2512 Parameters: I'm going to assume no alien invasions or total collapses of technological civilization or significant asteroid impacts, because all three of these are rare in the historical record. I'm also going to ignore space colonization, because I want to focus on this planet. I'm going to assume that we are sufficiently short-sighted and stupid that we keep burning fossil fuels. We're going to add at least 1000 GT of fossil carbon to the atmosphere, and while I don't expect us to binge all the way through the remaining 4000 GT of accessible reserves, we may get through another 1000 GT. So the climate is going to be rather ... different. Sea levels will have risen by at least one, and possibly more than ten metres worldwide. Energy and technology: I think there's a high probability (approaching certainty) that we'll be running on a de-carbonized energy cycle by then. Political/demographic change ... Five hundred years is a nearly unimaginable gulf from today's perspective.
Japanese breakthrough will make wind power cheaper than nuclear NOTE: Some major wind projects like the proposed TWE Carbon Valley project in Wyoming are already pricing in significantly lower than coal power -- $80 per MWh for wind versus $90 per MWh for coal -- and that is without government subsidies using today's wind turbine technology. The International Clean Energy Analysis (ICEA) gateway estimates that the U.S. possesses 2.2 million km2 of high wind potential (Class 3-7 winds) — about 850,000 square miles of land that could yield high levels of wind energy. This makes the U.S. something of a Saudi Arabia for wind energy, ranked third in the world for total wind energy potential. The United States uses about 26.6 billion MWh's, so at the above rate we could satisfy a full one-third of our total annual energy needs. Now what if a breakthrough came along that potentially tripled the energy output of those turbines? Well, such a breakthrough has been made, and it's called the "wind lens." Editor's note: Want more info?
Can we change the future? A scientific view... I was reading this article from 1998 about quantum theory – I know it’s pretty old…, but there was something about it that struck me! It’s maybe also because I’m reading this book that contains a lot of prescience characteristics or just my open mind. So, I decided to put together all this scientific evidence with one scope – Can we change the future? Do we have an influence on our future? An extract from the article on ScienceDaily (Feb. 27, 1998) “demonstrating how a beam of electrons is affected by the act of being observed. To demonstrate this, the researchers built a tiny device measuring less than one micron in size, which had a barrier with two openings. Alain Aspect, a French physicist, in 1982 discovered that subatomic particles such as elections are able to automatically - instantaneously - simultaneously communicate with each other regardless of the distance separating them. And then, come all the questions: Is our future written?
The First Trillionaires Will Make Their Fortunes in Space | Think Tank What's the Big Idea? Just as explorers during the Age of Discovery established new trade routes in pursuit of resources such as gold, silver and spices, the future explorers of space will be chasing unimaginable riches. As Peter Diamandis told the International Space Development Conference, “There are twenty-trillion-dollar checks up there, waiting to be cashed!” Sure, this may sound a lot like the movie Avatar, in which the RDA Corporation mined the mineral unobtanium on the planet of Pandora. Peter Diamandis, who founded the non-profit X Prize Foundation to create a rewards incentive program to bring about "radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity," believes the enormous financial opportunities in space will spur innovation. What's the significance? While the idea of mining space for resources is not a new one, we are closer than ever today to realizing that reality. Why Should I Care? Asteroids represent a dual threat and opportunity for humanity.
Raccoon laborers and plants designed for climate change: Charles Stross' Predictions for 2512 You have to take that whole "predicting the future" business with a whopping grain of salt, as per definition no one can do that, only make educated guesses or dream. Generally I trust scientist and other experts (climatologists, economists like Krugmann) if they act in their area of expertise and do the former. With fictioneers you have the problem that they could tell you the most biased garbage and make it sound like gold just as well. Stross appears to be quite reasonable in the fields of aerospace engineering, finances and geopolitics, but he has something of a techno-triumphalist streak wrt. his infatuation with nuclear power and 3D printing and sometimes you can't quite tell where his polemics end or start. Stephenson... oh boy...
AirDrop House: Sustainable housing solution for flood-hit areas Conceived by architect Andrew Maynard and his team, the AirDrop House is a sustainable housing solution for flood-hit areas. The tiny houses made from dried sponge-like material could be dropped onto the affected areas by standard military aircrafts. The instant floating abodes expand up to a seven meters diameter from original one-meter diameter as soon as it contacts water. Via: Inhabitat 9 Overlooked Technologies That Could Transform The World What I've noticed is that most people don't really pay attention to "science" news, unless it's something that they can see immediately. I think this is at least partially because of the amount of news that comes out daily - whatever we may think about the quality of news, there is just a flood of it, which makes picking out "interesting" items difficult. When I talk about (just for example) the idea of gene therapy, most people think that it is still complete science fiction, as opposed to a very near-term product that will be available. Of course, CSP has been around for years, so it isn't really "new" to the average person. What they don't realize is the way that efficiencies have improved... Finally, of course, for a majority of people, the only science fiction they think of it Star Wars/Trek, or (advanced!) If you are on friendly terms with a non-technical coworker, ask them about any of the subjects mentioned here, you will be surprised at their response.
