Aldous Huxley’s predictions

Born 120 years ago today, Aldous Huxley was one of the premier sci-fi writers of his age. Here are some of his predictions for the year 2000CE and beyond.

1. Population

Huxley predicted that the population of the world would be ‘over three billion’. While technically correct, he was less than halfway to the real number of 6.082 billion. As of today it has topped seven billion.

2. Food Production

He correctly said that there would be a shortage of food and that humans would need to find new ways to increase its food production. While there have been huge advancements in the field of genetically modified food and hydrophonics (that can be read about in issue 62 of How It Works!) the disappointing thing is that these practises have not been accepted worldwide. Oh, and aerosol cheese exists.

3. Deforestation

Huxley also could see that the world’s rain forests and woodlands will be ‘recklessly destroyed’. He was right to an extent. 120-150,000 sq km (46-58 sq miles) of rain forests are being chopped down every year, but there is a drive now for sustainable forestry.

4. Centralisation

His hope was that offices and factories would spread out into the countryside, rather than the ‘breeding-grounds of mass neurosis, the great metropolitan centres of today’. However, cities have become much more powerful and are growing outwards and upwards in order to expand, rather than setting up shop in the countryside.