Change Issues, New York Times:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/29/world/29refugees.html?_r=1
Accessed 21st July 2012.

27 Climate Wars: The Fight for Survival as the World Overheats, by Gwynne Dyer:
http://www.amazon.com/Climate-Wars-Fight-Survival-Overheats/dp/1851688145/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1339144404&sr=8-1
Accessed 21st July 2012.

28 See 2023.

29 Life after the end of economic growth, The Guardian:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/nov/30/end-of-growth
Accessed 21st July 2012.

30 The Great Disruption: Why the Climate Crisis Will Bring On the End of Shopping and the Birth of a New World, by Paul Gilding:
http://www.amazon.com/Great-Disruption-Climate-Crisis-Shopping/dp/1608193535/
Accessed 21st July 2012.

31 Why Climate Change Will Make You Love Government, AlterNet:
http://www.alternet.org/newsandviews/article/766764/why_climate_change_will_make_you_love_government
Accessed 21st July 2012.

32 The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology, by Ray Kurzweil:
http://www.amazon.com/Singularity-Near-Humans-Transcend-Biology/dp/0143037889/
Accessed 21st July 2012.

33 The Age of Virtuous Machines, KurzweilAI:
http://www.kurzweilai.net/the-age-of-virtuous-machines
Accessed 21st July 2012.

34 The Great Disruption: Why the Climate Crisis Will Bring On the End of Shopping and the Birth of a New World, by Paul Gilding:
http://www.amazon.com/Great-Disruption-Climate-Crisis-Shopping/dp/1608193535/
Accessed 21st July 2012.

35 The full global warming solution: How the world can stabilize at 350 to 450 ppm, Climate Progress:
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2011/01/10/207320/the-full-global-warming-solution-how-the-world-can-stabilize-at-350-to-450-ppm/
Accessed 21st July 2012.

36 Data sources for graph -
Temperature record: http://www.skepticalscience.com/graphics.php
Carbon emissions: http://cdiac.ornl.gov/trends/emis/glo.html

CO2 concentration: http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/history.html

37 Bombshell: You Can't Slow Projected Warming With Gas, You Need 'Rapid and Massive Deployment' of Zero-Carbon Power, Think Progress:
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2012/03/01/428764/ddrop-in-warming-requires-rapid-massive-deployment039-of-zero-carbon-power
Accessed 21st July 2012.

38 Low-carbon technologies 'no quick-fix', say researchers, Institute of Physics:
http://www.iop.org/news/12/feb/page_53901.html
Accessed 21st July 2012.

39 Carbon Mitigation Initiative: Stabilization Wedges Introduction, Princeton University:
http://cmi.princeton.edu/wedges/intro.php
Accessed 21st July 2012.

40 The business of cooling the planet, CNN Money:
http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2011/10/07/the-business-of-cooling-the-planet/
Accessed 21st July 2012.

41 The Geoengineering Option, Foreign Affairs (subscription required to access full article):
http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/64829/david-g-victor-m-granger-morgan-jay-apt-john-steinbruner-and-kat/
Accessed 21st July 2012.

42 Scientists warn geoengineering may disrupt rainfall, Reuters:
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/06/06/us-geoengineering-research-idUSBRE8550P020120606
Accessed 21st July 2012.

43 A stunning year in climate science reveals that human civilization is on the precipice, Think Progress:
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2010/11/15/207034/year-in-climate-science-climategate/
Accessed 21st July 2012.

44 Geoengineering potential of artificially enhanced silicate weathering of olivine, PNAS:
http://www.pnas.org/content/107/47/20228.full.pdf
Accessed 21st July 2012.

45 The God Species, by Mark Lynas:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/God-Species-Humans-Really-Planet/dp/000731342X/
Accessed 21st July 2012.

46 The New Colonialism: Foreign Investors Snap Up African Farmland, Spiegel Online:
http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/the-new-colonialism-foreign-investors-snap-up-african-farmland-a-639224-2.html
Accessed 21st July 2012.

47 Welsh recycling rates hit 48%, The Guardian:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/jun/28/wales-recycling-rates
Accessed 21st July 2012.

48 Why landfill mining could be the next big thing, The Guardian:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/oct/11/energy-industry-landfill
Accessed 21st July 2012.

49 The End of Growth: Adapting to Our New Economic Reality, by Richard Heinberg:
http://www.amazon.com/The-End-Growth-Adapting-Economic/dp/0865716951
Accessed 21st July 2012.

50 S&P: 60% of countries will be bankrupt within 50 years, Raw Story:
http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/10/09/sp-60-countries-bankrupt-50-years/
Accessed 21st July 2012.

