A Naturalist's Predictions for 2014

As a naturalist and as an observer of my fellow humans, I hereby make the following bold predictions for 2014:

1.  Despite widespread lip service, there will be no significant progress toward addressing the threat of global warming.
2.  While they pronounce their commitment to clean, renewable sources of energy, the oil and coal companies will do whatever they can to prevent a significant shift away from fossil fuel use.
3.  Pollution will increase in our rivers, oceans and atmosphere.
4.  Creationists will oppose the teaching of evolution, geology, natural history, physics, astronomy, geometry, calculus and other misguided theories in our public schools.
5.  Tropical rainforests will shrink while desertification will expand; suburban sprawl and agriculture will eat up more natural habitat.  More golf courses will appear in the Desert Southwest.
6.  Sectarian violence will plague the Middle East and racism will persist in the U.S.
7.  Gun rights advocates will agree to compromise; they will suggest placing restrictions on gun sales to children under age 10 (unless accompanied by a parent).
8.  Pope Francis' compassion for women, gays and atheists will not lead to women priests, Catholic gay marriage or the dismantling of religious mysticism.
9.  The average waistline will expand.  Blame will be placed on food vendors, not on parents.
10.  Americans will be entertained by a new cable lineup: humiliation, dysfunction and melodrama will be the primary themes of the reality programming.  All advertising will be devoted to erectile dysfunction drugs and testosterone supplements.
11.  Humans will stare at their cell phones, tablets and GPS units for most of the year.
12.  The income gap will continue to expand in America and across the globe.  Revolution will be closer.
13.  Many more species will become extinct; we won't notice until our own species is threatened (at least a few decades down the line).

Happy New Year to all!