Back in 1985, I espied a book by Brian Stableford, a well known futurist and SF writer, and David Langford who was a physicist working at AWRE Aldermaston. It was entitled “The Third Millenium : A history of the World 2000-3000 AD”. It’s a fascinating book and one that I frequently revisit just to see how much he got right or wrong as the years pass.
OK, they missed some significant events like the collapse of the Soviet Union, the growth of the EU and the advent of majority rule in South Africa but they got a lot right as well. You can find a brief synopsis on Wikipedia here. But what peaked my interest in this time when the Chinese Flu is sweeping the world was his forecast of what he refers to as ‘The Plague Wars’, forecasting the first outbreak in 2007 as a “virus belonging to the influenza group but the symptoms were particularly severe”.
He forecast it as originating in South Africa as an attack on Zimbabwe and causing the downfall of white supremacy. Completely wrong – but the virology would seem consistent with Covid-19. His forecast was 8 million deaths worldwide with it lingering sporadically for ten years. Lets hope he got that wrong too.
PW2 was forecast to break out in California in 2015 was proven to be an engineered viral pneumonia. It kills a million US citizens, 6 million Mexicans and 4 million more across central America.
PW3 comes along in 2024, a viral venereal disease killing 5 million and causing sterilisation of around 20 million. “The long incubation period made the task made the task of stopping its spread inordinately difficult”. Sound familiar?
PW4 is the ‘Triplet Plague’ which hits the USA in 2050. Phase one was a viral leukemia, two was a nerve agent and the third induced cancers. It kills 10 million people in the first 4 weeks.
Here is their version of the end of the Plague Wars :
“No further outbreaks were recorded after 2060. The reasons for this are almost certainly complex…” as “…the government mounting an attack of this kind had to worry about the rebound effect. To remain free from suspicion and hence reprisals. the instigators could not immunise their own people until appearing to do so on a worldwide basis.”
Being American authors, they of course place a lot of suspicion on the Russians suggesting that this is why there was never an attack on Moscow and lots on the USA. It’s a cynical and biased view, but then we have Putin and we have that nerve agent attack in Salisbury.
At the end of the day, let’s hope that they got this all wrong and that Covid-19 really is just a mutation of something that’s been hanging around in China for a while and not the release of a biological weapon of some kind. I stress that I’m not suggesting that it is.
Nevertheless, it makes interesting reading…