European view of nanotech in 20 years

See the report by Ottilia Saxl, founder and CEO of the Institute of Nanotechnology, UK, for the European Commission Expert Group on Key Technologies for Europe. Titled Nanotechnology – a Key Technology for the Future of Europe (PDF), it includes on pages 26-28 a scenario of the role of nanotech in 2025. The technology will sound familiar, but the political context is quite different from most U.S. nanotech scenarios (emphasis added):

“Rogerio remembers the days when people travelled by car or aeroplane, until droughts, fires, famines, plagues and hurricanes became so frequent that the scientific evidence for an imminent, irreversible ecological global disaster could no longer be ignored. Governments had to then make some very hard-hitting decisions to ensure the survival of the planet, and the continuation of the human race. Travel was forbidden, except in emergency, new forms of energy use were enforced through legislation…

“Surprisingly, also, the bank had done rather well out of the new world order. The use and development of these new technologies had been enforced by law, and this meant a new role for the bank in providing finance. By law also, banks today had to use a high proportion of their surplus to support projects in specified regions of the world at very low interest rates. Not popular to begin with, but the benefits were now apparent. However, it had been sad to see so many businesses such as those involved in import and export of out-of-season fruits, flowers and vegetable, and those needing a high energy input such as glass factories, go to the wall.”

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