MindBullets is a part of the global FutureWorld Network, constantly sensitive to changes in the technological, economic, social, political and business landscape. The MindBullets Contributors scan this rapidly changing environment for clues about possible future trends. The results of this synthesis are combined by our contributors into an on-going series of MindBullets: News from the Future - with a summary emailed to you every Thursday and the complete MindBullets data base available online to explore each scenario in more detail. Exciting scenarios of alternative futures based on breakthrough thinking today. A powerful tool to help you learn from the future - a new MindBullet every week!

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Filtered by tag: Environment

CARIBBEAN DEPOPULATED AS FINAL HOLDOUTS LEAVE CUBA

Published on: 21 September 2017

Millions relocated to Latin America as superstorms wreak havoc

Dateline: 23 September 2023

Celia Estefan broke down and wept as she stepped onto the runway in Sucre, Bolivia. She is the last person evacuated from Cuba and marks the end of an appalling and heroic six-year migration of 44 million people from the Caribbean to new lives all across Latin America. "It is just in time," says Miriam Gomez of Mexico's National Hurricane Centre. "We've just upgraded Hurricane Franklin to Category 5, and we have Gert, Harvey and Irma right behind him. There is no way anyone will be able to live on ...

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ELECTRIC CAR GLUT THREATENS WORLD TRADE

Published on: 14 September 2017

China accused of dumping as prices plummet

Dateline: 5 March 2029

China's success as the biggest producer of cars - mainly electric cars - the world has ever seen, has led to a problem of massive over capacity. There are not enough adults in the world, with driving skills, to drive all the cars produced every year. Admittedly many of the latest vehicles are self-driving, but at the budget end of the scale, devoid of radar and software, basic cars are just dumb machines, even if they run on batteries rather than gasoline. The shift to autonomous cars has also ...

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RUNAWAY TOURISM THREATENS EUROPE

Published on: 17 August 2017 1 Comment

Local activists stirring up resistance to the invasion

Dateline: 11 August 2019

"It's worse than migration," says an Arran spokesperson, "they are destroying our neighbourhoods and culture!" Arran is the radical anti-tourist movement in Spain. In Barcelona, Rome and Venice, protest marches have turned violent, and travel advisories have been issued by British and American authorities. Tensions between hordes of foreign tourists and nationalist locals have been escalating for the past two years, and are now boiling over. Share bikes and Uber cars have had their tyres slashed, ...

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THE CARBON BUBBLE BURSTS

Published on: 20 July 2017 3 Comments

Stocks crash as executive orders bite

Dateline: 5 February 2021

US President Bernie Sanders has signed a series of Executive Orders designed as emergency measures to combat climate change. The net effect is to make fossil fuels way too costly to produce and consume, forcing emissions lower and a massive swing to nuclear and renewable power. On top of that, the plummeting cost of solar has convinced many consumers, even those skeptical about global warming, to switch to a system of distributed power generation and consumption. These micro-grids and rooftop panels ...

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NERDS TRIUMPH OVER COWS

Published on: 29 June 2017

Clean meat comes to market

Dateline: 28 June 2019

It's common cause that the meat industry is not very kind to animals, and intensive cattle farming is not very good for the environment in general. What's more, more than enough food is grown globally to adequately feed the world's growing population, but a large part of crop production goes to feeding cows, so that affluent people can enjoy nice juicy steaks. All this while the poor go hungry and survive on foreign aid in times of drought. In the interests of social justice and animal humanity, ...

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SOLAR PAINT MAKES ITS DEBUT

Published on: 22 June 2017 1 Comment

Just paint that wall for instant solar fuel

Dateline: 23 June 2022

It's taken five years to come to fruition, but the magic of solar paint is finally something every building owner can benefit from. Why pay for costly 3D printed solar panels and film, when you can just slap it on like paint - literally. Discovered back in 2017, solar paint is a special mixture of synthetic molecules and titanium oxide, which has been used in paint for decades. It turns out the oxide helps the paint absorb the sun's energy, while the molybdenum molecules act as a catalyst, splitting ...

