Have you ever wondered how our future will look? Not exactly my future but our children’s and grandchildren’s future. And not the doom and gloom one but the future of a terrifyingly adaptable species – the Homo sapiens. Us.
I only have two predictions that have arrived whole in my head.
Soon – we will be paying our restaurant bill with our phones. Maybe through PayPal or something. No cards. Just a bill to the phone – hit a few buttons and bam- paid. This is so obvious I am sure it is already being done somewhere.
But my long term prediction is that villages and cities will become more self contained more self sufficient energy wise. They will close their gates like medieval castles and casting off massive government will become smaller and more self sufficient. With their own renewable energy and water and food.
Let’s look at 150 years down the road – not long. There will be little or no oil. Municipal Water will be severely regulated. Households will collect and make their own water probably using household units that draw water from the humid air and purify it for drinking. The weather will be wilder for a while as the climate recalibrates so our houses will have less glass, more shutters, air locks in doorways. We will have gone through the horror of massive overpopulation and untreatable disease and through the dreadful food and water shortages period. Probably a world wide unstoppable flu epidemic. The seas will be empty of fish and full of plastic.
We will be remembered as the richest century. The century of oil and squander and superbugs. Already here in America more people die of untreatable infections than Aids. Squandering oil, and penicillin, and time. Remember that the Roman Empire foundered because – among other things: like greedy leaders- they depended on wood for everything and chopped down more trees than they planted. We will be renamed the deniers and bickerers.
But let’s leap frog through that to the recovery period. This is my favorite period.
The beginning of the new world. The cities will not have adapted They will adapted by dividing and refinding their inner village. Sone areas will become storehouses of recyclable stuff. Small villages will rise up within the cities because the villages and towns will have done so much better. Rural towns will have become totally self sufficient both for sustainable energy and cleanable water. Almost principalities. People will have to apply to live in a certain town. Their skills will be more important than the money to buy their way in. Each town will have its own power source. It’s own farms. It’s own government. It’s own industry for barter. Maybe even its own currency. Each town will be known for its particular talent. Like roofers or water filterers or inventors.
The roads will be lined with fruit trees that are watered with processed grey water, everyone will have a vegetable garden and the pigs will be fed with food waste collected from each home. The milk will come into town twice a day on the back of an electric wagon and people will buy a ladle full.
There will be a big house or two – massive houses that house the industry of the town – like weaving or writing or blacksmithing and employ many people. These houses will have big bread ovens and the whole village will use them. There will be a local mill. And a school in the daytime with books.
There will be few towns in the desert. Or out here in the frozen tundra. Though there will be nomadic peoples who summer ( or winter) in these spaces then migrate with the birds.
I would not be here in the future – there is no wood for fires to cook and keep warm. So I must keep working on planting my forests for the next peoples. So this can return to beautiful wilderness.
No oil which means no waste. No plastic. There will be collection industries making new stuff from found stuff. To have built an entire civilization on the dependence of a non renewable resource like oil will be looked back on as a bit silly. Power will be sun or wind and managed by the village or family farm- but it will be inclement and dependent on climate so being difficult to store it will be intermittent.
It will be an interesting world in 150 years – rising up through the bones of this one.
It is our job to lay good foundations for our future peoples. We need to leave treasures for the flu survivors. Simple things. Troves of seeds, forests, paper books of useful technology, metal, good tools. Clean water. Strong well – bred animals who can reproduce without intervention. Strong houses that will last centuries. Barrels.
What else shall we work on?
In fact we need to decide right now what will survive for 100 years and what they will need in 100 years or 200 years and begin to build these things and store this knowledge in a way that the next generations can retrieve it.
Imagine – no internet- no oil – less water – less travel – no wonder medicines. It will be spare and tribal. But more different than I can imagine.
What will be important for our future peoples? These ones who band together to feed and fuel a village or a farm. How can we help our children to survive and thrive in the new world that is coming.
What shall we leave for them. Anyway that is what I am thinking about.
What are your thoughts? The positive ones – we have had enough of doom and gloom. Let’s get busy on feeding the future.
