2025 thru 2029
Vertical farms appearing in many cities
In an effort to combat the economic and logistical effects of global food and water shortages, many cities are now building “vertical farms” in their urban centres. There are tremendous cost advantages of sourcing food locally, and the farms can be powered by clean energy which adds another element of self-sufficiency. In some cases, genetically modified crops are being produced which allows them to be harvested faster than ordinary crops – improving their productivity still further.
Progress with longevity extension
By this date, the potential for radical life extension is beginning to seep its way into the public consciousness. Genetic experiments at a university have yielded the first 10 year old mice. This so-called “robust rejuvenation” is seen as a stepping stone towards the eventual goal of halting and even reversing the ageing process.
For those people under the age of 50, there is now real and genuine hope of living beyond the normal human lifespan. Though a permanent cure for humans is still decades away, a number of therapies are now in development which can substantially reduce the cell damage, mitochondrial mutations and other adverse effects of ageing. Combined with nanotechnology and stem cell treatments – along with dietary and lifestyle changes – these temporary measures can be used to buy time for the more dramatic advances in the years ahead, in effect creating a “bridge” to the next era of scientific discovery.
This period marks the beginning of a major increase in public interest and awareness of the subject. At the same time, however, there is a great deal of opposition from religious institutions and conservative groups.
Stress and anxiety is reaching crisis levels
By now, a multitude of external factors – intruding into almost every aspect of peoples’ day-to-day lives – has led to soaring levels of stress, anxiety and depression. In the early 2000s, around one in four citizens could expect to develop a form of mental illness. By the late 2020s, this has risen to almost one in three.
This is especially true of those living in high density urban centres. Rapid advances in technology and the Internet, rampant consumerism and advertising; the ever increasing work-related stresses, debts, living costs, bad diets, overcrowding and pollution – coupled with loneliness, alienation, and loss of national identity – not to mention the constant scaremongering by media and government; the intensifying problems of climate change, peak oil, and terrorism (plus a host of related security and surveillance measures), along with various health scares originating from overseas… the list goes on and on.
Due to the ongoing energy crisis, frequent blackouts are occurring in many cities during this time, while fuel shortages are commonplace at petrol stations. Continued lack of investment has resulted in public transport becoming hideously overcrowded, and many other public services are being decimated – especially in countries such as the UK. Meanwhile, record heatwaves and dangerous levels of air pollution are making summers unbearable in some countries. In Europe, right-wing nationalist governments are on the rise due to the massive amount of immigration occurring from Africa, the Middle East and elsewhere.
All of these things are building up and having a serious impact on the mental health of citizens.