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MOVING GRIDLOCK UNDERGROUND

Published on: 8 June 2017 1 Comment

Tesla Tunnels aren't boring, they're totally congested

Dateline: 7 June 2027

Since Elon Musk's Boring Company provided automated underground highways to move traffic underground, it's been wonderful to walk the streets again. The high street has become more like a pedestrian mall, and the occasional, electric, car that passes is quiet and discreet. Electric cars quickly get swallowed up by the new Tesla Tunnels, or TT, that permeate the city links; the airport and all major hubs and parking garages are connected by automated elevators, that whisk the car, and its passengers ...

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ELECTRIC CARS CAN'T STEER THE CLIMATE

Published on: 1 June 2017 1 Comment

But they're driving the Energy Internet and saving the city

Dateline: 2 June 2030

It's official. It's now cheaper, on average, to buy a new electric car than one that burns gasoline, without subsidies. But it's not having any effect on climate change. It seems the global climate runs on its own largely unexplained clock, and nothing we do affects it much. Electric cars have become the vehicle of choice for two reasons; cheaper, more efficient batteries, and charging convenience. Now that the vast majority of electric power comes from renewable sources, it makes sense to put the ...

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CYCLING ON A RECYCLED CYCLE

Published on: 4 May 2017 1 Comment

There are 29 million bicycles in Beijing - and that's a problem

Dateline: 29 October 2019

The craze for 'dockless' share bikes in China and elsewhere soon led to a massive problem; piles of discarded bikes all over big cities, clogging up sidewalks and alleyways, malls and stations. The boom in bike manufacture, almost exclusively in China, accelerated, as bicycles essentially became disposable items. With large, automated production runs, producing a standardized bike every 10 seconds, the price per unit plummeted further. Cycle manufacturer Fushida and others together now produce ...

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WATER IS NO LONGER THE NEW OIL

Published on: 27 April 2017

Water in plentiful supply as 'Star Wars' tech makes it out of fresh air

Dateline: 24 April 2020

The first Star Wars movie featured Vaporators on the planet Tatooine for water farming from the atmosphere. Now they are available on Earth, although they look slightly different in real life. It's been known for many decades that condensing water vapor from the air holds the key to water supplies in arid, inland areas; but getting that water from dry rather than humid air was the challenge. By the same token, desalination has offered a solution for coastal cities, but only at substantial energy ...

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WHERE HAVE ALL THE DESERTS GONE?

Published on: 23 March 2017 1 Comment

Climate change is making the world greener

Dateline: 11 August 2028

Climate change is a reality that we've all come to accept, even though the debate surrounding the root cause of climate change rages on. Whether it's warming caused by carbon emissions, natural release of methane gasses, dimming caused by polluting aerosols, or just the cosmic cycle of the solar system, the fact is the climate has changed. The change has been quite dramatic in some regions, while barely noticeable in others; but the climate continues to change, despite the best efforts of activists ...

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ROSES ARE RED, BATTERIES ARE GREEN

Published on: 9 March 2017

A field of daffodils can power a town

Dateline: 8 March 2023

Once we thought that batteries were made of corrosive chemicals and heavy metals. But what happens when you can grow e-plants that store solar energy like super-capacitors? Back in 2017, scientists discovered they could grow nanowires inside a red rose, using the plant's own capillary system to create an internal network, and absorb electrolyte. It's a little like that old school lab experiment, where you run an LED off a potato - natural, organic electricity. Except that, in the case of e-plants, ...

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SUMMER'S SUN WILL KEEP YOU WARM IN WINTER

Published on: 26 January 2017 1 Comment

New energy storage system saves summer's heat for winter's chill

Dateline: 25 January 2021

We humans like our comforts, and temperature is one of the most important. In summer, we want our homes and offices to be pleasantly cool, and warm and cozy in winter. We run air conditioners to beat the summer sweat, and light roaring fires to warm our homes in winter. What a waste! What if we could save summer's heat, and release it in winter? Swiss scientists began playing with technology to do just that, back in 2017, and now it's being commercialized. The SunBank system uses summer's sun and ...

