The World 83 or so years from now?

Okay, so!

I’m writing a story about how climate change has ravaged the planet around 83 years from now. The problem I’m coming across is that I don’t feel as though I’ve been adding enough future tech, and it doesn’t have that classic, SiFi feel to it just yet, you know? I even considered mentioning electronic needlepoint out of desperation. I have no idea what that is either.

The Question:
What do you think the world may look like 83 years from now?


I feel there will be flying cars and a lot of different things. I heard they are making airplanes so that you can use ipads on them to Change the surrounding and even do work. It will be like a tech built into the planes and you can do whatever

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Computer technology such as artificial intelligence, social media, and human/computer integration (things like smart watches,Google glasses, and Alexa) seems to be advancing very quickly. Therefore, I’d think you might see nearly sentient robots or Alexa-like devices. Near universal access to a more advanced Internet via implants or wearable tech might also be possible. Considering how much society has become dependent on computers over the last few decades one would expend that trend to continue and maybe even accelerate.


Have you read “Parable of the Sower” by Olivia Butler? It shows the effects of climate change on society a few decades into the future. But while it feels real, it doesn’t have much glittering technology at all. In fact, societal breakdowns have stifled technological growth.


Really, I’ll have to check it out it sounds really interesting. I don’t know if I’d agree with her on the stifling of technological growth thing, though. Most days I feel like humans are too persistent for their own good. But I’m not a scientist, so what do I know. This is something interesting to think about, though.

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Maybe there’s some new technology, but that’s not the focus of the story. The average person is too poor to afford it anyway. Ever since the gas ran out and energy was rationed, cars are rare and most people walk on the highway.


The real problem with flying cars have always been that humans sort of suck at flying safely (and particularly at landing safely). When only about ten percent of the population can actually qualify for a pilot’s license, even if they try pretty hard, your market for flying vehicles is limited.

But with self-drive vehicles maturing, a lot of that particular problem goes away. Flying cars may actually get here in the next few decades, although humans will be passengers rather than pilots. Or may be pilots with the “assistance” of electronics which take their input as suggestions which the onboard computer figures out how to do safely and when to ignore completely.

Thing is, in a carbon-crisis future, I’d expect to see any inefficient use of energy considered criminal. Anything that puts more carbon in the air, or any energy that could displace energy that does put more carbon in the air, would incite mob violence. So somebody’s use of a flying car, or for that matter a freeway, when rail travel on steel wheels and rails is many times more efficient in terms of power, would be a sign of moral failure. If you need to go somewhere rails don’t go, or transport cargo that won’t fit through rail tunnels, you’ll probably do it by dirigible aircraft.

Most ocean cargo ships will probably move back to the old “sailing ship” routes with the reliable tradewinds, and move a bit slower. Under gigantic, electonically-controlled kites, a kilometer or more in the sky, that serve them as sails.

And both dirigible aircraft, and shipping traffic, will halt during storm seasons. With a procession of hurricanes across the ocean, you’re just plain going to see shipping stop every spring and resume again in the fall. Likewise in the middle of summer nobody’s going to be taking a dirigible across tornado alley.

We’ll also see a transformation of building methods. Houses will be insulated by default. Houses in extreme climates (and a whole lot of climates will have become extreme) will be underground or earth-sheltered as a response to outrageous energy costs. Also, probably most construction will be done by robot. (houses will be 3d printed).

And finally carbon mitigation. Wood is currently raised for building material and fuel. In the future it will also be raised for carbon sequestration. The easiest kind of carbon sequestration is done by dumping enormous tonnages of biomass (wood probably, but could be grass or just about anything) into canyons and burying it. Get it buried deep enough that it will be broken down by means that don’t release carbon into the air, and you win. In the very long run that’s creating new fossil fuel reserves, but that’s what it takes…


Space flight might also be an area to consider in terms of technological advances. Certainly with the advances being made by companies like SpaceX, I’d expect to see quite a bit of progress in 83 years. However, I have to agree with @Skyblacker2 that although including technological advances might flesh out your story, you don’t want to over do it.

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I will echo a couple things I read above.

First, I think this is a great idea for a story/book. It’s a very real crisis that we are facing at the moment and getting it into the hands of readers may be important.

I also don’t think you have to be dedicated to cramming tech or sci fi into a book. 83 years can mean a lot of great strides have been made. You can get a little creative or look into some of the more recent breakthroughs in tech that may become commonplace in your society. Or maybe some things didn’t work out and that is why the world is in a bad state in your story.

Hope this helps!

It would look a lot more chaotic for sure. Well, I think so. Things aren’t exactly nice now.

Climate change has been a constant for a long time. The sun goes through 33 year phases of maxims and minimums. We are just entering a minimum, which means increased cooling will soon follow. With minimums, the space around Earth gets colder and the outer layer presses closer to the planet, which allows more heat to escape. The last minimum was during the '70s, which is when Time ran an article about the next ice age coming. Scientists, with all of their good intentions, were trying to find way to melt the ice caps to prevent an ice age. On occassion, the sun gets stuck in one of its cycles and you have either an ice age or prolonged warming, like the medieval warming period. A much more likely scenario is someone trying to find a way to prevent a Yosemite type volcano from erupting, which causes it to erupt.