John Michael Greer is distinctly worth reading, both fiction and non-fiction. I agree with a great deal of what he has to say and he and I have matured along very similar lines; although I’m not a Druid 🙂 This fantasy book has some real practical ideas in it. I believe the future is much closer than the majority wish it to be.
Sadly, I’ll be travelling into the future by my self. My wife of 38 years has decided another man and future is preferable. Lot’s to do this winter to get this place and the bakery ready to sell. The future for me is suddenly a blank slate but I have a great number of skills and a passion to build. Your blog has been an endless pleasure and I’ve noticed periodically a twinge of jealousy for you energy level 🙂
Oh no – baker Pete. How miserable. And also how marvelous that you are free to sail into the future knowing your wife is happy elsewhere and you can pursue your own pursuits. Selling the bakery is a blow. Wow – new windows and doors are opening in all directions in your world – is it breezy over there?!
Thank you for the author recommendation- as you know I read everything – I will download one of his for my travels!
Keep on pushing through – just like a chicken- peck peck step, step step peck. And onwards! Keep in touch – let us know how you are doing!
Oh the thoughts and fears! These can keep me up at night. We need to teach children how to take care of themselves, how to make good food choices and make food. Real food, properly. Not processed “food”. If manufacturers stopped making food they should know how to grow, prepare and preserve food. We started preserving small batch and making bread. We live in a city so we only can grow small amounts but it is something. I think these life skills should be taught in school too. I guess it part of parenting. I do feel bombarded with bad news. The state of the world, politics, the oceans, plastic, bees, pollution! We need to focus on the good things people are doing that are making a difference. There is a book by David Suzuki called A Little Good News. I think I need to re-read it!
Oh – a little good news! We can all
Do with some of that!
I’ve found that with age I’ve become less tolerant of some things and people and a bit less positive. EGAD! Have I become the crabby old lady of the block? I hope not but I look at how the world is changing (some good and some bad) and try to keep up as best I can… but not everything is worth keeping up with and some things just need to be hit by the delete button. I agree it is important that the little ones need to be taught certain things in order for the future to not (hopefully) become the reality of some dystopian novel or movie. Are those two little cuties the grands?
Morning miss c… t
Morning miss T!
What useful something in your house would you put in a time capsule for future generations!
I’d leave a real cast iron skillet and some recipes that would be perfect for it like drop biscuits 🙂
An excellent choice!
The positive.. ok.. I honestly think more people will learn how to raise and eat insect protein, raise their own BSF for their own 0 mile working oil for greasing things. I think that we will see a come back of all animal manure being collected and used in many cooler climates as year round heat for growing as they did for hundreds of years in Europe.
I believe that the value of a chicken, pig, or sheep or goat will become much more clear, that everything they can offer will be used, and that those items will have a greatly increased value.
I hope to see a huge increase in tree hay and the change in pasture systems that go with it 🙂
I believe most of what we consider “solar” today, will go away and we will use solar energy in a more basic way, there will be greenhouses, there will be walled gardens using the natural blocking, microclimate growing but that at some point in the next 20 to 50 years that they will stop mining and using today’s solar batteries and will come to understand the impacts its having on our planet. I hope there is leaps moved forward for the “now” energy capture, without the negative’s that go with the current battery collection/holding programs
Lets dream big shall we.. I hope that we get tax credit (for taxes are like air.. they have been there before and they will be still be) for water collection, for our tree’s for our soil carbon capture and for if we grow enough to help feed other people etc.
The question of what can I do now! that can be passed down and shared and used in 150 or 200 years is a good one.. one that bares thinking about and more consideration. I will get back to this one!
That is a fantastic take on taxes . Are you like me ? Got your bills and receipts all over the table!
So much to ponder at this early hour. Not that I haven’t thought of these questions before. What strikes me about we humans is our potential. We are capable of astounding things. Those things run the gamut from exploration of the moon and space to massive genocides. Harnessing that potential for common good and the advancement of humanity is hard to do on a large scale. Your concept of self-sufficient towns is interesting. Food for thought.
I agree – as a species we are highly adaptable and clever – as long as we stay free to use our own brains – in that I mean sitting and thinking! Quietly. That is such an important thing to do
It’s called Apple Pay.
