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What Will the Future Hold for Us?

C.W.I. Doug Van Hollen

12-1 Oct. 3, 1999

What Will the Future Hold for Us?

When attempting to predict the future, an infinite number of variables must be taken into account.  While some can do this instinctively, the rest of us must look at circumstances in the present and attempt to glean patterns that may recur in the future.  America’s role in the 21st century will be determined by situations arising between the present and a given point in the future.  If one attempts to make inferences about future developments regarding the United States, certain facts must be assumed.  In the 21st century, the United States will continue to thrive, will change the world’s self-destructive path, and will attempt to bring peace to this planet.  If one starts from the standpoint of these assumptions, the future becomes a very attractive place for the United States.

Technology has made the United States what it is today as regards world influence.  But a trend can be seen in the technology market.  Japan is becoming the innovator and the U.S. is becoming its market.  So in the 21st century, it is likely that the United States will halt its production of new and amazing technologies, and will instead become the world’s largest market for those products that will be made in Japan.  This will not mean any reduction in America’s status, though.  Once America starts to collect on European debts, its strength will be increased, and America will find a new innovation to bring to the world.  Perhaps it will be something out of science fiction, like anti-gravity or photon weapons.  In all likelihood, it will be something that would seem absurd to a 20th-century person.

In regards to foreign relations, it is inevitable that the world must see the truth of its hostility, or perish in a bloodbath.  I believe that the world will take a turn for the better before it destroys itself, and I believe that America will be the country to bring peace to this planet.  Since citizens of the United States live with the least amount of worries of any people on the planet, they will be the ones able to figure out a way to peacefully supply the world with resources, money, and land.  Finding this solution should be our top priority, as all other ambitions depend on its success.

I also believe that space and aeronautics will become a major concern in the 21st century as Earth uses up resources and is forced to look for new ones.  NASA has proved that fuel may be synthesized from the atmosphere of Mars.  Fresh water may be found on comets.  Incredible alloys of exotic metals may be found in asteroids.  Also, as world population continues to grow, there will be no place for everyone to live.  So, it is possible that we will be forced to live in cities that are not on Earth.  Seeing as America’s space program is unparalleled, in all likelihood it will be America that will take mankind into the stars.

America’s role in the 21st century will be one of influence and importance.  One cannot truly hope to predict with much accuracy the events that will occur, but one may guess at their outcomes.  It is evident that, despite the turmoil in the world today, the United States will do its part in reigning in the chaos, and ushering in an era of peace.

This was an essay written in 1999 for my Current World Issues class in my senior year of high school.  CWI was a very unique class, kind of social studies mixed with journalism mixed with history.  Note again the strict adherence to the five-paragraph expository format.  Note also the bizarre optimism.  Sigh, pre-9/11, so innocent.

When attempting to predict the future, an infinite number of variables must be taken into account.  While some can do this instinctively, the rest of us must look at circumstances in the present and attempt to glean patterns that may recur in the future.  America’s role in the 21st century will be determined by situations arising between the present and a given point in the future.  If one attempts to make inferences about future developments regarding the United States, certain facts must be assumed.  In the 21st century, the United States will continue to thrive, will change the world’s self-destructive path, and will attempt to bring peace to this planet.  If one starts from the standpoint of these assumptions, the future becomes a very attractive place for the United States.

Technology has made the United States what it is today as regards world influence.  But a trend can be seen in the technology market.  Japan is becoming the innovator and the U.S. is becoming its market.  So in the 21st century, it is likely that the United States will halt its production of new and amazing technologies, and will instead become the world’s largest market for those products that will be made in Japan.  This will not mean any reduction in America’s status, though.  Once America starts to collect on European debts, its strength will be increased, and America will find a new innovation to bring to the world.  Perhaps it will be something out of science fiction, like anti-gravity or photon weapons.  In all likelihood, it will be something that would seem absurd to a 20th-century person.

In regards to foreign relations, it is inevitable that the world must see the truth of its hostility, or perish in a bloodbath.  I believe that the world will take a turn for the better before it destroys itself, and I believe that America will be the country to bring peace to this planet.  Since citizens of the United States live with the least amount of worries of any people on the planet, they will be the ones able to figure out a way to peacefully supply the world with resources, money, and land.  Finding this solution should be our top priority, as all other ambitions depend on its success.

I also believe that space and aeronautics will become a major concern in the 21st century as Earth uses up resources and is forced to look for new ones.  NASA has proved that fuel may be synthesized from the atmosphere of Mars.  Fresh water may be found on comets.  Incredible alloys of exotic metals may be found in asteroids.  Also, as world population continues to grow, there will be no place for everyone to live.  So, it is possible that we will be forced to live in cities that are not on Earth.  Seeing as America’s space program is unparalleled, in all likelihood it will be America that will take mankind into the stars.

America’s role in the 21st century will be one of influence and importance.  One cannot truly hope to predict with much accuracy the events that will occur, but one may guess at their outcomes.  It is evident that, despite the turmoil in the world today, the United States will do its part in reigning in the chaos, and ushering in an era of peace.

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