The authors of Megachange are often humble in the face of their own predictions – perhaps, as the preface notes, because history is littered with false prophecy. But through a delicate process of analysis – and a large amount of guesswork – the earth is imagined 38 years from now; the idea being to illustrate the rapid growth, or “megachange”, we are currently experiencing, and to hypothesise about where this will lead us. 

The various contributors, who are all part of The Economist magazine’s “extended family”, believe that there will be too many people, too little food and a warmer planet; but there will be more jobs, food substitutes and a solution to global warming (even if that solution is finding life on other planets). The book speaks matter-of-factly about our prospects, and is punctuated with graphs and tables enabling the reader to glide through difficult topics with relative ease. 

is not exactly groundbreaking, but it is an intriguing and at times uplifting set of essays on why we shouldn’t completely fear for our children.

Megachange: The World in 2050
Daniel Franklin and John Andrews (editors)
Economist Books, 2012

— By Henry Krempels

Copyright © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012