Do all restaurants have it? That would be great – I did see that on my phone but never use it
I think you can pay for most things anywhere. It works like a contactless payment card. In London it works on buses and the Tube too. There’s a similar Google Pay thing for Android phones.
Buses and trains! Oh I can’t wait for that – so is it a Bluetooth thing? If there is no contact?
I don’t use it as I’m on my bike and have a countless bank card for shopping, but the cards work with a chip. Have a look here for instructions: https://www.apple.com/uk/apple-pay/
Your piece really resonated with me. My parents passed on the skills of cooking, baking, sewing and knitting to me and I’ve taught those skills to my own children and hundreds of others through the school system. It was a sad day when Family Studies or Home Economics was removed from the curriculum. My own children continue to cook and bake amazing meals all from scratch and my youngest daughter has started her own fabric business. We’ve all learned how to grow vegetables and can what we’ve grown. I volunteer at a museum where we make bread from scratch and bake it in a huge outdoor wood burning oven. Every Wednesday the community comes out to buy the bread. I’m in my 60s now and strangely I saw myself 150 years from now teaching those same skills you talked about. Obviously I won’t be around to do that but maybe my great great great grandchildren will be and maybe some of the things that I do now will be passed on down through the generations of the future.
It is true! It all comes down to good food. That oven sounds amazing!
Yep Samsung Pay already up and running here too..
Us city slickers will be the first to die off. We will rue the day we ripped up green fields and trees to make way for cement and tarmac and unsustainable homes with no space to grow food and animals. Sigh.
Just last night I saw an ad on TV stating the first person to live to 200 had already been born, and then asking similar questions to yours above, food for thought. It sure makes you look around .,… And panic on behalf of future generations.
The houses will be so much better I hope – but only for the rich – it is housing for the masses that needs looking at – Lordy I would NOT like to drag this body around for two hundred years – it does have a use by date !!
Even though I have been involved in humankind, my only child has no children & no plans to have any, so I don’t dwell much on 150 years from now, but try to be the very best & kindest citizen of Earth I possibly can while I am here, for everyone else’s descendants. I tend to think like Farah who said to Tanne (Isak Dinesen) in “Out of Africa”, The Earth was made round, so we cannot see too far down the road. Though I have planted quite a few trees along my way.
The trees are the thing! I totally concur
Such are the times we think of this.
(You can pay by phone now – in restaurants, even grocery stores and retail as you walk the aisle and select items – pay right then to avoid lines. )
Water is the biggest issue and commodity. (Oil, there’s plenty, but use needs to be perfected – not squandered. Plastics should become museum pieces and dinosaurs – sooner the better.)
The return to village/small town concepts ( like current planned communities now) is a positive. Less commute, less stress, more family time…we need the return to the evening meal with everyone sitting down to discuss their day. We need a return to human scale and natural environment/time schedules to allow fresh air, outside activities with family and friends and time for sun. People would’d like it, but having everything totally closed ( except for hospitals) one day a week was beneficial for humans. Encouraged actually talking to people – and catching up on sleep!)
With luck and insight and discovery, mankind will stop trying to organize and retrain nature which has a better track record than humans as far as endurance and recovery.
Only the strong should survive ( there is a heritage seed bank already – started by some Brits a while back – needed as back up here and for colonization in space which eventually will happen. The strong, independent, creative and brave will go – hopefully they will not forget Earth)
Even as fast as the world slides into total nuttiness, there are those quietly slipping back – quietly teaching what is old yet will be valued in the future.
Something I’ve often wondered about The Seedbank you mentioned and “survival of the fittest” – is just who was it that decided which seeds are ‘worthy’ enough to be included?
I remember concern (late 70’s?) started in Europe back when people started to be really concerned about modern plants not being hardy enough ( or being overly hybrid/ and genetically modified now) and would lose natural immunity. Heritage may not be a s pretty, but often sturdier and more nutritious even if modern tastes have changed.
I found this article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Svalbard_Global_Seed_Vault
Wow, only read the first bit so far, but thank you for sharing this very interesting article!: )
There’s bound to be more serious authoritative article, but that one was quick to find.
