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Entries in famine (2)

Thursday
Aug092007

Headlines of the Near Future (1972)

The 1972 book Futures Conditional contains essays and lists from many different futurists of the era. This list of headlines of the near future, by Billy Rojas, presents readers with events that will "probably happen - in some cases undoubtedly happen - although not necessarily in the order presented."

1972

February

Chiang Kai-shek dead in Taiwan; new regime is created that seeks to "modernize" Formosa. Ten year plan to replace most ideographs with Roman letters is announced. Major effort is made to organize "overseas" Chinese - the millions is southeast Asia, the tens of thousands in America - into a series of formalized trade associations.


March

Safe cigarettes invented: Lorillard stock advances 20 points in one day.

 

July

Chicago firm begins marketing robot "housekeepers": mechanical mice to vacuum rugs and clean floors, automated kitchens that prepare hot meals according to consumer specifications, etc.

 

November

Team of Muskie and Adlai Stevenson III defeats Republicans for Presidency.

 

1973

January

J.Edgar Hoover resigns post as head of FBI.

 

June

Astronauts find evidence of sub-cellular life on the moon - two billion years ago.

 

July

Jackie divorces Ari; she plans to marry David Brinkley.

 

September

New Jersey becomes first state to legalize marijuana.

 

November

Stones break up. New music stirs U.S.; Cheyenne native rock-and-tom-tom group tops charts.

 

December

Peace settlement reached in Middle East; version of Allon plan adopted on a "phase-out" basis; Israel-Jordan to become joint secular state.

 

1974

March

Mao-Tse-tung suffers heart attack in China. Succeeded by Chou En-Lai. Red Guard "party" forms to challenge authority of the government, cultural revolution becomes an underground movement.

 

April

Hovercraft "grass highway" bonds approved by Congress: Boston-Richmond route.

 

May

Haile Selassie dies in Washington hospital. His death removes last obstacle to United States in East Africa, a new nation made up of the former states of Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda.

 

July

South Sudan secedes from Arab Federation; civil war erupts as rebels receive encouragement and aid from Addis Ababa.

 

October

Houston doctor discloses discovery of selective memory-erasing drug.

 

November

Reagan defeated by 350,000 votes.

 

1975

February

Rescue in space; Russians save Americans endangered on orbiting space platform.

 

April

U. of Oklahoma student disorders reach insurrection proportions; social science building destroyed, 4 police, 18 students killed.

 

June

"Electro-pop," completely synthetic beverage starts a new food craze: Electro-snax, Electro-suppers are marketed.

 

August

First space hospital (4 "beds") established by U.S.S.R.

 

September

Socialists return to power in Britain.

 

1976

May

Cabinet restructure in U.S., new secretaries of Education, Environment.

 

October

Sex-selection industry booms. Chemical treatments enable prospective parents to predetermine sex of offspring.

 

November

Allard Lowenstein defeats Buckley in N.Y. Senate contest.

 

1977

January

Temporary lunar base set up by U.S. - 6 men, 2 months.

 

June

Famine conditions worsen in India, Java. Communist revolution develops.

 

October

Sexual intercourse allowed in Yale sex ed. classes. Harvard follows suit.

 

November

Brazilian church secedes from Rome; "second reformation" as Dutch, some Americans, also walk out.

 

December

Tito dies in Yugoslavia, unsuccessful leftist coup to oust hand-picked successor.

 

1978

March

Religious revival reported in Africa: Nigeria, Dahomey, Ivory Coast, Guinea become Baha'i countries.

 

July

Japanese firm announces opening of sea-chains, series of floating cities to accommodate 10,000 people each; located in Polynesia.

 

August

Police force retired in Seattle; replaced by paid, plain clothes community people.

 

1979

February

First "time traveler." Star of ten-year hibernation for Minneapolis man.

 

September

Radio signals from vicinity of 41 Y Cygni indicate intelligent life in the universe.

 

October

Laser "arrays" used by commercial ships to navigate Antarctic waters; business firms start pilot plants on southernmost continent.

 

December

U.S. court system reformed. New features include "maximum wait law" - no more than 30 days between arrest and trial - and "obsolete statute law" - any law on the books is retired after 20 years unless specifically renewed by legislative act.

 

See also:
Sea City 2000 (1979)
The Future of Leisure That Never Arrived (New York Times, 2007)
Space Colony Possible (The News, 1975)
Civilized Adultery (1970)
Space Colony Pirates (1981)
The Population Bomb: Scenario 1 (1970)
The Population Bomb: Scenario 2 (1970)
The Population Bomb: Scenario 3 (1970)
Closer Than We Think! Robot Housemaid (1959)

Monday
Mar122007

The Population Bomb: Scenario 1 (1970)

Dr. Paul R. Ehrlich, author of the 1968 book The Population Bomb, had some crazy ideas about the future. Ehrlich, so concerned about what he saw as a population explosion, wanted forced birth control, child lotteries and the "spiking of foreign food aid with antifertility drugs."

I recently found a 1970 edition of his book and now offer you excerpts from his bizarrely specific "Scenario 1" (of which there were three) featured in the second chapter.

Ehrlich stipulated that, "...none of [the scenarios] will come true as stated, but they describe the kinds of disasters that will occur as mankind slips into the famine decades."

"In 1972 news of the war in Thailand occupies the headlines of the United States, China has catastrophic floods, a breakdown of communications, and massive famines. Increasingly serious food riots in China, India, and Brazil are a matter of great concern to the Central Intelligence Agency."

"In early January, 1973, large numbers of Chinese troops move into the Thai conflict for the first time. They receive tactical air support from bases in North Vietnam."

"After an unheeded warning, tactical nuclear weapons are used in strikes on selected Chinese air bases, supply complexes, and staging areas in North Vietnam, Thailand, and southern China. With the connivance of the Russians a preemptive strike is also launched against China's nuclear facilities. Unfortunately, our defenses are not sufficient to prevent five 'dirty' Chinese thermo-nuclear devices, transported in submarines, from being detonated in the sea off our West Coast. Fallout results in more than 100 million American deaths."

If you thought Scenario 1 was incredible stay tuned for Scenarios 2 and 3.