Each week Nikolas Badminton, Futurist Speaker, summarizes the top-5 future looking developments and news items that I find to be inspiring, interesting, concerning, or downright strange. Each day he reads through dozens of blogs and news websites to find those things that we should be aware of.
In Future Trends: Saving the Earth and defeating drug cartels we look at the trends that we should be aware of today, March 11th, 2016.
To Stave Off Extinction, Protect Half-Earth
In his new book, Half-Earth, Harvard biologist E.O. Wilson argues that we must set aside half the planet for nature.
Legal marijuana causes Mexican drug cartel revenues to plummet
Marijuana legalization may have accomplished what the War on Drugs has failed to do — put the squeeze on Mexican drug cartel activity.
The U.S. Border Patrol has released 2015 data showing that the number of marijuana seizures throughout the southwest U.S./Mexico border has fallen to the lowest level in a decade, the Washington Postreports.
Mexican manufacturers of illegal marijuana bricks have driven down prices as residents in California, Colorado, and Washington state now have safe access to reasonably affordable medical marijuana and/or recreational cannabis.
“Two or three years ago, a kilogram [2.2 pounds] of marijuana was worth $60 to $90,” a Mexican marijuana grower told NPR news in December 2014. “But now they’re paying us $30 to $40 a kilo. It’s a big difference. If the U.S. continues to legalize pot, they’ll run us into the ground.”
China cannot escape the economic reckoning that a debt binge brings
At the end of 2015 the country’s total debt reached about 240% of GDP. Private debt, at 200% of GDP, is only slightly lower than it was in Japan at the onset of its lost decades, in 1991, and well above the level in America on the eve of the financial crisis of 2007-08 (see chart). Sooner or later China will have to reduce this pile of debt. History suggests that the process of deleveraging will be painful, and not just for the Chinese.
Via The Economist
Caleb Harper: This computer will grow your food in the future
What if we could grow delicious, nutrient-dense food, indoors anywhere in the world? Caleb Harper, director of the Open Agriculture Initiative at the MIT Media Lab, wants to change the food system by connecting growers with technology. Get to know Harper’s “food computers” and catch a glimpse of what the future of farming might look like.
When we think of the future of technology, we often imagine gadgets that will make us go faster. But some of the truly exciting developments will be around gadgets that help us with the tricky aspects of our emotional lives.
See the last 4 week’s Future Trends articles here:
Nikolas Badminton is a world-respected futurist speaker that researches, speaks, and writes about the future of work, how technology is affecting the workplace, how workers are adapting, the sharing economy, and how the world is evolving. He appears at conferences in Canada, USA, UK, and Europe. Email him to book him for your radio, TV show, or conference.