I remember the urgency so many felt to get a safe place started – chaos world disaster fears are not a new thing.
Glad you’re interested in the concept and need
As you say, “world disaster fears are not a new thing.” Assuming eyes are connected with a functioning brain, one need only look out the window/ step out the door these days to see and feel the effects that have already started; anything less is Wilful Ignorance:/
Seems everything has an allotted season. The dinosaurs, the seas covering so much of the land. Live gently and with mindfulness. (And hope they get the darn spaceships working soon…and we can go polluting where no humans have polluted before HAHA. Guess that’s really not a joke 🙂 It is what it is )
No, but pretty much my view of the idea as well. Take care
My hope for humanity resides in third world countries, where people already have the skills to survive and smaller, more efficient and disease-resistant bodies to maintain.
I have often thought that I am glad that I did not have children, such a dismal world we are leaving for them. Your recovery period looks hopeful. Your grandchildren look so much like you!
Just conversation starters really. Life continues to evolve – as it should
Check out U.N. Agenda 2030..it has all been laid out and being implemented as we speak.
I will Emily – thank you!
You have described SOCIALISM TO THE T!! We do not need nor want Socialism. Think positive, think Capitalism, and we will all be happy. Sorry, I do not agree with any of your thoughts.
That’s great. I have seen a number of big packhouses lately that create their own solar power, feed their workers in big cafeterias. have doctors surgeries on site, even have a cluster of homes for the itinerant workers and it occurred to me that this was the way things are moving. Creating independence. What are your thoughts spike?
It has too much Government in the statement you wrote about the pack house. We DO NOT need more government, but much less government. When you read about the Russian collective farms, it scares the Hell out of me. Believe me, we do not need ideas from Russian or any other non progressive country. America is by far the best country on Earth, not perfect, but closer than any other country has to offer. Remember, less government is more freedom for We The People. I know it is hard for liberal people to understand, but use common sense, and it is there in bold lettering. God Bless America!
Where to start? We will always have leaders; i.e.. those more knowledgeable in one topic or another. I’d like to think of it more as a guidance for consultation on how the ‘villages’ or ‘centers’ should function. All must agree on a course of action and even though someone disagrees, they will trust the majority consensus on a plan of action. By everyone agreeing on a decision after consultation, there will be no room for finger pointing or blame. Hence, peace and cooperation in all aspects of life. Maybe, just maybe, the Flower Children were onto something but just didn’t know how to put it into action and carry it through. I do know, this mayhem has to end! Utter mayhem and confusion! We need to re-learn the physical skills as well as feed the soul. We don’t want to toss everything of the past out the window, but learn and build on the wonderful knowledges this and past generations have provided.. Harmony!
Harmony is a lovely thought.
Apple Pay is amazing, and supposedly the safest way to use your credit card now.
Hmm! I am going to look into it! Thank you
I’ve had a similar vision for the future, and so here I am somewhat early perhaps but early adapters need to be on the ground now for their influence to reach 150 years forward. We live a modest lifestyle in an old house with small windows, rainwater tanks, onsite septic sewerage, responsible electricity use… no solar panels, on a small tree-filled block of land in a village, growing and doing what we can ourselves, and educating by example… for us and others like us, these are tendencies evolving from understanding post-war -in particular- civilisation isn’t sustainable. This is our legacy.
And your place looks lovely too. It is hard work but great to be so self sufficient
I’m teaching spinning yarn in Adult Education here in San Diego County. Mostly because I love spinning & teaching and also because it is important to preserve and teach forward the old skills. Granted my students are adults but they have families to teach. We do a lot of outreach at public events to remind people that we are not dead!
And once you have made yarn, there is a need to make something with it so we are promoting weaving, knitting, crochet and whatever else you want to do with yarn or fibers.
Love your blog posts, especially this one!
Oh my goodness! How I would love to come to your classes. I would get sheep again if I had a way to spin then weave the wool. I always dreamt of having a woven blanket from my own sheep.
I am seriously lacking in foresight, but not in delight– Following is off topic.
