A key part of magic has to be divination. Having some foresight into the future is a skill that every aspiring mage should try to master. How do you make choices if you can’t see likely outcomes?
I’ve never published a year forward prediction before and I’m slightly nervous that I am going to get this completely wrong. I will find out in 12 months…
2016 has hardly been the quietest of years with the “Western Autumn” replacing the Arab Spring as a sign of hostility towards the status quo – exemplified in Brexit and Trump but also the rise of nationalism in Europe. It is almost as if an angry democratic dragon was released this year which has caused chaos at the ballot box. I can’t see things getting significantly calmer in 2017 but neither can I see them getting massively worse. Perhaps there will be a far right leader in Europe but they will be held back by state machinery.
2016 brought us Trump with his friendship with Russia, more crazy happenings in the Middle East – especially in Syria, and ridiculous arctic temperatures soaring 30C above normal while there was snow in the Sahara. Add to this the demise of the famous, as I write this news of George Michael being added to the annual obituary list has shocked many.
So what will 2017 bring?
I think there is a real chance (perhaps 60%) that Charles will become King in 2017. Hardly a revelation given that the Queen is 90 and is currently off-sick. It will be interesting to see if he continues his political campaigning as monarch, he might impose some much needed green thinking on a government that seems intent on destruction. Obviously, this would go against my democratic principles but the ends could justify the means!
The climate chaos in 2017 is likely to be worse than 2016. The declining polar caps have heralded the arrival of climate feedback loops that will accelerate climate change. 2016 was all about the record breaking global temperatures but the secondary impacts by way of storms, sea rises and droughts will increase in 2017.
The Trump situation… the lack of willingness by the Democrats to challenge his victory suggests that they will be attempting to control him from behind the scenes for the next 4 years, dampening down his rhetoric by ensuring that he can’t enact the worst of his policies. That said, the impact of his victory on US society cannot be underestimated. I feel that the race related incidents will continue to rise combined with increasing Black and Latino backlashes.
Brexit: What a mess! Teresa may won’t be able to get herself out from between the rock and the hard Brexit of Article 50. She will delay Article 50 for as long as she can in the hope that the EU cut her a lifeline. If she is forced towards a hard Brexit she may well call a General Election (perhaps a 40% chance in 2017) and which the Lib Dems will do well in, despite their current polling.
Oil prices are still hard wired to the economy. The global economy is likely to grow in 2017, initially around the 3% that the economists predict. However this will increase the price of oil which has been steadily rising from its low point of 30$ 12 months ago to around 55$ today. While OPEC can flex the price by withholding oil (please…), this can only have an effect in the short and medium term, the longer term will be affected heavily by oil producers ability to produce. I can see the oil price doubling in 2017 but this will dampen economic growth in the second half of the year.
The higher oil prices will bring a renewed enthusiasm for fracking too. Higher prices will make it slightly less affordable for the oil and gas companies, but the public anger at this will increase.
So, I’ll leave it there. Divination / prediction is an art rather than a science and one that can be horribly wrong. We will see in 12 months.