The Future of the World – Part 2

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The world is constantly changing, both for good and for worse. In our three part blog post series, we explore how the future of the earth will be like and how science is revolutionising our lives. In this second part, we’ll be talking about scenarios that might happen in the future.

What Ifs

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Have you ever wondered how the world would be in modern worst case scenarios? Here are three situations we’d like you to imagine…

If there was a blackout worldwide

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Blackouts, though undesirable, can be a common occurrence in countries that are vulnerable to natural disasters. Blackouts can also be caused by other reasons such as geomagnetic storms or even human threats such as cyberterrorism.

While sometimes non-life threatening, blackouts can have severe consequences. Earlier this year in Venezuela, a nationwide blackout lasting five days led to the deaths of several dozen people. In a country that was already facing a political and economical crisis, the blackout could not have come at a worse time.

Hospitals were unprepared for sudden power outages, leading to inadequate back-up generators – some failed, whereas some could only support a few of the most vital wards. This led to deaths among babies, patients with kidney failures, and gunshot victims. From that blackout, XXX lifes were lost.

A life without electricity is quite impossible and an apocalyptic blackout will virtually affect every individual on earth. Living in a technological age when we are heavily reliant on our tools, equipment and systems that require electricity, and their interdependence makes the implications of a power outage much worse. From food supply chains to sewer systems, everything will quickly fall apart. Even in Singapore, a simple train breakdown will affect thousands of people alone. Imagine the catastrophe a complete power outage will cause.

If the Internet stopped working

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The Internet also plays an important role in our lives, from using it to communicate with people across the road to being a crucial source of information and data. What happens if it stopped working for just a day?

Much like the cause of power outages, an Internet blackout can be caused by human threats such as cyber attacks. Some governments are also able to pull the plug via “kill switches” – take it from Egypt, who did it during the Arab Spring in the 2010s.

Due to the emergence of the Internet of Things, many systems are interconnected and require the support of teach other to function effectively. When the Internet is shut down, there will be large scale disruptions in every industry. Online stocks will crash, no one will have access to the cloud, and the GPS which so many people rely on will stop functioning as well. Even something as simple as placing an online order from a retail or food and beverage establishment is impossible. What’s worse is that you can’t access your money stored in the bank too.

If the human race disappeared

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You’ve probably already thought of what will happen if every human on Earth disappeared. For a very eerily real and dystopian illustration, watch this video:

End of Part 2

Though these situations are worst case scenarios, it’s still worth giving them a thought. Which do you think is the most likely to happen?

Up next: click here for The Future of the World – Part 3