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A Larger Frame for Coast 2020 Stories

In trying to do good future forecasting work, it is important to be specific about one's working assumptions. I believe that the following five statements are factual. That is, they are measurably accurate descriptions of what is actually the case on the planet for humans as a species. I invite you to consider whether you believe these claims to be accurate. Then consider how you might test the reliability of your beliefs. An extended discussion of these claims will follow.


  1. There is not a scarcity of life support, but in fact enough material, energy, and know-how for all humans to live at a higher level than nearly any humans have yet experienced, while increasing overall biodiversity and avoiding any life-compromising local pollutant concentrations.
  2. Even without economic and currency reform, one fourth of the worlds killingry warfare expenditures, redirected to providing food, shelter, education, health care and transportation to all people, could provide adequately for all humans in a decade without additional environmental degradation, likely producing population growth stabilization within another decade.
  3. In less than two hundred years we have already accomplished half that task, while also developing the technical know-how for finishing the job. In addition, we have largely eliminated crude slavery, and vastly increased the civil rights of children, people of color, and women. Literacy, longevity and access to information are all vastly expanded. As a biological species we are unimaginably better off than we were only 200 years ago. A lot of problems remain, and pollution concentration and wealth disparity sit at the top of the list. We do not need to take anything away from anyone in order for everyone to be successful, so any opposition toward human success is simply obsolete.
  4. There was no way for us to know these statements to be facts earlier than approximately fifty years ago, because there was no worldwide accurate inventory of energy, material and technical capability. No one had actually counted. Probably less than one or two percent of humans yet have even heard this news. The more quickly word gets out, the sooner we can get on with the work ahead. Ignorance of our success, and a pervasive belief in fundamental and permanent scarcity of life support makes competition, wealth disparity and ruthlessness sensible. However, if there is enough to go around, those attitudes are just artifacts from an earlier time, when we had not yet succeeded.
  5. It is likely that the seriousness of the current rate of environmental degradation, coupled with population growth and our fifty percent success now making everyone desirous of similar success, will accelerate worldwide tensions pushing us toward this transformation, or else we will experience a rapidly accelerating ecological and social breakdown.


<< updated CULTURE24 Jan 14 Senior Futures >>


Frame for Coast 2020 : Charles Bush
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