What to expect from the world in 2022
The end of December is when we reflect on what we hope to improve in the year ahead… and also when I make my annual headline forecast for the next 12 months.
Usually I start by evaluating predictions from last year, but this year only one worth mentioning: for the second time in the past three years, I have correctly called the long-term winner of the World Series . I predicted the Washington Nationals would win in 2019, and I predicted the Atlanta Braves would win in 2021.
Other than that, in 2021 my crystal ball was cloudy. (Who wasn’t?) But it clears up. So here are my predictions for 2022. Readers can guess which ones are ironically offered:
1. Worried about blockchain, members of Congress will continue to demand regulation of cryptocurrency. Much to investors’ relief, federal agencies will move at their usual freezing pace. Nonetheless, the House and Senate will continue to hide ridiculous rules on this matter amid thick bills ostensibly dealing with other issues. Oddly enough, no one in the media will venture to ask a member upset about crypto to explain what ‘blockchain’ means.
2. Similarly, federal agencies faced with evidence that their systems have been breached will continue their habit of clogging. But do not worry. Thanks to the infrastructure bill, the government’s digital networks, which have lagged far behind those of China and Russia, have an equal chance of having 2022-level security by 2027.
3. Continuing my habit of picking long shots to win the World Series, I’m going to go with the San Diego Padres against the Boston Red Sox. (I know, but I bet you felt the same way last year when I picked Atlanta.)
4. In 2022, the Greenland ice cap will dissolve a little faster than it did last summer, when it melted 40 to 50% above what was there. not so long ago the normal rate. Although the melting speed has proven difficult to predict, several models double it before the end of the 21st century. As always, without a compelling video, people will have a hard time focusing on what is happening in Greenland, perhaps because the damage from the loss of ice will occur so far into the future.
5. In other climate news, the internet’s carbon footprint, which in 2017 stood at 3.7% of global emissions (higher than in all but two countries), will continue to soar as people continue to work and play at home. By the end of 2022, only China will produce more greenhouse gases. (Yes, there is double counting, but you see the point.)
6. While we’re on the subject of carbon emissions, with so many people staying at home, content providers will step up their recent practice of releasing episodes every week rather than cutting a season all at once, further reducing the difference between traditional television and streaming. services. Here’s how it relates to climate change: Streaming in HD has a carbon footprint 20 times greater than watching the same content in standard format.
7. More on the Movies: “Babylon” will be the Critics’ Favorite of the Year. The box office champion will be “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” by a landslide. Also, “Killers of the Flower Moon” will be an unexpected hit, because who wouldn’t pay to watch “Yellowstone” performed by Martin Scorsese?
8. A new variant of highly transmissible Covid-19 will emerge in Western Europe in the fall. The United States will respond by banning travelers from southern Africa.
9. In other foreign policy news, the West will give in to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s demands that NATO curb its eastward spread, and will also promise not to sanction the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. Ease of his victory, Putin will invade Ukraine anyway. The United States will threaten serious repercussions if it takes more countries than it wants.
10. Pfizer Inc.’s stock price will beat analysts’ forecasts, who have predicted 2022 earnings, fueled by vaccine sales, of around $ 100 billion. Furious that successful product developers are making big bucks, Congress will pass a special surtax on Big Pharma’s Covid-related income.
11. Speaking of Congress, here are the results of next year’s election: As widely predicted, Democrats lose the House of Representatives, albeit by a much smaller margin than expected. To the relief of the progressives, the party surprised pollsters by maintaining a Senate at 50-50. Republicans topple Georgia, march to North Carolina, and hold Pennsylvania by a hair. But Democrats topple Wisconsin and, to their own surprise, hang on to Nevada.
12. In other political news, former President Donald Trump will publicly condemn GOP candidates who refuse to proclaim the 2020 election illegitimate. The result of this pressure will be … the surprisingly strong Democratic vote mentioned in the previous paragraph.
13. Return to professional sport. The Green Bay Packers fight their way past Tom Brady in the playoffs and win the Super Bowl against the Kansas City Chiefs. (I can’t keep picking Brady to win. I can’t.)
14. Despite efforts to strengthen the security of Tor users, concerns are growing that interference from state actors has made transactions no longer secret. Added to long-standing concerns that Tor’s concealment protocols dramatically reduce bandwidth and increase latency, the issues will drive users who desire anonymity to seek out alternatives, increasing the pressure on more popular browsers to deliver. a truly private mode.
15. In other tech news, as observers have predicted, Apple’s latest iPhone won’t have a Lightning port; instead, the device will only charge wirelessly. Puzzled consumers will look for charging stations, only to find them exhausted everywhere. Congress will open an investigation into the pricing policies of avid charging station manufacturers.
Meanwhile, in the face of increasing consumer demand, automakers will spend lavishly on redesigning all vehicles to include multiple charging stations. Airlines are going to redo their planes. The hotels are going to redo their guest rooms. New home buyers will ask for built-in wireless chargers, and existing homeowners will frantically renovate. Apartment houses too. And restaurant. And cafes. And medical waiting rooms. The ensuing economic boom, driven by the iPhone charger, will last through 2023 and beyond, until the 2024 election, when… oops, sorry, the crystal is cloudy again.
Have a safe and wonderful New Year.