What’s in store for 2019?

Let the pre­dic­tions be­gin! Ev­ery­one loves pre­dic­tions at the start of a new year.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Opinion - [email protected]­tar.com.my Ja­son God­frey

A NEW year is here! And what’s the most fun thing to do at the start of a new year? Why, to look at the var­i­ous pre­dic­tions peo­ple are, uh ... pre­dict­ing! I’ve done the leg work to look up a va­ri­ety of pre­dic­tions from an ar­ray of sources, from that age-old sage Nostradamus to the uber dry World Bank, and will eval­u­ate through a tried and true sci­en­tific process (my gut) which ones seem most likely to come true.

Let’s take a look.

The World Bank is up first, cheer­ily pre­dict­ing “Skies Dark­en­ing” over the world econ­omy. The World Bank says global growth will be down to about 2.9%. “Growth has weak­ened, trade ten­sions re­main high, sev­eral de­vel­op­ing economies have ex­pe­ri­enced fi­nan­cial stress, and risks to the out­look have in­creased”. That’s some dry, fact­based pre­dict­ing.

The World Bank doesn’t be­lieve we’re headed for a global re­ces­sion but does state that, in any given year, if China or the United States were to drop into re­ces­sion, the chance that the rest of the world joins them is 50%! Don’t go into re­ces­sion China and the US!

The chance of this pre­dic­tion com­ing true seem pretty good since the only real pre­dic­tion is that the “skies are dark­en­ing” over the global econ­omy. So if the econ­omy drops even a lit­tle, this one will come true.

While the World Bank is pre­dict­ing about the sky – al­beit the metaphor­i­cal, eco­nomic sky – a real weather pre­dic­tion is com­ing from cli­mate sci­en­tists who warn via Ac­cuweather that 2019, be­cause of the El Nino ef­fect (an ef­fect they think is likely in 2019) could be the warm­est year ever since the Pre­cam­brian. OK, I said Pre­cam­brian, they said in recorded his­tory.

The years 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017 are all on the record as the hottest years glob­ally.

With the chart of yearly global tem­per­a­tures re­sem­bling the astro­nom­i­cal climb you’d like to see on your stock chart, I think it’s fairly safe to bet that with an El Nino ef­fect, 2019 will be the hottest year on record. I think it’s also fairly safe to make that bet for the next 12 years, un­til we smarten up and re­duce car­bon emis­sions or we go ex­tinct. But I di­gress. Back to the pre­dic­tion list. Over at Forbes mag­a­zine, they’ve pre­dicted “Ma­chines to start tak­ing our jobs”. Bold pre­dic­tion. If it were 1932. Haven’t ma­chines al­ready been tak­ing our jobs? Since the 1990s the globe has lost vast em­ploy­ment to au­toma­tion. Maybe ev­ery year we re-de­fine what we call a ma­chine. Maybe a ma­chine isn’t a ma­chine un­less we can or­der it around by voice com­mand and surf the In­ter­net on it.

The chance of this pre­dic­tion com­ing true is low be­cause ma­chine started tak­ing our jobs decades ago. The right word to use in that ti­tle would be con­tinue.

Next up we have a cou­ple gems from 16th cen­tury prophet Nostradamus, who has demon­strated for over 500 years that if you speak vaguely enough, and peo­ple look hard enough, mean­ing will be de­rived from ev­ery word you puke out of your mouth.

Nostradamus pre­dicts the start of World War III!

“The great man will be struck down in the day by a thun­der­bolt. An evil deed, fore­told by the bearer of a pe­ti­tion.”

This is the act that will plunge the world into a 27-year war that will start in Europe and spread across the globe and be “ter­ri­fy­ing”.

If you want to look for mean­ing in a vague state­ment, surely you can find truth in ol’ Nostro’s pre­dic­tion. What’s a thun­der­bolt? A bul­let, a car, a train, ba­si­cally dy­ing of any­thing could be a prover­bial thun­der­bolt. As far as pre­dict­ing that the war will be ter­ri­fy­ing. Yep. It prob­a­bly will be. Way to put your­self out there, Nostro.

Chance of this com­ing true? Hope­fully, pretty far gone. Then again, we do have a rise of na­tion­al­ism across the globe – which was the cause of one of our world wars, so maybe Nostro’s on to some­thing.

The next pre­dic­tion is an­other one from Nostradamus, and I couldn’t ig­nore it be­cause it’s the one time he’s spe­cific.

Ol’ Nostro pre­dicts the com­ing of Mabus the An­tichrist. Whose death will usher in the start of World War III and who, as the An­tichrist, will prob­a­bly be up to no good.

Chances of this pre­dic­tion com­ing true? A solid zero. Mostly be­cause no­body is named Mabus.

And fi­nally we move onto Baba Vanga the blind Bul­gar­ian woman who has pre­dicted, among other things, that in 2019 Don­ald Trump will fall ill with a “mys­te­ri­ous ill­ness, which will cause him to suf­fer nau­sea, tin­ni­tus, brain trauma and hear­ing loss”.

I rate this pre­dic­tion 100% ac­cu­rate be­cause if you have ever heard Don­ald Trump speak, you sort of feel like he’s suf­fer­ing from all this stuff al­ready.

Well, there you have it. A list of pre­dic­tions. What will come true?

Prob­a­bly none of them but it won’t stop any­one from pre­dict­ing or lis­ten­ing to pre­dic­tions in 2020.

Avid writer Ja­son God­frey – who once was told to give the cam­era a ‘big smile, no teeth’ – has worked in­ter­na­tion­ally for two decades in fash­ion and con­tin­ues to work in dra­mas, doc­u­men­taries, and life­style pro­gram­ming. Write to him at [email protected]­tar.com.my and check out his stuff at ja­songod­frey.co.

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