I like to flatter myself that the main reason so many people have beaten a path to my blog and keep buying my books is that for over a decade I have consistently guessed correctly at the shape of the future; not all the time, but enough of the time to make people want to pay attention. I try to be very careful in my prognostications. I never predict relatively trivial events such as stock market crashes, shifts in the composition of national governments and other incidents that only happen on paper or on a whim. Instead, I try to focus on aspects of physical reality—flows of energy in particular—that constrain the shape of the future. I also don’t make prediction with regard to timing: whether something will happen is often a question that has an answer; when something will happen is often a question for which no method of finding an answer exists. Bearing that in mind (so that you are not disappointed) I am going to go out on a limb and make a few predictions about the general shape of the future that will materialize over the course of a single human lifetime, and perhaps quite a bit faster.
I believe that the general shape of the future can be guessed at by focusing on the following four factors: weather, energy, population and geopolitics. Let’s look at each one.