The Terrifying Future Waiting For Us In 14 Facts


Where is the world going? Human kind keeps consuming the world's sources at an incredible speed and future concerns grow everyday. We all have to discuss about the negative changes happening to our planet and see the big picture of the effects on the future.

Let's talk about some facts that have a big effect on human kind and our planet. Everybody can draw their own conclusions from them. If we look at how we are shaping the world in 14 facts, we can see that we are not shaping it in a good way.

1. Oxygen

The oxygen levels in our air keep declining. The oxygen level in the big cities today is under 15%, mostly due to industrial developments and global warming. This level used to be around 35% in the time of dinosaurs.

2. Urbanization

While the oxygen amount is really low in the big cities, urbanization rate keeps increasing; meaning people are moving to the cities with low oxygen levels or urbanizing the places with better oxygen levels.

3. Forests

Forests, the main sources of oxygen, are getting destroyed or dying out. Between the years 1990 and 2005, 130,000 kilometers of green land vanished every year, which is almost as big as Greece.

4. Ocean Plants

Another big source of oxygen, ocean plants are losing their productivity. The reasons are the high temperatures, changes in winds, and decrease in nutritious materials like copper coming from the desserts.

According to NASA, the amount of copper in the deserts has decreased as much as 25% since the beginning of the 1980s.

5. Water Consumption

Water consumption keeps increasing at an incredible speed. According to research conducted a couple of years ago, the water consumption was calculated to increase 50% in developing countries and 18% in developed countries between the years 2007 - 2025.

6. Rain

While water consumption is increasing, rain rate is decreasing. For example, according to research, rain is expected to decrease by 40% in the following decades in South Australia due to global warming.

7. Sunlight

It is okay to go under sunlight up to some point, but ultraviolet rays are getting more dangerous for people as the ozone layer keeps getting damaged.

8. Population Increase

The world's population keeps increasing really fast. If we keep up this pace, the world's population, which was only 5 billion in 1989, is expected to reach 11 billion in 2050. Even if the pace slows down, the population is expected to reach 9.7 billion in 2050.

9. Food Consumption

Increase in the population, urbanization and growing of the middle class all raise the food consumption. Even if the population is under 9.7 billion people in 2005, we have to produce twice as much as what we produce today. Oh and stop wasting so much food.

10. Middle Class

The growth of the middle class means an increase in demand for foods like meat. Only in China, the middle class will rise from 270 million in 2013 to 950 million in 2030. Meanwhile, many animal breeds are going extinct.

11. Elders

As the middle class rises, the population keeps getting older. Retirement pensions are already becoming a problem in many countries. Maybe technological developments and robots can be a hope in terms of production.

12. Artificial Intelligence

Proliferation of robots and artificial intelligence can either be a curse or a gift for us. It will lead to increase in unemployment, that's for sure.

13. Debts

The debt amounts in the world are getting crazy. In the USA, debt in the bond market doubled five times in only 40 years. The state debt increased 4 times in the last 15 years. This is an incredible increase and looks like it is not slowing down.

14. Petroleum

Production of petroleum increased substantially and gas prices dropped. On the other hand, every source on the earth has their limits. Even petroleum will end one day. This does not mean that another source can't be discovered, but it does mean that we are using a very important source carelessly.

Aren't there any improvements? Of course there are. Technological developments may resolve some of these issues.

But if we look at the big picture, we can see that the world is changing rapidly. What can this change lead to? It looks like we may need another planet if we don't make radical improvements in our lives or use the technology to find a solution.

We are pretty sure Elon Musk was thinking similarly when he was dreaming about colonizing Mars.

We can only hope that the super powers of the world don't decide the solve the problem with decreasing the population by creating big wars....

Cem Leon Menase

Harvard Business Review Turkey

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