I won’t be in a caring mood because I’ll be dead by then. (Unless of course, I somehow manage to live to be…what…128 years old and throwing gummy bears at pedestrians walking by my front porch?)


It’s interesting, because the world could go several different ways even when only discussing 20 years from now.

I would argue that 83 years from now, we’ll see technological stagnation (can’t innovate a dead horse all the time.) Physics curriculum would have undergone a huge reform, based around the “god particle” so our understanding of how the universe works will be in its infancy. People in general will turn more to self-enlightenment and sufficiency (Buddhism/equivalents of) to fill the technological gap in their hearts. Hell, maybe a resurgence in paper books?
And the big one: space travel!
… will almost be accessible in the way we envision it in Science Fiction staples. It will, instead, be powered by stabilizing rings which somehow bend the state of light years to realistically supply a colony near Venus, Mercury, or even one of the jovial worlds for research purposes. Need an example? Kind of how the anime Cowboy Bebop illustrates it, without the technological mumbo-jumbo.

But now I’m rambling.

Whatever happens, we’re far past any 33 year solar cycle. 17 of the hottest years on record are in the last 18 years, and those are records that are known to be fairly accurate at least as far back as two centuries.

Beyond that, we have spottier records that go back 400 years or so, and archaeological/geological evidence from tree growth patterns, fossils, ice cores, etc, that the last decade or so is the hottest in thousands of years.

So, sure, the climate is always changing to some extent. And sure, there are cycles that influence those changes. But what we’ve got going here is pretty much new in human history.

We’ll likely see an uptick in personalized technology thanks to 3D printing. You could manufacture anything from clothes to organs. But like every technological marvel in human history, no matter what dire events are happening, it’s going to be used for nonsense.

Imagine: trolls hack your printer and program it to manufacture a perfect replica of their rear. An artificially cloned butt created (on your dime) just for you. :upside_down_face:


Your story will be defined by weather and politics. What will the weather be like in the future world? And what sort of geopolitics will prevail then? The former will affect the latter.

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Things , techs, that could reasonably be projected to affect the world at large in under 90 years?

A big one is power availability and sources. Energy availability and cost makes a primary difference to everything. On the boards today, are concepts for Fusion power, Broadcast power (especially space based solar collection, and panel efficiency generally, Thorium reactors, other natural sources besides solar. Another area is bio-research, or medical research. Affects are longevity, health, intelligence, population growth, and economic issues such as size of working population as opposed to consumption and the retired population.

In transportation, the focus is in speed, ease and perfection of control, Traffic control, and power. These are the issues that keep flying cars off the to-do list. Current autos pollute, use vanishing resources at astounding rates, are increasingly expensive, and are loosing ground in terms of origin to destination times, land use, and infrastructure requirements. Cars only have to roll across the ground. Bicycles can do that powered by children’s muscles. The power difference for guided flight is orders of magnitudes greater. Planes cannot stop on a dime, turn sharply, and are affected by uncontrollable natural forces such as wind…

Changes in city and community architecture and design could solve much of this, and several other factors mentioned and unmentioned. I expect power advances, medical advances, transportation advances, and architectural experiments to go on apace over the next 80 years Given human proclivity to stick like school paste to old forms and ideas, I am pretty sure these will not be globally applied, but area dependent. I don’t think the bushmen culture will entirely disappear, for instance. Maybe, but cultural motifs have a habit of dragging on and on and… Well.

While all of these will undeniably go forward, to what extent, and how driven, and by what specific instances, is the guesswork of SF writers, and the plot jelly of most such adventures. You must engage your sense of what if, and pull up the causes and effects yourself.


Honestly, I think within a hundred years, we will hit our maximum range. We’ll have self-driving cars, holograms instead of phone calls, we’ll have machines that can make meals on their own. People won’t have ‘factory jobs’. They’ll have to find somewhere else to work. Maybe school will be completely online. I think we’ll have a lot of virtual reality technology. ‘Stimulate your own world’ Then I think everything is slowly or quickly going to collapse because- there comes a point when we can no longer go any further.

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I think the really important changes will be economic, and by that I mean how goods and services are distributed.


In a very optimistic future, we get Fusion Power within the next decade, then energy becomes too cheap for fossil fuels to compete with, and we stop spewing carbon into the air, and nobody gives a goddamn how inefficiently you use energy.

I hope we have a beanstalk, or at least a skyhook, for easy access to space. That’s “reasonable” for 80 years progress, I think.

If I want to talk about access to space in a very optimistic future we have a full-on orbital ring. That means going halfway round the world, or into orbit, or even getting launched on a high-vee orbit directly to the Moon, Is cheaper than today’s airline tickets and conveniently connected to your local public transit network.

The same tubetrain or hyperloop car you get into at the local subway station, from whatever city you start in, crosses a few hundred miles over (under) land, continues right on up the guys and onto the orbital ring, gets up its momentum, and lets go. Then it descends onto a similar track that’s on the lunar surface (don’t gotta worry about atmosphere there), slows down, and your next stop is a station at Shackleton City (a few kilometers under the south lunar pole). The whole trip takes about two days, maybe less, from the time you stood on the platform and impulsively decided to go to Shackleton City instead of home from your job in Dallas to your apartment in Chicago.