I'm re-reading "The Sheep Look Up" by John Brunner, a book that
I bought at the LSU bookstore around 1986. A science fiction novel
about the near future extrapolated from the vietnam era. It really influenced
the way I thought about the world, it made me think that everything
is polluted and the future will be worse. The modern world would sink
into a miasma of warfare, pollution, lack of clean air and water etc.
In some ways things look worse than the early '70's when the book was
written, the government is broke, a lot of private individuals and companies
are broke, we're still at war with the islamofacists, etc.
On the other hand much of the extrapolation was too pessimistic, the air
is less polluted even in places that were really polluted (california), clean
water is plentiful still and cheap, food is still fairly cheap and it seems like
there are much fewer people starving in the world now mostly due to improvements
in China and India.
Gee, maybe projections about global warming and the imminent demise of the
USA could be wrong as well.