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

THE GARDEN OF REASON (OR IS IT TREASON?)

Published on: 15 February 2018

Urban farming is here to stay, and that's a good thing, isn't it?

Dateline: 1 March 2021

For some time now, various cities have been experimenting with vertical farming, rooftop farming, and even basement farming with LED lighting. Now it's maturing into a fully-fledged industry, just like fish farming. Farming without land, or even soil, sounds like a contradiction in terms, but hydroponics is not a new idea - it's just become more profitable. Being physically close to the consumers is the ultimate competitive advantage. Beyond the need for land, traditional farming has to contend ...

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USING GRAVITY TO SEE BLACK HOLES

Published on: 18 January 2018

New attempt to observe the unobservable

Dateline: 2 February 2022

For decades scientists have speculated about the nature of black holes, but their existence has never been proven - yet. The theory says supermassive stars that have collapsed on themselves exert such powerful gravitational force, that even light can't escape; hence the name 'black holes'. We know that light and other forms of electromagnetic waves like radio and X-rays travel at constant speeds, depending in their wavelength. But what travels faster than light? Perhaps gravitational waves. Gravity ...

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WHO TURNED OFF THE NIGHT?

Published on: 4 January 2018

Greenpeace calls for light curfew to bring back the dark

Dateline: 9 January 2023

What happened to those lovely dark nights, when all the stars came out? They're gone, along with hurricane lamps and black outs. Now that LED lighting has conquered the world, seen from space our planet is a bright, glittering jewel at night. Even darkest Africa is filled with a billion points of light, and more's the pity. It's unnatural and astronomers hate it. The obsession with climate change has waned, and activists are focusing heavily on pollution, especially light pollution. They want ...

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IT'S GOING TO BE A COLD, DARK CHRISTMAS

Published on: 14 December 2017 3 Comments

Climate change reversal catches almost everyone by surprise

Dateline: 21 December 2025

It's almost a decade since those 'hottest years on record' culminating with the 2016 El Nino. But no-one expected it to cool down this rapidly. In 2017, Parisians and other rich communities were still throwing money at the problem of 'global warming', convinced that the modern warm period was spiralling upwards. That was the year it snowed in Mexico and blizzards shut down major EU airports. On top of that, we all thought we'd reached peak electricity, and consumer power consumption would decline ...

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FARMING THE HIGH SEAS WITH ROBOTS

Published on: 16 November 2017

That's no tasty tuna, it's Robofish

Dateline: 12 September 2027

When is a robofish actually a cowboy or a sheepdog? When it looks after your fish, farmed in the open sea. Fishing as a food source has long been big business, but wild stocks have been severely over exploited in some areas, and fish farming has become a viable alternative. But farming fish in sheltered estuaries and bays offers limited scope for improving global food security. The best place for serious fish farming is the open sea, in deep water, but the infrastructure costs were considered ...

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THE STREETS HAVE NO NAMES

Published on: 19 October 2017 1 Comment

In today’s modern cityscape, there are no streets or cars

Dateline: 19 October 2028

We live in a strange new world. Odourless aftershave. Wheat-free bread. Virtual assistants. Pointless pastries, devoid of sugar, made with boosted broccoli from basement farms, yet deliciously popular. And cities without streets. China's latest planned urban extravaganza, a megalopolis known as Yuyuan or 'Harmony Garden', isn't built around roads and streets. The walkways and thoroughfares linking the multiuse 3D-printed buildings can accommodate pedestrians, ebikes and hoverboards. Jogging and ...

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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 2 Comments

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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Filtered by tag: Environment