In 50 years, what is a normal activity that we do today that will be banned? Why?

  1. Baths/long daily showers. If things continue to go on as they have been, with more and more people and less and less potable water, baths will be out and showers, and water in general, will be rationed.
  2. International travel/immigration. As resources dwindle, they’ll become more expensive, and those who have resources will become more tribal and defensive of what they have. International travel won’t be banned technically, but the cost and risk will be de facto bans for the majority of the population.
  3. Owning your own car/driving. Again, it may not be technically banned, but the cost will be a de facto ban. Gasoline will be too expensive, and solar and wind power won’t be enough to make up the difference, so owning a car will no longer be practical.
  4. Long commutes. Because of the above factors, people will continue to cluster around cities. Cities are, per person, more efficient than suburbs or rural areas. Your floor is someone else’s ceiling and 10,000 people living on a block is more efficient than 10,000 people scattered over 50 square miles—you don’t have to travel as far, or individually, to work, and food, water, electricity, and emergency services only have to travel to and within one central hub.
  5. Having more than one or two children. Not enough resources, too many people.
  6. Living in the suburbs. The death of the suburbs has already begun because less and less people can actually afford a house or to start a family.
  7. Black Friday/shopping holidays.Most people will be forced to live more thrifty, less wasteful lives.
  8. Citizenship. This is tied to immigration. Illegal immigrants generate revenue and pay taxes, but can never collect the benefits. As far as governments and corporations are concerned, the more of this, the better. It will become more and more difficult to become a citizen. Some form of service will be required.

Technology has pulled our fat out of the fire in the past, and it has done more to liberate women, and people in general, than any civil rights leader, politician, or social movement. But we already have the technology to save ourselves, and we’re too ignorant and cowardly to use it (nuclear). Perhaps necessity will win the day, or at least the necessity to continue to live as we’re accustomed to, which is why things like NASCAR aren’t on my list. Diversions, and the illusion of normalcy, need to remain intact. But the combination of the problems we are unwilling to address with the problems that this leaves us unable to address are already beginning to shape this future.

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