51 The Great Disruption: Why the Climate Crisis Will Bring On the End of Shopping and the Birth of a New World, by Paul Gilding:
http://www.amazon.com/Great-Disruption-Climate-Crisis-Shopping/dp/1608193535/
Accessed 21st July 2012.

52 Happy Planet Index:
http://www.happyplanetindex.org/
Accessed 21st July 2012.

53 Technology, The Venus Project:
http://www.thevenusproject.com/en/technology
Accessed 21st July 2012.

54 Steady state economy, Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steady_state_economy
Accessed 21st July 2012.

55 The High Price of Materialism, MIT Press:
http://mitpress.mit.edu/catalog/item/default.asp?ttype=2&tid=8959
Accessed 21st July 2012.

56 Graham Hill: Less stuff, more happiness, TED:
http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/graham_hill_less_stuff_more_happiness.html
Accessed 21st July 2012.

57 Why economic inequality leads to collapse, The Guardian:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/feb/05/inequality-leads-to-economic-collapse
Accessed 21st July 2012.

58 The Evidence in Detail, The Equality Trust:
http://www.equalitytrust.org.uk/why/evidence
Accessed 21st July 2012.

59 Sea Level Rise: It Could Be Worse Than We Think, Climate Progress:
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2012/07/21/516171/sea-level-rise-it-could-be-worse-than-we-think/
Accessed 21st July 2012.

60 Zeitgeist: Moving Forward:
http://www.zeitgeistmovingforward.com/
Accessed 21st July 2012.

61 "Much of Lower Manhattan could be submerging as frequently as every five years, making whole zones economically unviable."
Six Degrees, by Mark Lynas.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Six-Degrees-Future-Hotter-Planet/dp/0007209053/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1221170576&sr=1-1.
Accessed 26th August 2009.

62Saving New York, YouTube.com:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dnYhI32EMHk
Accessed 26th August 2009.

63 Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet, by Mark Lynas:
http://www.amazon.com/Six-Degrees-Future-Hotter-Planet/dp/1426203853/
Accessed 16th October 2012.

64 Warming may bring hurricanes to Mediterranean, Reuters:
http://www.reuters.com/article/2007/07/16/us-climate-mediterranean-idUSL1666597920070716
Accessed 16th October 2012.

65 Climate change could swamp Venice's flood defence, New Scientist:
http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn17668-climate-change-could-swamp-venices-flood-defence.html
Accessed 16th October 2012.

66 Moses won't save Venice says mayor, Italy Magazine:
http://www.italymag.co.uk/italy/veneto/moses-won-t-save-venice-says-mayor
Accessed 16th October 2012.

67 Tropical habitat loss threatens mass extinction akin to fall of the dinosaurs, Columbia University:
http://www.columbia.edu/cu/pr/00/03/extinction.html
Accessed 16th February 2010.

68 Moon mine 'could start in 50 years', BBC:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_9669000/9669997.stm
Accessed 12th November 2012.

69 Given Tablets but No Teachers, Ethiopian Children Teach Themselves, Technology Review:
http://www.technologyreview.com/news/506466/given-tablets-but-no-teachers-ethiopian-children-teach-themselves/
Accessed 12th November 2012.

70 World illiteracy, 1970-2015, Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:World_illiteracy_1970-2010.svg&page=1
Accessed 12th November 2012.

71 Literacy and Education Data for the school year ending in 2010, UNESCO:
http://www.uis.unesco.org/literacy/Pages/adult-youth-literacy-data-viz.aspx
Accessed 12th November 2012.

72 Year 2060: Education Predictions, Khan Academy:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CiKrFcgVSIU
Accessed 12th November 2012.

73 Neural implant enhances brain function in monkeys, study finds, The Verge:
http://www.theverge.com/2012/9/15/3337178/brain-neural-implant-monkeys-cocaine
Accessed 12th November 2012.

74 See 2083.

75 Graph extrapolated to 2061, using data from page 75 (figure 11.1) of:
ETHNIC POPULATION PROJECTIONS FOR THE UK AND LOCAL AREAS, 2001-2051
, University of Leeds:
http://www.geog.leeds.ac.uk/fileadmin/downloads/school/research/projects/migrants/WP_ETH_POP_PROJECTIONS.pdf
Accessed 16th July 2010.

76 Britain's population timebomb: By 2060 there'll be just two workers for every pensioner, London Evening Standard:
http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/article-23545236-britains-population-timebomb-by-2060-therell-be-just-two-workers-for-every-pensioner.do
Accessed 16th July 2010.

77 UK in 2051 to be ‘significantly more diverse’, University of Leeds:
http://www.leeds.ac.uk/news/article/853/uk_in_2051_to_be_significantly_more_diverse
Accessed 16th July 2010.

