I'm 55 years old, and last night, for the first time in my life, when I tried to picture myself in 5 years I actually came up with something.
Many times over the course of my life I've been asked, "Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?" and I've never been able to come up with anything. Then last night, channel-surfing, I saw Danny McBride, playing one of the title characters in "Vice Principals" (I was going to watch the entire series but was unable to keep up past the first 2 episodes, because there is simply too much to watch. There is too much good stuff on TV to watch it all! Think about THAT, and compare it to the 1970's, if you ever start to think that the world can't be changed!), posing the question to an actress playing a high school student in a time out. The student was clearly drawing a blank, so McBride snapped at her: "Just make something up!"
And that is how, 55 years in, I finally was able to do the in-5-years thing: I just made something up.
5 years from now, at age 60, lean and fit, a man who runs 30 or more FAST miles in an average week, outdoors, not in a gym, I will be an extremely rich and famous writer, the author of several huge best-sellers, books translated into more than 40 languages. 40 and growing fast. I'm a frequent guest on the big-time celebrity talk-show circuit, a big wheel in the Democratic Party, an unofficial advisor to the Clintons and Obamas, a guy who plots and schemes with Gates and Buffet and Musk, a Nobel Prize winner, a MacArthur Foundation genius grant recipient, a member of the American Academy of Art and Sciences and the French Legion of Honor, a Fellow of the British Academy and the Leopodldina and pour le mérite of Germany and a whole bunch of other things.
But mostly I am known for stomping on the dying ashes of the petroleum industry and replacing it with solar, wind, tidal, geothermal and other means of energy production. By virtue of my great fame I am able to spread knowledge of the lies and dirty tricks of Big Oil and have just about shamed them to death. Through my many connections I've put solar panels on many millions of buildings from Peoria to Peking, windmills in many a windy place, built tidal and geothermal power plants. I've put oil out of business. We mainly just use it for lubrication now, and we've got plenty for that without ever having to drill any more.
I've built a few hydroelectric plants too. I'm aware that huge dams cause problems, but sometimes it's been either that or oil, gas and nuclear, and I stamp out oil, gas and nuclear.
(I confess that I still don't understand hydrogen fuel cells. Whenever I read or hear about them I always think: "Oh the humanity" etc. I still don't know how to categorize them: dirty, clean, safe, dangerous?)
I promote research into ever more efficient and clean ways for humans to do what we do, both by writing and speaking inspirationally about the importance of this transformation, and, through my political connections, by making sure that the educational and research infrastructure in technology and engineering thrives.
5 years from now I will have become the first person to win Nobel Prizes in both the Literature and Peace categories. 5 years from now the weather already will have begun to calm back down, and people will already be able to breathe easier again, literally, and to see more stars again at night. Because of me. All because of ME.