Putting the life back in science fiction

Predictions for 2019
December 27, 2018, 5:33 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Although I didn’t realize that my last post was July 14.  I’ve been busy with stuff I can’t talk about (not writing a book, sadly) and family issues.

It being the end of 2018, what to predict for 2019?

I’m feeling pollyannish, so here are my predictions for 2019:

  • That I’ll write a column in December 2019 about what I got right and wrong.  This means, among other things, that I won’t die in a pandemic or nuclear war in 2019, and that civilization won’t collapse.
  • The US president as of December 2019 will be either Pence or Trump, most likely Trump.  This isn’t because I’m a Trump supporter, but for two reasons.  One is that the US Senate is Republican, so they’re not going to vote to impeach him.  Also, the US looks like it can weather having incompetence-in-chief, so long as we don’t get into a war, and since he’s smart enough to start a nuclear war, I don’t think the US is going to get invaded.  Rather, I think it’s to a lot of peoples’ advantages to dump liquid oxygen on the bonfire of his vanity, to make him unable to wage the struggle for reelection for 2020, even while he’s roped into it as the only Republican candidate running.
  • Hard, no-deal Brexit won’t happen.
  • There will be lots of disasters linked to climate change.
  • Nuclear fusion will be announced to be 30 years away at some point during the year.
  • Suburban sprawl will largely stop in California and San Diego (this is part of the stuff I can’t talk about further).
  • A bunch of new bench-top battery technologies will be published and then disappear as someone tries to create them on a commercial scale.
  • Something vital we thought was correct about social media and its inevitability will turn out to be completely untrue in scary ways.
  • There will be a lot of politicking around the Green New Deal.
  • San Diego will start working on the third edition of their Climate Action Plan, as the first two have been thrown out by judges.
  • The 2019 rainy season will be drier than the 2018 season.  And I’ll wash my car a lot in the next few months too.

What did I miss?  What are your predictions?



14 Comments so far
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Ok Ok here’s some predictions for you:

I predict a right wing terror group will start harassing, assaulting, or downright murdering climate scientists and/or activists, and will be roundly supported by all the usual suspects (and tepidly criticized by the other usual suspects).

I predict you’ll be wearing a respirator to protect yourself from the apocalyptic atmosphere in 2019, just like Seattle and half the west coast (and unlike any time in living memory before last year).

I predict that the right wing media zeitgeist will become so completely disconnected from reality that it becomes simply impossible to even hold a discussion with right wingers about the simplest things. How this will be different from 2018, 2017, or 2016 I can’t say.

Um… something positive. In 2019, there will be some cool space ships!

Comment by Elladan

I don’t know about hard Brexit. Politics, re-election bids, and ideology seem to be heading for a “no-deal” scenario. Nearly half the country even like that option!

Comment by Alexander Tolley

I do hope that at some point you can explain/reference your comment about suburban sprawl. Also, how this will impact home and rent costs.

Comment by Alexander Tolley

I’d suggest looking at coverage in the southern California media of big sprawling developments in high fire areas. The LA Times coverage of the Centennial development is particularly interesting. When we get to a point where the Times comes out against sprawl, especially on land that was once owned by a former owner of the Times (if my information is correct), things have changed. What that means for the heavily impacted southern California housing market is to be determined, because suburban sprawl is reputedly the only profitable form of development, at least according to the developers.

Comment by Heteromeles

On sprawl: further radical innovations in law-breaking and social destruction will result from the use of driverless vehicles. I predict someone like Uber, possibly Google, will roll out some kind of lawless alternative to taxis. People will die.

The “advanced economies” will continue to pretend that fossil fuelled air travel is sane.

Someone will deliberately bring down a passenger aircraft using a drone.

The Gatwick drone protest will spark a wave of copycat protests.

The US or some similar authoritarian disaster zone will kill a drone operator (allegedly) involved in such a protest.

Comment by Moz of Yarramulla

“fire season” will become the new “Australian drought”… something rare and unusual that happens all the time but nonetheless shocks the media and everyone involved every single time.

The US will dramatically shrink the national flood insurance when it starts to consume a noticeable chunk of the federal budget. But not until after the second time New York floods.