78 Irish Sea Tunnel, Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irish_Sea_tunnel
Accessed 17th July 2009.

79 Timeline of Trends & Events – 1750 to 2100, socialtechnologies.com:
http://www.socialtechnologies.com/FileView.aspx?filename=Timeline_final2008_online.pdf
Accessed 15th July 2009.

80 Singularity is Near – SIN Graph – IT's share of the economy, Singularity.com:
http://singularity.com/charts/page107.html
Accessed 6th December 2009.

81 Aubrey de Grey – In Pursuit of Longevity, YouTube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTMNfU7zftQ
Accessed 21st March 2010.

82Engines of Creation: The Coming Era of Nanotechnology, K. Eric Drexler:
http://www.amazon.com/Engines-Creation-Coming-Era-Nanotechnology/dp/0385199732/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1281048457&sr=1-1
Accessed 12th September 2010.

83 Physics of the Impossible, by Michio Kaku:
http://www.amazon.com/Physics-Impossible-Scientific-Exploration-Teleportation/dp/0307278824/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1250029787&sr=1-1

Accessed 8th September 2009.

84 Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet, by Mark Lynas:
http://www.amazon.com/Six-Degrees-Future-Hotter-Planet/dp/0007209053/
Accessed 21st July 2012.

85 Project Daedalus, Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Daedalus
Accessed 16th September 2012.

86 See 2020.

87 Peter Diamandis on Moore's Law and Changing the World, Future Timeline Blog:
http://www.futuretimeline.net/blog/2012/09/15.htm
Accessed 16th September 2012.

88 Space Tourism Is Here! Wealthy Adventurers Wanted, The New York Times:
http://travel.nytimes.com/2012/09/09/travel/space-tourism-is-here-wealthy-adventurers-wanted.html?_r=1
Accessed 16th September 2012.

89 The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology, by Ray Kurzweil:
http://www.amazon.com/Singularity-Near-Humans-Transcend-Biology/dp/0143037889/

Accessed 16th September 2012.

90 "By 2040, it's expected to cost only tens of dollars per pound to launch humans or cargo to space; today, it costs as much as $10,000 per pound."
See JSC Celebrates 40 Years of Human Space Flight, NASA:
http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/history/jsc40/jsc40_pg20.htm
Accessed 16th September 2012.

91 Upping the Anti: CERN Physicists Trap Antimatter Atoms for the First Time, Scientific American:
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=antimatter-confined
Accessed 16th September 2012.

92 CERN scientists confine antihydrogen atoms for 1000 seconds, PhysOrg:
http://phys.org/news/2011-05-cern-scientists-confine-antihydrogen-atoms.html
Accessed 16th September 2012.

93 Artist's concept of Antimatter propulsion system, NASA:
http://mix.msfc.nasa.gov/abstracts.php?p=577
Accessed 16th September 2012.

94 Antimatter and Fusion Drives Could Power Future Spaceships, Space.com:
http://www.space.com/17537-antimatter-fusion-engines-future-spaceships.html
Accessed 16th September 2012.

95 The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology, by Ray Kurzweil:
http://www.amazon.com/Singularity-Near-Humans-Transcend-Biology/dp/0143037889/

Accessed 16th September 2012.

96 See 2029.

97 See 2053.

98 We have taken this reference as meaning 55 years from now – i.e. 55 + 2012 = 2067.
"[Antimatter propulsion] is probably not a 40-year technology, but 50, 60? Quite possible, and something that would have a significant impact on exploration by changing the mass-power-finance calculus when planning."
See Antimatter and Fusion Drives Could Power Future Spaceships, Space.com:
http://www.space.com/17537-antimatter-fusion-engines-future-spaceships.html
Accessed 16th September 2012.

99 Men's 100 metres world record progression, Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Record_progression_100_m_men
Accessed 25th August 2009.

100 The Big Question: As the 100m world record falls again, how much faster can humans run?, Independent.co.uk:
http://www.independent.co.uk/extras/big-question/the-big-question-as-the-100m-world-record-falls-again-how-much-faster-can-humans-run-838899.html
Accessed 25th August 2009.

101 All the American Flags On the Moon Are Now White, Gizmodo:
http://gizmodo.com/5930450/all-the-american-flags-on-the-moon-are-now-white
Accessed 6th October 2013.

102 Population Projections, US Census Bureau:
http://www.census.gov/population/www/projections/downloadablefiles.html
Accessed 13th May 2010.

103 The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century, George Friedman:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/038551705X/ref=cm_rdp_product
Accessed 13th May 2010.

104 See 2082.

 

 
     
 
 
 
 

 


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