In the year 2020, I'll be.. hmmm. 36. Holy crap. What shall we celebrate? It's only 10 years in the future, so how much will life have changed? Lets celebrate Thanksgiving (the Canadian version). I pick this because to be honest, I'm having a day where in a large way I miss having my family close by, of those I care about, to just chat over dinner, to be able to talk face to face with, and to laugh and tell jokes with over a meal, or a game of cards or something afterwards. Life ten years from now is defined by two factors which will compete against each other: Social Change, and Political Power. Whichever one is stronger will dictate what the future will have in store come 2020. With any luck, the grassroots movements will have worked their way up, and a general realization that we need to change our ways will have started to end our unsustainable lifestyles, and bring us back into check with reality. So here is the reality that I would like to see:
It's October, 2020. The weather is just starting to get chilly, so the heat is on. And by this, I mean that the tubes of water on the roof are being heated by the sun, and running through the house, heating the floors and walls. The lights are powered by solar panels covering the roof - it amazes me that ten years ago we thought it smart to put black shingles on our roof, rather than put solar panels that would at least serve the purpose of generating electricity. There are strong winds where I live, so surely we would have managed to put a few small wind turbines up there as well - it's getting pretty crowded on our roof, but hey... the house is self-sufficient in terms of power. I dont own a car (10 years ago, I lived in Montreal, and gave it up, while now, in 2020, I'm back living in Kelowna BC, a small town where I can easily ride my bike everywhere) The benefit to this, is that I also live up a very large hill. My bike has a battery on it, that charges as I ride downhill. As I get in to the flats and start to slow down, it becomes harder to ride so I change gears on the turbine connected to my wheel, so that it's only ever so slightly drawing on my pedal power, whereas before it was doing so heavily because I was coasting down the hill (again, BIG hill). I ride to the store to pick up groceries for the meal - it's 2020, and it's still largely logical to go to the market to buy your locally grown food, as we dont all have time to grow everything we need. I pick up a turkey for thanksgiving (Turkey has a 2:1 energy ratio, far better than 8:1 for beef, while still being nutrient-dense) and a few other things, mainly bread, eggs, apples, corn, and some pumpkin pie. I realize that now I have to go back up the hill. Crap. But lucky for me I managed to store up a fair bit of power coming down the hill and across town, so I turn the battery back on, which powers the tiny motor to supplement my uphill efforts, making it slightly easier to get home with all the groceries. Who needs a car?! exercise...and I'm going to need it after such a good meal.