When you first offered Instagram, I wasn’t able to figure out how to access it. Instagram tried to help me on several occasions, but finally I’d given up. But Sunday I tried once more, hoping their claim it was so much easier, and lo and behold it was. I was absolutely blown away by all the photographs AND videos. Spent over an hour just so happy enjoying the videos, playing them over and over. Favorites–Jude surprising WaiWai on his way out of the barn and WaiWai giving him a little kick but Jude undeterred, really undeterred. Another one: Sheila munching on a pumpkin. Sound effects were terrific. Another: Little Jude just 3 days old popping out of a room to join you. OMG! And then to think how he almost died twice! Another: the quiet ethereal sunset and the cows munching contentedly.
I had no idea so many riches awaited!
I wish so often I could “like” your all’s comments & appreciate your “liking” mine. This “liking” comments ability is not available on my old my Mac access to blogs as I have questioned here before. (My son says my systems are archaic.) But I so much enjoy reading your comments on Celi’s blog whenever she posts & her replies & thank you for reading & sometimes “liking” mine.
I found the ‘like’ when I started using the WordPress app in my phone. Though your comment was much more fun!
I don’t see the “like” button on the Mac either JM, but it is here on the WordPress app one the phone: )
Perhaps it’s in your settings, Miss C?
Hey, Margaret! I loved your phrase “teach forward the old skills”. Lovely, just a lovely phrase!
Margaret, I really like your comment about teaching forward……………….
The children coming in are brilliant and creative and will find ways to change this. At least many of them. Back in the 60’s my husband was a proponent of zero population. One for each of us. I decided to agree for other reasons and now my children have had no children. End of story. But there are many sweet faces still on this planet and I want them to have more, not less than we had. So many of us are trying so hard while others think we are crazy. But try we must. We will probably go through another learning cycle with the younger generation and women coming to the rescue. Many are very thoughtful. Trees must be planted where we have taken out so many. Those sweet faces you have there are just too precious not to try everything to save us.
About 125 years ago or so my great-grandmother lived about a quarter mile from where I’m living now, she had a cow, a pig, a large vegetable garden, chickens, a well and an outhouse, that place is now approximately in the middle of I-57. I’m sure she never could have imagined her house knocked down and everything she saw every day gone. I suspect with the internet and the changing face of the workplace there will be far less reason for large cities since remote work is growing and more companies are learning that they don’t need a fixed place for a large workforce. It would be a good thing for people to grow more of their own food. I’ve been quietly pushing to get a few chickens, not having much success but the landlord has not forbidden it yet. 150 years isn’t a long time and I think there will be less change than your speculate. Homo sapiens is indeed a very resiliant creature, adaptable and capable. We do need to keep the old knowledge, it can inform us and spark new methods and means. We do need to clean up our act globally, pick up our trash, find ways to reuse, recycle, repurpose things already in existance, but we must not forget that as a species, homo sapiens is not the best at living in harmony with the natural world. There is a great deal to learn, to rethink, and to change.
Working from homes that are rural would surely help with the congestion and dependence of those big big cities.. but if you look at the change in oil use, water use, technology, health and population in just The last 5o years- I think we will see many more changes yet. I hope they are for the best!
I have been thinking over your comments all day, pondering and trying to think what my prediction of the future would look like. It’s a little different to yours – not that I’m saying you’re wrong! I just have different ideas, and maybe I will be wrong. I don’t think it will be quite so dramatic a change as you think. I think we will just gradually drift back into the older ways, which were kinder on the planet and made for a happier and less stressed-out lifestyle. Even five years ago, people thought nothing of using plastic – those who tried doing away with plastic were seen as ‘hippies’ or ‘greenies’ and seen as a bit unusual. Now people everywhere, living ordinary city lives, are trying ways to cut back plastic use. There has been a huge shift in the way we view the planet and our footprint on it over the past few years. I think it is in large part down to the internet, and the ability it gives to share what is happening around the globe, and share ideas on how to help prevent the global disasters happening. And I think that is really my picture of the future – people working together to bring about ways of living which don’t harm the planet. If we can work together, I hope that we can think of ways to reduce, and even remove, the plastic from the oceans before all life is gone from it. I think we will bring about ways of living IN the ocean, without harming it, as the sea levels rise. I think there will be new ways of manufacturing power found, something like nuclear, which only needs such a small amount of resource to make a huge amount of energy, but without the harmful side effects and waste. With the internet, it is now easier than ever to source locally grown produce, and I think there will be more groups, in cities as well as towns, which pop up to share and swap their cucumbers and tomatoes. Rooftops can be used to grow community gardens, and this also helps absorb and reflect the sun’s heat in summer.