Futurology: The tricky art of knowing what will happen next 23 December 2010Last updated at 02:38 By Finlo Rohrer BBC News Magazine Cheap air travel was among the predictions (illustration from Geoffrey Hoyle's book) A 1972 book which predicts what life would be like in 2010 has been reprinted after attracting a cult following, but how hard is it to tell the future? Geoffrey Hoyle is often asked why he predicted everybody would be wearing jumpsuits by 2010. He envisioned a world where everybody worked a three-day week and had their electric cars delivered in tubes of liquid. These colourful ideas from his 1972 children's book, 2010: Living in the Future, helped prompt a Facebook campaign to track him down. "I've been criticised because I said people [would] wear jumpsuits," explains Hoyle, the son of noted astronomer and science fiction author Fred Hoyle. Hoyle's book is a product of its time. Fortunately, jumpsuit proliferation has not occurred as Hoyle predicted "Most of it is based on the evolution of a political system," Hoyle notes.
Future - Science & Environment - Global resources stock check If we fail to correct current consumption trends, then when will our most valuable natural resources run out? As the world’s population soars, so does its consumption, and as a result we are stretching many of our natural resources to their limits. Of course, the assumption is that human ingenuity and market forces will prevent supplies from running out: we could create better or cheaper extraction methods, recycle materials, find alternatives to non-renewable sources, or reduce consumption. The hope is that talks at the Rio+20 Earth summit will help to steer the world economy on a more sustainable path. If you want to see the data we used to construct this infographic, you can find it here [PDF].
Futuristic Vertical City Holds Plug-In Hexagonal Housing Units Share on Tumblr Email Malaysian architect Tay Yee Wei recently unveiled a towering vertical city populated with hexagonal housing units that offer a solution to urban population growth problems in Asian cities. The tower itself serves as a scaffolding — as the population of urban areas fluctuates, modular units can be “plugged in” to the structure to accommodate an expanding population. Wei’s Plug-in Dwelling Development was inspired by Le Corbusier’s theory — “a house is a machine for living.” The Plug-in Dwelling project assumes that the development will have a longer lifespan than the city that surrounds it. Via eVolo
Planetary Alchemy by Alan Smale Let’s fix Mars. Of course, the Red Planet is spectacular just as it is. Images from forty years of Mars missions have revealed its stark beauty and rose-tinted rocky grandeur. Other canyons, networks of river valleys, stream beds, gullies, channels, layered deposits, deltas and alluvial fans provide strong evidence for flowing water, crater lakes and salty seas in a much warmer and wetter period of Mars’s history. There’s a lot to like about Mars. Some time in the future we might decide we need that dusty red real estate. Such a stunning transformation may be easier than you imagine. Keeping Pressurized and Keeping Warm Down to basics. First, the air pressure. Next: Temperature. Finally, the atmospheric composition. As it turns out, all three of these are fixable with technology that we either have now, or could develop within decades. So, what would it take to free all this water and CO2? There are two sane ways of heating the surface of Mars. Even more dramatic methods are possible.
Kitchens And Appliances Of The Future - Announcing The Top 25 Entries of Electrolux Design Lab 2010 The Top 25 Entries of Electrolux Design Lab 2010 It’s not always easy to predict the future. For its 2010 competition, Electrolux Design Lab went with the theme: The 2nd Space Age; this essentially translating to designing a home environment for the year 2050, when 74% of the global population are predicted to live in urban areas. 25) A- Laundry: Community Laundry Concept by Kai Wai Lee A communal laundry for the entire apartment block! 24) Bio Robot Refrigerator by Yuriy Dmitriev The Bio Robot fridge cools biopolymer gel through luminescence and uses non sticky, odorless gel to envelope stored food as individual pods. 23) Bio Tank, Robotic ‘FishWasher’ by Akifusa Nakazawa The Bio Tank does the dishes, is a pet and a composter…all-in-one! 22) Bx7 Preparation Unit by Losif Mihailo Don’t pack in vitamin pills like Samantha in Sex and The City 2, instead gorge on capsules of zinc, calcium, magnesium, or carbohydrates with water to for nutritious juice! 19) Community Fridge by Pedro Sanin Perez
Who should pay when your robot breaks the law? Since it's inevitable I'll take the bullet and bring up Asimov's three laws of robotics: 1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. 2. A robot must obey the orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law. 3. 0. Ike was horrified when people started talking about applying his three laws to real robots. Vernor Vinge on the Singularity Vernor Vinge Department of Mathematical Sciences San Diego State University (c) 1993 by Vernor Vinge (This article may be reproduced for noncommercial purposes if it is copied in its entirety, including this notice.) The original version of this article was presented at the VISION-21 Symposium sponsored by NASA Lewis Research Center and the Ohio Aerospace Institute, March 30-31, 1993. A slightly changed version appeared in the Winter 1993 issue of Whole Earth Review. Within thirty years, we will have the technological means to create superhuman intelligence. Is such progress avoidable? What is The Singularity? The acceleration of technological progress has been the central feature of this century. There may be developed computers that are "awake" and superhumanly intelligent. The first three possibilities depend in large part on improvements in computer hardware. What are the consequences of this event? What about the '90s and the '00s and the '10s, as we slide toward the edge?