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Entries in environmental concerns (5)


Futuristic Pollution Deflector (1968)

The February 23, 1968 Bridgeport Telegram ran this picture of the futuristic urban woman of the year 2000. Her futuristic body paint naturally deflects air pollutants and radioactivity! Happy Earth Day!

IS THIS WHAT LIES AHEAD? - A Los Angeles engineer thinks women living in an urban environment in 2000 will look like Vicki Dunlap, above. She wears body paint for insulation against the weather and air pollutants, including radioactivity. A computer necklace programs her day, governing the temperature of her oven, warning when her children will be home, and monitoring the guidance device of her car. Colored jewels are warning signals. Her hat is a receptor and transmitter for a two-way radio worn around the arms, with the earrings supplying energy for radio and computer. Think you can wait another 32 years?

Previously on Paleo-Future:


Disposable Clothes Just Around Corner (1961)

The October 12, 1961 Evening Capital (Annapolis, Maryland) ran a story titled, "Disposable Clothes Seen Just Around The Corner." Excerpts appear below.

A research laboratory cuts its big laundry bill way down by sending dirty smocks, coveralls, etc., to the garbage pail. A housewife convinces her husband that her new party dress is a good bargain because she'll be able to wear it four times before throwing it away. Vacationers, ready to head home, stuff campsite trash and bedding into pillowcases and throw them into the campfire.


Disposable clothes are here - still being tested, but very much alive and kicking.

The article goes on to talk about the American public's issues with waste.

Part of the problem is one of salesmanship. Disposable clothes are still a novelty and command novelty prices. In addition, the American public is still hamstrung by the idea that waste is bad.

See also:
Closer Than We Think! Throw-Away Clothes (1959)
We Are Animals, Says Mr. Edison (1910)
Miss A.D. 2000 (Chicago Tribune, 1952)
Big Laughs Coming (1922)



Closer Than We Think! Custom-Grown Timber (1960)

The man in this May 8, 1960 Closer Than We Think! strip is injecting color into trees from a walking robot paint-mixer. Much like polar oil wells, this image certainly has a different connotation in 2007 than it did in 1960.

Today's forests simply grow. Tomorrow, this process may be speeded and regulated - as to size, quality and even color, thanks to intensive research work now under way.


The U.S. Forest Service has already developed pine trees that mature twice as fast as today's ponderosa. Rayonier, Inc., is injecting radioactive carbon 14 into trunks to affect cellulose growth. Weyerhaeuser Co. has created new ways to avoid insect damage. And the U.S. Chamber of Commerce reports a treatment that will pre-color lumber while the trees are still growing; thus painting of wood may one day become a thing of the past.

See also:
Closer Than We Think! (1958-1963)
Closer Than We Think! Fat Plants and Meat Beets (1958)
Robot Farms (1982)
Going Backward into 2000 (1966)



Going Backward into 2000 (1966)

This clip from the 1966 radio documentary 2000 A.D. is of a short interview with Philip Johnson, an architect that designed the John F. Kennedy Memorial in Dallas, Texas.

Mr. Johnson sounds quite pessimistic about the future of American cities but ends the interview with an oddly optimistic tone. Below are excerpts from the interview.

How about innovations for the American home? How will we be keeping ourselves warm or cool?

I don't believe in innovation. I think we'll probably go slightly backward in that regard. We've had too much and we can't keep the air-conditioning systems running that we've put in.

What about green grass and trees and fresh water and clean air?

Ah, green grass and clear water and beautiful air . . . it's a nice dream, uh, are we going to have it or not I think depends on what the people of America want.

See also:
2000 A.D. Radio Documentary (1966)


Closer Than We Think! Polar Oil Wells (1960)

Sometimes ideas of the paleo-future not only elicit a chuckle for their scientific improbability but, in the case of "Polar Oil Wells," political improbability. Baby penguins watching their habitat melting wouldn't be a very popular image today.

This Closer Than We Think! strip ran in the January 17, 1960 edition of the Chicago Tribune.

Valuable oil deposits thousands of feet under Arctic and Antarctic ice caps may one day be brought within reach, thanks to plans now being developed.

French Navy engineer Camille Rougeron has an idea for using giant thermonuclear pumps to draw up water from under the ice. Such water, which is 7 degrees above freezing temperature because of the pressure on it, would in turn begin to melt the ice.

Constant stirring would keep the warmer water coming to the surface. The ice in a designated area would gradually melt. The way would then be clear for conventional oil derricks to go to work.

See also:
Closer Than We Think! (1958-1963)
Closer Than We Think! Polar City (1959)