The rough guide to the future
The book starts with a look at the history of futurology, in fiction and otherwise, seeing which predictions were fulfilled and which were amusingly off the mark. Turney then moves on to consider different aspects of the future. Will there be a population explosion? For how long will we continue to use fossil fuels and what are the alternatives? What about food and water? And with the Earth's resources being stretched what will fate of its wildlife be? There are chapters on health - will life extension become a reality or will we succumb to new diseases - on warfare and on how we might deal with disasters. The later part of the book looks at the future of society in an ever more connected world.
Compared with other books on the future, this one seemed rather lacking in technological predictions. Now not every book on the future has to be about gee-wizz gadgetry, but I think the alternative should be carefully considered arguments about where humanity is going, and that too seemed to be lacking. Instead Turney showed a low level pessimism, and too often the discussion returned to global warming. The book might be worth having for the links to what others have predicted, but I thought that even that could have been done better. Possibly it is the sort of book to dip into rather than to read through but in the end I felt the book was overly long with no great reason to continue reading.