THE TEENS-TURN-50 LIST: The New Kids on Campus in Thirty Years

by Tom McBride

THE TEENS-TURN-50 LIST

Today’s New College Kiss in Thirty Years

BY Tom McBride (mcbridet@beloit.edu)

And Ron Nief (niefr@beloit.edu)

Today’s high school graduates will have their adjustments cut out for them as we confront a period of sometimes wrenching change. As they set a course in life, they might well consider that in the next 30 years, as they approach middle age, they will find that….

1 India will be the most populated country in the world. 

2 Populations in Europe will be old, those in Africa, young, and the populations of Canada and other northern tier countries will have doubled and tripled.

3 Covid will have been forgotten as climate change, forcing people and animals to live closer and closer together, and the constant movement of populations may well engender an ever-changing series of deadly pathogens. 

4 Self-monitoring of personal health will rival 4shopping, messaging, and sex as the major activity on the internet.

5 Despite returning with muscle atrophy, enhanced cancer risk, and psychological problems due to prolonged isolation, more than ten Earthlings will have taken the two-year round trip to Mars with some choosing to reside in one of the new lunar colonies.

6 Russia will continue to be a petro-power, tough their customer base will be India and China, not Europe.

7 Highways and roads will offer a symphony of required infused noises emanating from electric cars, nearly half of them driverless. 

8 Water usage will be regulated and restricted almost everywhere and fine lawns will be supplanted by extravagant rock gardens.

9 Gene-edited animal organs will be transplanted into humans and will lengthen their lives markedly, thus sparking an array of religious and moral issues.

10 Dramatically enhanced battery storage will become the key to global hope. 

11 “Cash” will become unnecessary, but currency will be more important than ever. 

12   Population growth in China will shrink, the care of its old people will become an enormous challenge, and its burgeoning middle class will at last demand more political freedom. 

13 The US, China, and Europe will duke it out for dominance in the commercial production of green energy.

14 Due to populist pressure, goods will be produced more locally for nearby populations, but ideas and services will continue to move around the planet at the speed of light. 

15 The frequency of UFO sightings will climb markedly and become increasingly linked to religious experience. 

16 Breezy Britain will seek to become the Saudi Arabia of wind energy, while sunny Spain will seek to become the Iran of solar power

17 Rich American states will increasingly support poor ones, with the latter’s ingratitude equally on the rise. 

18 To mitigate human unemployment in an age of robots, independent researchers, armed with access to digital information and supported by guaranteed annual incomes, will become common in all developed countries. 

19 It will be hard to name an appliance that is not controllable by a smart phone. 

20 With global population nearing 10 billion, skyscrapers will become small cities. 

21 The rich will tour space, the middle class will take virtual vacations, the poor will be stuck. 

22 Climate crises will be ongoing:  a marked rise in deaths from dirty air, the transformation of a cup of coffee into a luxury, and the increasing extent to which great national parks will, from time to time, become unvisitable, and beaches will have overtaken vacation communities.

23 There will be intense philosophical debates about whether it is possible to live a meaningful life while wearing virtual reality headset most of the time.

24 Home robots will no longer be chic but as common as microwaves are today.

25 Los Angeles and Beijing will be experimenting with super high-speed transport, where cargo and passenger pods speed with magnetic force through friction-free tunnels.

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