On Back to the Future Day, eight bold predictions for 2045
Oct. 21, 2015 at 4:29 p.m. marks the date and time 30 years in the future that Marty McFly and Doc Brown arrive in Stephen Spielberg’s “Back To The Future: Part II.”
The “Back to the Future” trilogy introduced America to hover boards, the DeLorean and the flux capacitor. More importantly, it made children across the nation think about what the future might hold.
In many respects, the movie’s predictions were correct. 3D movies? Check. Video glasses? Check. Even hover boards actually exist.
Here are a few serious—and not so serious—predictions for Oct. 21, 2045:
- On Demand Driverless Automobiles – The latest innovation in transportation is the emergence of transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft. Even still, those companies are limited by driver availability and quality. By 2045, we’ll have automobiles on demand without human drivers. Press a button on your phone, day or night, and they’ll transport you wherever you please. Such a change will radically alter the automobile market as most Americans begin to see driving cars as a backup option, especially in urban centers.
- Zero Emission Energy Generation – We’re already on the verge of battery technology that has the potential to make renewable energy like wind and solar more than an intermittent energy source. Wind, solar and hydro energy have the market advantage that their fuel is free. If we also advance our nuclear technology beyond the 1970s, we might just have a scenario where American energy generation is largely pollution free by 2045, and it will cost less than it does today.
- Seamless Life Technology – In 2045, you might literally be taking your life in your own hands by going without your personal technological device akin to our current smart phones. Our personal devices will monitor vital signs and remember preferences, passwords and identification numbers. They’ll even track our behavior and make suggestions that align with our prior decisions. Think that Amazon advertisement on Facebook is cutting edge? Wait until 2045 when your personal device tells you what you want for dinner and warns you of a pending heart attack before it happens.
- The End of Grade Leveled Education – By 2045, we’ll discover that our education system grade levels, based on arbitrary age and time restraints, are holding back some our most promising young minds while rushing many students who might need more time and instruction. Educational progress will move along lines of mastering subject matters and demonstrating capacity to take on additional lines of learning.
- Coalition American Government – The two-party system in America isn’t producing the results most Americans really want. No later than 2045, a viable third party and possibly a fourth will emerge. They will amass enough size that they’ll effectively be able to block either Democrats or Republicans from unilaterally controlling the House or the Senate. That, in turn, will mean that executive branch positions will be bargaining chips for the president rather than partisan ideologues.
- Abortion Debate Changes Radically – Nearing 2045, we’ll have witnessed several successful transfers of an unborn fetus to an artificial womb resulting in a live birth. Through technological advances, the current legal “viability” standard at which abortion restrictions become legally permissible moves to a matter of weeks after conception. The cost of such transfers declines significantly as many working mothers and those with difficult pregnancies utilize artificial womb technology to bear children.
- Pick-a-Pet and Lazarus Kennels – In 2045, Pick-a-Pet and Lazarus Kennels have cornered the market on domestic animal companionship. With advanced genetic technology pioneered at HudsonAlpha in Huntsville, pet owners are able to select behavioral traits and aesthetic qualities of their home companions. Always wanted a Yorkie with a desire to fetch or a cat that liked to cuddle? Now you can design it. In addition, Lazarus Kennels will clone your favorite companion after they pass, so you can teach them not to eat your shoes all over again.
- BARF – By 2045, national hunger is largely ended due to the development of BARF (Biologically Adequate Rationed Food) packs. Overreaching Food and Drug Administration (FDA) marketing regulations require the terrible moniker. BARF is edible, cheap and nutritionally adequate as the name suggests. It becomes an everyday staple for many Americans between cooking meals. As a result of public outcry, the FDA loosens marketing restrictions. In a rush to market, the leading BARF producer renames their product Fancy Feast.
A whole generation of us wanted to ride hover boards, and we were actually able to turn our science fiction into reality. So what does Back to the Future Day mean in terms of gazing ahead?
According to Doc Brown, “It means your future hasn’t been written yet. No one’s has. Your future is whatever you make it. So make it a good one.”