The next decade looms

It just kinda sideswiped my head last week. The realization that we’re about nine months away from the next decade of this new century. (Technically, I’m wrong, of course, since the new decade won’t begin until 1-1-2011. But popular perception has a tendency to overrule in such matters.) Almost done with the ’00s (also known as the uh-oh’s), what lifestyle changes will surface in The Teens?

For starters, we’ll see more childless couples in the next 10 years. Every time I see a mom or dad with the two little ones at the supermart, one kid stuffed into the shopping cart, the other trotting alongside, I can’t help but think to myself, “Good luck, folks.” Because it’s probably safe to assume they don’t have 900 grand in the savings account. Now obviously, people have kids for loads of reasons, and many of those don’t involve missed pills and ripped rubbers. But I’m betting that more and more people are gonna seriously re-examine that whole “I am here on this Earth to make babies” mindset, especially when they notice that childless couples seem to be spending a lot of their free time on beaches.

We’re going to see more vegetable gardens. A lot more. Look at your standard American home, and look at how much of each yard is insanely and almost completely dedicated to cosmetic foodlessness. It’s a huge resource waiting to be tapped, all these fertile little plots of ours filled to the gills with grass and other silly business. Get ready to use the word locavore. You’re gonna hear it a lot from now on.

We will finally embrace the concept of conservation and do so in an impressive way. When we do, we’ll save enormous amounts of energy, amounts equivalent to new oil field discoveries. We need to be reminded, and frequently, that the American way of life is to energy consumption what your average 8-year-old is to a bag of Halloween candy. It’s been, in the past, political death to suggest that perhaps we might tighten our act up just a tad. (Poor old Jimmy Carter. The man was way ahead of his time). But more and more of us are finally gonna catch on that we can make huge strides in energy efficiency just in rethinking our standard operating procedure. As in a thermostat set at 82 in July is just not that big of a boo hoo hoo.

These three little predictions are the easy stuff. Total no-brainers. I was going to head into more daring territory, but I’m not so sure about us eating cats, dogs, and bugs. Sure, there’s a surplus in all three departments, but something tells me that things are going to have to really get gummy for us to go all Cambodian on Sparky. Probably won’t happen until after TSHTF, the last word here being “fan.”