XKCD has collated Google's predictions for the next century, and it is dire, and also optimistic, and also weird. Another excerpt and some key findings below the fold, or see the whole thing here.
Here's how the future is shaping up, according to Google:
- Jesus will return in 2018 and again in 2023, and will rule Earth by 2068. That same year, the entire world population will turn gay due to chemicals. Despite the Jesusocracy, religion will be marginalized by 2079.
- The world population will pass 9 billion in 2043, peak in 2070, then drop to 1 billion by 2082, possibly helped along by the 100,000 people who'll be living on the Moon and the 10,000 living on Mars by 2063.
- Oil will run out in 2055 and 2060. The world will finally get around to halting fossil fuel use in 2089.
- On the plus side, solar power will become cheaper than fossil fuels in 2020, and 60 percent of energy use will come from renewables by 2070.
- Social Security will go bust in 2039, 2031, 2041, and 2076.
- Cancer deaths will double from 2008 levels by 2030, but never fear: Nanotech will make humans immortal by 2040. Which will not help the Social Security problem. Neither will the 1 million 100-year-olds we'll have by 2074 — unless they reverse their aging, which should be possible starting in 2029.
- Autonomous robot army: 2034. Sex with robots: 2050. Domesticated robots: 2059. Robot policemen: 2084. Japan becomes an all-robot country, possibly replacing loss of life from the 2074 supertyphoons: 2088.
- There will be flooding and droughts basically every year forever.
- Atmospheric CO2 will double by 2055. World temperatures will rise by 5-7 degrees Celsius sometime between 2071 and 2100. The Arctic will be ice-free in summer in 2030, in September in 2037, and in summer again in 2040, somehow, and the Arctic permafrost will thaw by 2100.
- Fortunately, the human race will have been genetically programmed for happiness in 2044, and will be living in peace by 2060, masturbating publicly (2069), and being driven around by dogs (2053).
- Future Timeline, XKCD