If you’re too afraid to think about what the future will be like for your kids, don’t worry — expert researchers from countless credible organizations have done the thinking for you. Here’s just a taste of their prognostications:
1. There Will Be A Whole Lot More Of Us
The US population alone will see an additional 80 million people (that’s like adding two extra Californias, brah). We’ll also be much grayer.
2. We Will Look A Lot More Multi-Racial
The U.S. Census Bureau has only been collecting data on multi-racial citizens since 2000 (what, you didn’t notice Lenny Kravitz?), but it’s since become one of the fastest growing categories — the number of respondents has grown by 32 percent in ten years.
3. We Will Live In Cities
70% of the world’s population will be urbanized (some sources estimate as high as 80%), which is both good and bad. City dwellers’ carbon footprint can be sizeable, but cities produce more of the types of innovators who could kickstart an energy revolution — probably a necessity, since it’s predicted that urban air pollution will be the topenvironmental cause of death, claiming up to 3.6 million people every year. Go innovation!
4. It Will Be Getting Hot In Herre
5. Food Will Suck
6. Water Will Be Scarce
More than half of the world’s population will experience severe shortages by 2050, including14 states here in the US. River flow is projected to drop 50-80% in the summer, so any future Huck Finns will have to travel by flying skateboard.
7. Species Will Disappear
The Polar Bear could be extinct by 2040 due to the complete elimination of summer sea ice in the arctic. He would have ended up pretty skinny anyway: in the past 100 years North America has lost at least a dozen fish species and by 2050 we’re expected to lose up to 86 more. All in all, more than 1 million species may be at risk of extinction by 2050.
8. Your Grandkids May Become Immortal
Ray Kurzweil’s been screaming about artificial intelligence catching up to us since the 1960s (check out this clip of a 17 year-old Kurzweil on the 1960s game show “I’ve Got a Secret” demonstrate how a computer can play music) — but now people who aren’t crazy are starting to believe him when he says that by 2045, we’ll be able to replicate human consciousness just like Johnny Depp does in this weekend’s Transcendence. Only hopefully to better reviews.