The Best Predictions of 2011
Drawing from a variety of sources throughout the past year, the editors of THE FUTURIST take a look at some of the best predictions for the world’s future.
What makes a prediction a good one? Like any announcement that must compete for attention in the public sphere, the predictions that gather the most notice are the strangest or the boldest, or that paint a picture of a future state that challenge expectations.
Today, we still largely cling to this somewhat misguided notion of prediction as a remarkable statement. But the nature of prediction is changing as rapidly as our world. The scope of the predictable universe is expanding, thanks to new tools for acquiring and measuring data. The number of people with a platform to share a prediction — a statement about what will happen to the world — has grown and will continue to grow as rapidly as the Internet.
With that it mind, we present to you our list of the best predictions we read in 2011. They are surprising, often conflicting, and rise from a diverse pool. We evaluated each one in terms of what made it a good prediction, what could get in the way of its coming to pass, and what it all means.
While we tried to nail the experts down to specific dates, many made interesting forecasts that could not be tied down to a specific point “In the Future.”
This collection provides, we believe, a fascinating portrait of our present as we attempt to communicate with our ever-shifting future. —Patrick Tucker, deputy editor, THE FUTURIST
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November 27, 2014 - The list of diseases appearing in unfamiliar places continues to increase for lots of reasons. These include:
- Human-engineered water projects such as dams, canals and irrigation.
- Agricultural intensification and the use of insecticides.
- Urban crowding and poor sanitation.
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November 25, 2014 - A technology developed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) may help fight global climate change by making steam power plants more efficient through the invention of a new coating material. Whether coal-fired, gas-powered, geothermal, nuclear, biomass or solar thermal, all these energy sources get used in power plants to produce steam.
November 24, 2014 - I ask the above question in light of a headline that appeared in the Sunday edition of the Toronto Sun, "Girl, 11, nabbed in B.C. Kinder Morgan pipeline protest."
November 23, 2014 - LIMA COP20 will meet on December 9, 2014 in Peru. Its goal to begin shaping the global agreement by nations, industry, financial institutions and NGOs to reduce carbon emissions.
November 21, 2014 - When I was a young man we lived two blocks from a freshwater-fed pond by the name of Tillplain. Today it is gone, covered and built upon. That's where the high school I graduated from currently stands. But that pond unlocked the mysteries of life for me and so I remember it fondly.