You can expect some seriously fucked up shit in your lifetime.
The world is going to shit. Why? There are too many people in the world. The world population has more than doubled in the last 50 years. We only exist because the Earth supports our existance. But the Earth does not have infinite resources to support infinite amounts of humans. Technology goes a long way (it's the one and only thing that allowed us to come to be as plentiful as we are), but we can't change the laws of nature. We can only survive if we keep nature (forests) alive to give us oxygen. Cutting down too much of the rainforest and other major sources of oxygen would be catostrophical to mankind, but we need farms to grow vegetables and fruits, wheats, etc. We need grass fieds to let our cows, and sheep graze on. It's a simple matter of too many mouths to feed. We also need many other resources, which are also not infinite, like oil, to support our technology.
To make matters worse, there is a major gap between the rich West and the 3rd world. We could feed every mouth on Earth right now if we distributed food and resources evenly, but instead we strip poor countries of their resources to make our SUV's and HDTV's. We buy their resources (raw materials and manpower) at ridiculously low prices compared to what we sell them for in our own countries. This is what keeps it alive. This is how we profit from the poor without even realizing it. Example: Look at the label in your Nikes. Made in Vietnam? Pakistan maybe? We get them to work for us but we don't pay them accordingly. We get them to make a pair of shoes for us for maybe 10 cents and we sell them for 80 dollars. It's benificial for us if they're poor. We don't have to pay them as much. There's a reason the things that sell best aren't made in North America or Europe. The wages are too high. And as long as we don't value THEIR labour as much as we value OUR labour, they will continue to be poor. How do you make a profit if you don't have anything to trade that's worth something?
The poorest countries have the highest rise in population. This means that in time, the West will be such a small fraction of the world's population, that we will no longer be able to profit from the poorer parts of the world the same way we do now. This is how I think that will happen: food will eventually become so scarse that a simple cabbage will be worth more than a pair of sneakers. Large parts of the 3rd world do not have very fertile ground, for instance most of Africa is not nearly as suitable for growing crops as America or Europe. Europe and America have large, flat pieces of land where rain falls enough to grow our crops. Africa, large parts of Asia (with exceptions like China) and South America do not have this. It's hard to build a farm in the desert or in the mountains, or in the rainforest (unless you flatten the rainforest, which in turn leads to problems mentioned earlier). So some things are going to change in world economics. I think we will pay foreign labourers even less, because trivial things that are cheap to make and expensive (for us as consumers) to buy, will be available cheaper for us as they will probably work for even lower wages out of desperation. I think this will leave most of the 3rd world useless to us, however harsh it may sound. Most of the resources they have to offer are things that will eventually run out, like oil, metal and wood from the rainforest. They have cheap labour too but billions upon billions of people can't live off employment from the West, since there will be so little of us and so many of them. This is already the case but it will become much worse. I think the West (and China) will continue to be a superpower for a while because for now, we have the ability to feed ourselves and many other parts of the world don't. But nature always seeks balance. And everything must one day return to a balanced state. This is where the shit really hits the fan.
Now what do you do when you have no food to feed yourself and your children? You obtain it by any means neccessary. Desperation can cause you to do things most of us consider evil and heartless. MANY people will try to immigrate into richer nations with better chances of a good future for them and ther families (already happening). Obviously our governments won't allow this as we will have to share our wealth and job opportunities, leaving less for us. Our governments would probably set up HUGE operations to combat illegal immigraton (also already happening). This will fuel a major hatred towards the West, as we continue living lavishly while the people we refuse to let in come from extremely miserable conditions. They'd come from countries where they might have had to kill in order to eat, and were simply sent back with force when trying to enter more fortunate countries. I can imagine they'd be more than a little pissed off. Why do you think Al Qaida hates the West? Not because we're not Muslims, no no, they hate us for our dominant position in the world that was taken through colonialism, and our extreme luxuries that we obtained (at least in their eyes) in unfair ways. I think this perspective will probably spread rapidly throughout poor parts of the world. They will want a piece of what we have, and I don't blame them considering the conditions they live in.
I think we will first be weakened by our dependancy on fossil fuels when they finally do start to run out. Transportation electricity would be much more expensive if we haven't found cheap alternatves by then, weakening our economy. I think by that time the hatred towards the West will be so immense, considering that 3rd world countries have so many more mouths to feed and so much less food, that we will come under massive attacks. We would be seriously outnumbered. I think there is a lot of violence, if not a VERY destructive (maybe nuclear) world war yet to come in our lifetime. I mean if the world's population doubled in less than 50 years, and is still rising exponentially, it could happen again. And I don't think the world will be ready to support twice as many people in 50 years or less. Not by a long shot. Too many people with not enough food on a planet that is too small will inevitably lead to clashes.
But still I'm at peace with that and I'm not afraid. I hope the world will have a much more even distribution of wealth and well being in my lifetime. I just hope we get there peacefully. If I don't mind giving up luxuries like my car, my playstation and my tv at all, if it means other people in the world can survive because of that.
Sidenote: By "us" I mean people from the West, and sometimes I refer to others as "them" simple because think most of the people that will read this are from Western countries. Probably because most of the World except the West is too poor to be able to buy a computer and sit here reading a long ass blog. Again, with exceptions of course.