Australia will experience a new Prime Minister. So will the UK (in other news, sun predicted to rise tomorrow).

There will be hysteria about an IoT hack that takes down at least 20% of the internet. No-one will die.

Eventually we will trace a major infrastructure failure to a hack. The disaster will happen next year but the attack will not be discovered until later. People will die.

There will be a catastrophic failure in a big renewable energy plant. Fewer than 10 people will die and the cleanup will cost less than the coal plant built to replace it (if it happens where the government is reluctantly following the citizenry into green power)..

Mean CO2 will rise faster than “expected” due to fires and other “unpredictable” consequences of global warming.

Other far right governments will pull out of Paris/Kyoto, or just Canada it (not meet their commitments but lie about it).

We will start using a term other than “right wing” to describe people who support global warming but are not otherwise authoritarian right wing extremists (Justin Trudeau or Emmanuel Macron for example). Confusing will continue between “support global warming” and “support again against global warming”.

(this vanished the first time I posed it, but my second comment appeared. Apolgies if it appears twice)

Comment by Moz of Yarramulla

After even more faffing about the UK will have a second Brexit referendum, but once again it will be designed to fail to make a decision. The UK parliament will continue to reflect the will of the people… there is no possible exit deal that is acceptable to a majority.

I suspect the referendum will be “the May deal or remain”, because even Rees-Mogg is not thick enough to support a referendum featuring no deal (unless it’s a preferential one, but I think preferential voting would be a really high risk option – too many voters struggle to operate it). Remain will win, but the campaign will break the political system.

Not 2019, but some time later, the UK will change its electoral system in some significant way to reduce the ease with which this problem can be produced. I predict that after much stupidity they will choose a preferential system rather than a proportional one, but retain the house of lords because you can’t change too much or people might start to get the idea that they should have a say in the structure, not just the people in it.

Comment by Moz of Yarramulla

Wow, thanks Moz!

Comment by Heteromeles

Not sure why you think Trump will start a war. He seems to be doing the opposite: opposing the chicken hawks on both teams and withdrawing troops. Sacrilege against the US of A and all it stands for but there it is.
It’s a wonder that the anti-Trump peaceniks head’s don’t explode trying to deal with that contradiction. Possibly they are so mesmerized by the buffoonery he spontaneously generates with one hand that they can’t even tell he’s doing anything at all with the other hand.
Having said all this I almost compelled to genuflect with the formulaic “I’m not a Trump supporter” and follow it with the equally formulaic “I love America”. I won’t because I’m Canadian. What I will say is: You may not like it but your real friends with tell you.

Comment by Elaine Codling

I think you might want to reread what I originally. To clarify, the only reason I think Trump would get us into a war is if he got it into his head that it would get him reelected (as did Bush with Iraq in 2002). However, that’s not the only reason the US would go to war. China could, for instance, decide that, with the White House in shambles and skeletal leadership in the Department of Defense, that it’s time to take back Taiwan. Or possibly Trump does something so vile that the rest of the world decides to invade the US to save themselves (this, incidentally, was the backdrop for Daniel Keyes Moran’s books back in the 1990s). I don’t think the latter will happen, simply because Trump’s got that damned nuclear football, and all he has to do is use it and the invasion goes away, along with the rest of civilization.

That’s the problem with having leadership in chaos in the US. That said, I don’t think the US will go to war in 2019. As you note, Trump seems to be interested in his personal finances (which are intimately tied to Russian investors apparently) than he is in doing the whole POTUS thing.

Comment by Heteromeles

“Hard, no-deal Brexit won’t happen.”

Still confident about that?

Comment by alexandertolley

As the Brexit train wreck continues to unfold, are you still confident that it won’t happen, or at least less confident that it won’t? The disarray amongst the anti-Brexiteers is a clown show, allowing arch-Brexiteer Johnson to get his way by default. Who or what can stop this runaway train plowing through the UK economy leaving devastation in its wake?

Comment by alexandertolley

[…] on December 27, 2018, I posted a set of predictions.  I haven’t posted much since then, because I’ve been […]

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