Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Next 100 Years

Beyond the unavoidable climatic and demographic challenges of the next 100 years lies the real threat: government incompetence.

What We Know
  • climate change is occurring, with sufficient warming to change disease patterns, forest cover, storm magnitude, patterns of desertification in the U.S. Southwest, availability of water being predictable over the coming generation
  • overpopulation will intensify dangerously over the coming generation regardless of how many mothers choose not to reproduce
What We Should Plan For
  • unaffordable rise in oil prices forcing a change in the wasteful, mobile American lifestyle
  • high food prices
  • taking local initiative to survive
  • a more challenging environment, making decision-making tougher, provoking society to push closer to the unknown limits, causing more failures
What Current Behavior Teaches Us We Can Expect
  • government short-sightedness and elite resistance to sharing in the U.S. that will make matters far worse than necessary (judging from behavior during the Occupy Wall St. campaign, the financial crisis, in response to global warming, and after Katrina)
  • spreading police brutality against victims and all advocating change
  • demonization of science and thinkers
  • hardline, rigid, top-down, control-oriented policies
  • popular rage worldwide against the rich West and domestically against a corrupt elite
  • extreme instability in terms of society, climate, availability of resources and services
  • extreme geographic variability in conditions
Faced with the dual, independent but positively reinforcing challenges of climate change and overpopulation, the elite can be expected to exploit rather than lead, both domestically and internationally. As the natural and social environments both worsen, the big question is whether or not we can shift political behavior from constituting a net minus to constituting a net plus.

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