Monday, October 13, 2014

Future Shock: No more gas stations.

"Society is undergoing an enormous change," said Alvin Toffler in Future Shock, written in 1970. This was three years before the Oil Crisis of 1973, when OPEC quadrupled the price of a barrel of oil.

Toffler defined "future shock" as a psychological state of individuals and entire societies brought on by sudden change in too short a time. Get ready for a society disconnected from reality, suffering "shattering stress and disorientation." A short definition, too much to deal with in too little time.

Well if we aren't there already as a result of the world wide web, then we certainly will be when the world's automobiles run on electricity and not gasoline. 

The Toyota built Prius, a hybrid, first went on sale in 1997, and by 2011 has sold more than a million cars in both the United States and Japan. Today, there are almost 20 models offered by more than a dozen different brands.

Tesla Model S, image

And in the first quarter of 2013, the all electric Tesla posted profits for the first time in its history. The future is now driving down the highway.

Imagine the Middle East without a dominant source of wealth. Imagine Texas and Norway without oil money. Okay, that is a little easier to imagine. Imagine a planet free of petrol-carbons. Okay, I like that.

The energy of the future will be free, or close to it as scientists and governments develop alternate sources of energy. Will this be a good or bad case of unintended consequences?

Any more predictions?

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