Specifier Review
future energy

So, have we reached the future yet?

Russell Jones looks at an historic article from the 1960’s to see just how far we’ve come towards the future predicted.

We’ve discovered a fantastic new website called StumbleUpon.com which throws up random web pages based on the interest criteria you select when joining.

I warn you though, it can be highly addictive, whether that is finding a really interesting article about a New urban algae canopy which produces as much oxygen as four hectares of woodland, or just some stunning photography or architecture from around the world.

As a child of the 1960’s, I was particularly interested in a page that focused on an article in Weekend Magazine from July 1961 – the year I was born!

Under the headline, ‘Will Life be worth living in 2,000AD’ the piece confidently predicted what the world would look like at the turn of the Century with a life that looks ‘so easy that people will probably die from sheer boredom.’

So, what did they predict?

I think I may have missed something when we turned from the 20th Century to the 21st, as I don’t recall holidays in space yet becoming normal, and I haven’t see our roads full of hovercars?

I’d recommend reading the article though, if only to laugh at the dated adverts that appear alongside it and, whilst it would easy to poke gentle fun at the things that have not yet happened, reading between the lines, there are some predictions that show just how intelligent those 60’s scientists really were.

Whilst we have not yet seen heating and cooling being built into the furniture and rugs, they can and really should now be an integral and essential part of any building, with heat recovery ventilation systems and underfloor heating meaning that the building can be comfortably and energy efficiently controlled.

They also predicted that the office (It was very much ‘Dad’s when the article was written!) will be air-conditioned with stimulating scents and extra oxygen – to give a physical and psychological lift.

Whilst we are not there with the scents and extra oxygen, air conditioning is now essential in today’s commercial environments, not least because of the huge increase in heat generating computer and office equipment.  Today’s systems though also focus on energy efficiency, which is definitely not something that seemed to trouble our 60’s scientists so much.