All these ideas are dependent on working together, and that also means the leaders of our countries. As the leaders seem to get greedier for more and more, they push our countries towards war, and it is war of the nuclear variety which will bring about the huge cataclysmic changes you predict. I really hope we can avoid this, but I agree with you that we need to keep the old skills alive, ready for future generations who may need them again.
I also agree with you about not wanting to live 200 years! Not unless they also find a way to slow ageing down. And really, does the planet need more people living longer? How many years would we be expected to work before retiring if we live until 200?! 🙂
This is a great comment kitty and really positive. And I think that much of this will come to pass in our lifetimes. And I agree that to work we need to get everyone onboard. The saddest thing is when we even talk about what is best for our planet ( and surely it is obvious) Out here in The states it becomes political.
Yes Ma’am, great thought. I belong to india, we are feeling this future now.To secure future for our kids we have to spread this message all over the world.
Climate is changing so rapidly , and pepole are not prepare for that.
Amazing post, so much to think about. But yes, I feel we need to revert to the older, simplervways of living where people valued what and who they had around them.
Very interesting post and I love all the comments. I agree with Miss Kitty. We all need to pull together.
Lots of food for thought there, Miss C…. I’m waiting for the day when we don’t need to carry money or ID because we have a chip implanted into our wrists at birth. You just wave your wrist under a scanner to pay for your groceries, or wave your way through the turnstile at the station. Chips are a mature technology now, so I’m amazed it hasn’t begun already. I can’t help feeling you’re probably right about an epidemic drastically reducing the population; people travel so widely and quickly now that disease can spread like wildfire before anyone really knows it’s among us.
Suddenly thinking of George Orwell’s « 1984 » and sadly, not thinking of chip technology as positively as you, Kate…
I know… but we are already watched, tracked, assessed, observed and targeted so much. We may as well derive some benefit from it, I suppose.
The phone has solved the problem for them, I suppose; we willingly carry them and all that entails…
Interesting post worth pondering. I try to be hopeful, but I am not. I am especially discouraged at what I see of the ideas about Socialism and a population of young people who are completely ignorant to the fact that many of our ancestors came from Socialist countries, fleeing that way of life. Many folks do not bother informing themselves or educating themselves by looking back through history or inquiring of elders who have lived life. They are out of touch about root causes of troubling life issues. Many people get caught up in the idea of a utopian way of life – that has never existed. Ever. There are reasons for that. It is all part of this experience called life, on planet earth. We cannot know what we do not understand until we have the experience – both negative and positive.
I grew up on a conservative and small farm. I come from a rural area where at that time folks helped one another and neighbors knew each other well. Food was grown in our backyard and it was plentiful, clean food. We shared with others. I think I probably grew up in the best of times. As I’ve aged, I am appalled and discouraged at our population (for the most part) – at the laziness and lack of common sense. Our young people now eat processed, boxed foods full of chemicals and have all sorts of health issues. We live in gluttonous societies, competitively driven to have the most and be the best. We’re depressed, unhappy and we numb ourselves with addictive crap food, alcohol and drugs.
Hard times will come. Our world population will take a hit. Few people will be equipped to forge forth with what it will take to survive. But just as Mother Nature brings all sorts of catastrophic changes… she brings rebirth and regeneration. Life springs from fire, water and wind. It is the cycle of life. Nature is resilient… and those people who are strong will survive too.
Yes, exactly Little Sundog. People helping their neighbours is Community, not Socialism and how country folk have always lived. Farmers are farmers, no matter where they put down roots; )
I am speechless. This post is amazing. The words. The photo. Every breath and thought between every line. I love it. Thank you.
those babies look like future you.
This is such a resonant post. I shall stew for a bit.