We narrate this glance into the future from the point of view of someone looking back from 2063.
People: By 2011, world population reached 7 billion. However, in the decades ahead, proactive healthcare and life extension breakthroughs reduced death rates and by the 2040s, unwanted deaths became mostly a distant memory of our fading past. Although fewer people die, birth control efforts prevent explosive growth, and in 2063, Earth population stands at 10 billion.
Merging minds and bodies with non-biological creations that use supercomputer-powered neural networks has raised human intelligence, rendering crime and acts of violence towards each other so illogical that they rarely occur.
This increase in brainpower also enabled scientists to harness molecular nanotech, which by early 2030s, began producing home based nanoreplicators that provide food, clothing and essentials at little cost; and medical nanobots that keep our bodies ageless and in perfect health 24/7.
Energy: Norway led the world in developing hydrogen fuel cells, which began roaming across Europe on the HyNor Hydrogen Highway. By 2030, fuel cells were powering most of the world’s electric vehicles. During the 2010s, BP and Cal Tech joined forces to produce solar cells using nanomaterials, which led to cheap, clean solar energy. In 2063, solar power generates most of the world’s electricity.
Space: Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic began ferrying explorers to the moon in early 2020s, and NASA, with help from China, Russia and the EU created the first Mars colony in 2035. Entrepreneurs launched the first space elevator in mid-2040s, and by 2063, 250,000 humans live offworld in space.
Though Mars and moon colonies are thriving, forward thinkers now focus on a different approach to developing space; constructing huge, rotating cylinders that orbit around Earth, Moon, Mars, and the sun. First proposed by Gerald O’Neill in 1970, these artificial habitats offer homes with spectacular views, comfortable gravity, breathable atmosphere, and stocked with favorite plants and flowers, and of course, animal pets. Developers hope to complete the first Earth-orbit facility by 2065.
Will this future happen? Clearly, this scenario is optimistic. However, exponentially advancing technologies could turn this bright vision into reality; and predicted life extension breakthroughs may enable many people alive today to witness this amazing 2063 future. Comments welcome.
Dick Pelletier was a weekly columnist who wrote about future science and technologies for numerous publications. He passed away on July 22, 2014.
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