Predictions for 2016

Predictions for 2016

Moreen McGrath, Copy Editor

It seemed that when 2015 ended, the world collectively heaved a sigh of relief. It was a taxing year, with social upheaval seen all around the globe, police brutality cases still making the news, acts of terrorism forcing policymakers to consider difficult angles on the topic of immigration, refugees, and gun control, numerous devastating natural disasters, and an increasingly muddled global political arena. While such events have certainly impacted our perception of 2015, we should also remember that it was a year filled with some of humanity’s greatest triumphs. In the past year, scientists have managed to photograph Pluto in stunning quality, discover the flow of liquid water on the surface of Mars, and create a reusable rocket for space travel. Countries came together to have serious discussions on the realities of climate change and formally committed to the goal of reducing global carbon emissions. A new chapter was begun by the United States and Cuba in the reestablishment of diplomatic relations. Love won in the United States and Ireland, and both the United Kingdom and the Kingdom of Sweden welcomed royal babies.

In the face of such an array of events, it is natural to wonder what the coming year will hold. Of course, it is impossible to know what will happen in the future, but it is interesting to speculate on the possibilities held by 2016. After much consideration, I have compiled a list of predictions on what the coming year could hold, divided according to subject matter.

Marco Rubio Will Run Against Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Presidential Election: Currently, the Republican front runner, as we all know, is Donald Trump, poling in with 29% of Republican support. Just behind him, however, is Senator Marco Rubio from Florida, who has approximately 15% of the party’s members backing him. While it may seem unlikely that Rubio will be able to take the leap to surpass Trump’s numbers, as the primary season begins, many of the current Republican candidates (of which there are eleven) will likely begin to end their campaigns in the face of a lack of success. This will then force the remaining 56% of Republican voters to choose a new candidate to support. Given that Trump makes an incendiary comment quite regularly, it is likely that he will further alienate himself from these potential voters by the time this opportunity arises, thus causing these individuals to throw their support behind Rubio.
In terms of the Democratic race, despite holding significantly better favorability rankings than Clinton, it is unlikely that Bernie Sanders will receive the nomination. Much of Sanders’ support comes from new, young voters, while Hillary seems to have secured the older generations. While the amount of individuals expressing interest in voting for Sanders currently outnumbers the amount who currently wish to vote for Hillary, young potential voters are notorious for not taking advantage of their privilege to vote. Voter turnout is currently strongest among the demographic which favours Hillary; unless there is a mass movement within youth culture which encourages voting in the primaries, it is unlikely that Sanders will be able to surpass Clinton.

A Trend Toward Positivity Rather Than Negativity: In the wake of such a mentally exhausting year, it thus far seems that individuals are attempting to be more optimistic about future prospects. Of course, it will be difficult to uproot the general attitude of bitterness that seems to pervade social media and the reporting styles of the actual media, but such a slight change could eventually catch on amongst the citizen population, thus forcing the media to follow suit in order to prove relatable and interesting.

There Will Be Significant Protests Occurring During the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro: The 2016 Olympic Games will be held in August, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, thus becoming the first South American City to host the games. 2015 was a difficult year for Brazil. March and April saw hundreds of thousands of protesters take to the streets to oppose President Dilma Rousseff’s apparent corruption and poor handling of the dwindling economy. Not only was heavy taxation necessary for the construction of the facilities necessary for hosting the 2014 World Cup, but it has continued on in the same oppressive manner in order to complete the construction projects needed to host the Olympic Games. Sacred lands of indigenous peoples have been taken in order to build welcome centers for the visitors who will flock to the games, causing considerable backlash from the people. Calls for Rousseff’s impeachment, opposition to economic stagnation, and the general distrust of government which has developed amongst the people all provide possible topics for demonstrations which could take place during these games, with citizens participating once again numbering in the hundreds of thousands.


The Revitalization of Downtown: In the very recent past, downtown Pittsburgh was a ghost town during non working hours. Individuals did not live in the city with the numbers seen in the world’s major cities, and it seemed that Pittsburgh was doomed to lose its potential to serve as a hub for Western Pennsylvania. However, this trend has reversed itself within recent years. Younger generations are beginning to move back into the city, and the overhaul of areas such as Market Square have created new sources of entertainment to those having a day or night out. High schoolers are much more likely to take trips to Primantis, Mount Washington, and the Point than ever before, and the anticipated growth of Pittsburgh’s unique restaurant industry will likely drive even further growth in the amounts of young individuals coming into the city for leisure.


Promising Years in Store for the Rap and Alternative Genres, as Well as the Revitalization of Some Old Favourites: With albums anticipated to come from Kanye, Drake, Rihanna, Chance the Rapper, and Frank Ocean, it appears that 2016 will be an equally as promising year for rap as was 2015. The alternative world also will come out strong in 2016 with albums coming from Ed Sheeran (who may be simply considered pop, I don’t know — there’s a reason I don’t work for Rolling Stone), Jake Bugg, Haim, Vampire Weekend, and The 1975. Additionally, old favourites such as Gwen Stefani, Missy Elliot, and David Bowie all expected to release new material.


Netflix Ratings Will Surpass Television Ratings: Netflix had an absolutely amazing year in 2015 with the success of shows such as Orange is the New Black and the acquisition of F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Binge watching became the national sport, with the majority of American youth turning toward the forum in times of boredom or procrastination. I believe that 2016 will be an even bigger year for Netflix. Though there may never again be such a large, sudden flocking to the service as was seen in 2015, the company has a massive, loyal fanbase which is still growing worldwide and numerous promising projects in the works. Anticipated Netflix endeavors include: the release of the original series Fuller House and A Series of Unfortunate Events. Netflix may also choose to start to make original movies, which could change the very nature of the movie release. 2016 will undoubtedly be another incredible year for Netflix.