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SAY HI TO DECEPTIVE VEGGIES

Published on: 13 October 2016

Synthetic Biologists say it’s not what it seems

Dateline: 4 February 2022

The sugar taxes did not work, the juice cleanses came and went, and now that obesity rates have broken through the roof, it's time for us to try something different. In 2016 Oxford scientists created oranges that tasted and smelled like grapefruit. They were driven by purely economic reasons back then, as it took about 400,000kg of grapefruits to produce 1kg of grapefruit flavouring for use in other food products such as sweets and drinks. From there the technology improved exponentially as ...

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LET YOUR SHIRT FIX ITSELF

Published on: 29 September 2016

Self-repairing clothing works like magic

Dateline: 26 November 2019

With Millennials lacking basic needlework skills and only thinking of Twitter when you say 'thread' - someone had to come up with a sewing solution that is so easy, even the laziest among us would have no excuse. Researchers at D-IT in Paris have created a detergent that can infiltrate torn or damaged clothing fibers and enable them to re-attach. Just use cold water, a spoonful of Mendy (provisional name) and 25 minutes later your sweater will really be as good as new! Mendy was developed from an ...

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ISLAND CROP DECIMATED BY GENE DRIVE FLIES

Published on: 30 June 2016 1 Comment

Scientists say no other theory seems to hold

Dateline: 15 October 2026

After watching Border Security Australia, passengers always got off the plane feeling an extra bit anxious and jittery. Thoughts like 'What if they say the dirt on my hiking boots smells funny? Or they confiscate my grandma's old dusty portrait?' often ran through peoples' heads. Quarantine officers checking for foreign organic matter and unwelcome species used to have an irritating, but doable job. That reality has changed dramatically. Ten years ago, the use of gene drive technology to eradicate ...

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SKY WARS: HACKING THE CLIMATE

Published on: 23 June 2016

'Weapons' and casualties have just increased by an order of magnitude

Dateline: 1 March 2027

It was supposed to be the last ditch, 'in-case-of-emergency-break-glass' solution to climate change. Unfortunately, geoengineering - or climate hacking as it is also called - has now become the latest weapon in the arsenal of petty and desperate governments who want their way. Weather patterns have been going haywire. In Kenya it's been raining for three weeks straight; in Mumbai the average high temperature has increased from 33°C to 45°C; and in Texas the number of tornadoes for the first ...

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MOBILITY AS A SERVICE

Published on: 16 June 2016 6 Comments

Private cars banned in New York and London

Dateline: 17 August 2019

Four years ago, it was proposed that gasoline and diesel vehicles be banned from certain cities and states; but the new trend towards mobility as a service has caused a major re-think. It's not enough to insist on electric vehicles; privately owned cars are just so wasteful. Now it's becoming illegal to own your own car. It takes up too much of the city's resources, parking and charging; and the wasted asset, standing idle while you are not travelling - where's the sense in that? Fleet vehicles can ...

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FUSION'S FATAL FAILURE

Published on: 12 May 2016 4 Comments

Power from nuclear fusion is forever beyond our grasp

Dateline: 12 May 2026

The greatest nuclear fusion experiment, ITER, has been mothballed barely a year after being switched on. "It's unlikely we'll ever achieve ignition," said the project's acting chief scientist, "and without substantial budget increases, it's not worth doing anything else." The International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) project was begun in 2006, but took almost 20 years to reach completion, to the point where it could be activated. After decades of delays and cost overruns, there was ...

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VINYL CARS MAKE A COMEBACK

Published on: 28 April 2016 5 Comments

Like vinyl records of old, retro automobiles are suddenly back in fashion

Dateline: 28 April 2029

It's been a while since manually driven, gasoline automobiles gave way to electric vehicles with autopilot. Just as horses and buggies gave way to motor cars, the transition wasn't easy, but it was inevitable. And, just as owning a horse became a costly luxury, an expensive hobby for those who truly enjoyed riding, so owning a car, one that you have to fill up with fuel, and drive yourself, has become an anachronistic occupation for those with time and money to spare. In Europe and the Americas, ...

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Filtered by tag: Environment