I read a lot of news, and a fair bit of science reporting, and spend a fair bit of time thinking about what I expect to see in the next fifty years. This is a very long post about the things I expect to see.
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In conclusion, I expect the 21st century will look a lot more like the 19th century than the 20th, albeit with less human misery and longer lifespans. The biggest black box is how does the world change when we hit peak humans - our entire modern history has been shaped by always having more humans, wanting more stuff, and having more children being a path to greater prosperity. And all bets are off if we back ourselves into actual widespread environmental collapse. I'm unwilling to take bets on how little sea level rise we end up seeing, but I still think we dodge the runaway greenhouse gas models.
Welcome to the future. It's going to be a great adventure.
Citations to follow in next post