Thursday, January 1, 2015

Nine predictions for the year 2015

Street mural, Denver, Colorado
My over-arching prediction for 2014 turned out to be accurate.  We mostly muddled along with the status quo and we neither made progress on solving our problems nor did we bring our civilization finally crashing down upon our collective heads.

Of the more specific predictions that I made - I could only give myself credit for 2 of 9.  Not a very good showing - except perhaps by the standards of those who predict specifics about the future.

Nonetheless, it is entertaining to make a few more predictions just to see.  In that spirit here are my 9 predictions for 2015:
  • It will be one of the three hottest years ever recorded globally.
  • Obama attempts to put ending mass incarceration onto the public agenda.  In particular, the incarceration of non-violent drug offenders.  The possibility of blanket pardons cause the Republicans to go ballistic and half of the Democratic party runs for cover.
  • Ebola flares up in Asia.  These several thousand deaths rattle the global economy much more than the African outbreak did.
  • Americans are shocked when police officers in a major metropolitan area are found to have intentionally singled out and assassinated several critics of police brutality.
  • Globally, disgust with their political elites continues to bolster support for radical, anti-establishment parties, and in more than one European country they win power, if not for long.
  • Occupy re-emerges as a political force among the younger generation - organized around its "debt jubilee" and other efforts to disentangle young people from participation in an economic and political system that is rigged against them.  The Establishment derides them as naive and disengaged.
  • (Carried over from last year) One of the world's great monoculture crops will mostly fail this year.  Although this will be blamed on a new pest or blight, the failure will actually be due to a combination of narrow genetics, unstable climate and the decline in agricultural research.
  • Kitchen gardens, backyard chickens and other small animal husbandry continue to increase dramatically in popularity and practice in the US.  Grassroots pressure to change zoning and regulatory restrictions continue to find success.
  • Oil stays below $70 per barrel.  Low gas and oil prices drive several mid-sized energy companies in the US to loan defaults and bankruptcy.  The government organizes a multi-billion dollar bailout of loan guarantees and subsidies to keep drilling operations going, and to keep dreams of Saudi America alive.
So, I'll revisit these at the end of the year and see if I can top my 2 for 9 mark!

Streetscape, Denver, Colorado


  1. Very interesting. I'll have to check back here in a year and see how you did :) Happy New Year to you!

    1. Thanks Martha! In deference to you and all of the other more upbeat bloggers I should probably do "9 optimistic predictions for 2015."

  2. Good on you , Andy , sounds plausible !

  3. Hi Andy. How good is that street art? Don't you think that it is ironic that there is a tattoo parlour, alternative medical practitioner and then crematory all next to each other? There is quite a street art culture down here too and it is really good stuff. On a funny but related story - a plumber (I believe) in the past year accidentally destroyed a Banksy... Oh well. Last year was already the second hottest here in recorded history.

    1. Both of those shots were taken from a moving car as I was driving past. Now I wish I'd stopped to take a closer look . . .

  4. Happy New Year, Andy. Can't wait to see how many of your predictions come to pass. I would add "continued pressure on the NFL" for all the usual reasons, not the least of which that it doesn't pay taxes.

  5. I'd like to see at least my locality stop letting Martha Stewart wannabes harass those of us trying to feed ourselves on smallholdings - my neighbors think that rabbit manure from 100' away is an "unbearable odor." Well, for sure, it doesn't stink like their dryer sheets I get to smell every night....