This is What Will Happen to the World in 2017. . . We Think

By James Alston | Sunday 22nd January, 2017

What a year 2016. Donald Trump won the Whitehouse, the UK voted to leave the European Union, and all of your favourite celebrities died, not to mention the catastrophe of Syria and terrorist attacks on Western soil. So far, so bad.

But there was some good stuff, too. Remember that ice bucket challenge that we all did? That helped to fund research into amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (try to say that quickly), the results of which have moved us closer to finding a treatment. Women of colour were elected into prominent positions in the US (about time) including Kamala Harris, Ilhan Omar, Catherine Cortez Masto, and Pramila Jayapal. Bob Dylan was awarded a Nobel Prize, and Leo finally got his Oscar. (Also about time.) Oh, yeah – and there was a new Harry Potter book released.

It’s safe to say there were ups and downs last year. But what about 2017? What’s going to happen? Here are some of my predictions, both good and bad, listed in no particular order, for the coming year:

The giant panda will once again flourish.
In 2016, giant pandas went from being categorised as endangered to merely vulnerable. In 2017 their numbers will grow even more and we won’t have to worry about them all kicking the bucket any more.

Hallucinogens might be used to help mental health.
Last year a study found that small doses of the hallucinogenic drug commonly known as magic mushrooms could potentially be used to treat depression. If funding can be secured – and funding for illegal drugs is difficult to get – more trials can be run, which will push us ever closer to a cure for depression. Or at least give us an excuse to, y’know…

The far-right will lose across Europe.
In a similar vein to movements like UKIP and Donald Trump – you know, the new president of the United States – far-right politics have become popular again in Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Austria – pretty much everywhere. It’s almost as though they’ve forgotten about Hitler. But they’ll lose out in the end, especially in Britain. Farage’s main appeal was that he was like your drunk mate Phil you always see down the pub, chanting football songs and spending his week’s wages on the fruity. Imagine Phil dictating foreign policy. Exactly.

More cherished celebrities will, unfortunately, pass away.
Lots of them are getting to that age now, especially if you’ve lived a life in which alcohol and other recreational substances played a major part (which a lot of them have). I don’t know who it’ll happen to, or when it’ll happen – but it’ll happen. (NOBODY MENTION DAVID ATTENBOROUGH!!)

Trump’s presidency won’t be as bad as everyone thinks.
Sure, his electoral strategy was sketchy to say the least (y’know, because he said some pretty sexist/racist/xenophobic/generally offensive things), but it stands to reason that he won’t be able to push through everything he said he was going to do, and his team will water him down. They’ll have to. He’s the president of the United States of America, for God’s sake.

Electric cars will become extremely popular.
Even in the last couple of years, the number has increased twentyfold and then some, and it stands to reason that this trend will continue. Which is good news if you have the money to afford a Tesla, but bad news if you’re forced to buy a Smart. Ugh.

rusty car
These two should have got an electric car.

The robots will take all our jobs.
I already wrote an article on this, but just to reiterate: the robots are going to take all of our jobs. Millennials will have to compete not only with more qualified humans, but with more qualified robots for work. How embarrassing.

We might cure HIV.
Last year, a man with HIV trialled a new therapy for HIV, and the results looked promising: HIV was completely undetectable in his blood. All that’s left this year is to find a way to clear out the dormant cells, and it’ll be CYA HIV. And there you have it – precisely what is going to occur in the next eleven-and-a-bit months. I’ll probably be totally wrong about all of them, but there are some things which are certain: the Earth will (likely) still rotate around the sun; the day will still break; the tides will rise and fall; and everything will, probably, end up okay. Unless, like, it doesn’t. All we can do is wait and see.

Have a goal you’d like to add to our list of 2017 predictions? Maybe a holiday or an electric car?
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