My friend, the writer Bruce Sterling, suggests that the future boils down to this one simple statement:
Old people, in big cities, afraid of the sky.
It’s hard to argue with that assessment based on current trends:
- Afraid of the sky? Increasingly so. Our weather is becoming more extreme. Not only are we getting hammered by epic weather events, I haven’t run into any knowledgeable farmer, nursery owner, or gardener that doesn’t see a substantial change in the climate underway. That’s a bad thing since this negatively impacts the core agricultural and environmental systems we rely upon.
- The demographics point to continued, but aging, population growth. We’re growing, but not only in the way you think. Births have been declining since the late eighties. So while the population is growing, it’s mainly because we are living longer than ever before. We’re aging. fast. The average age of the global population is expected to be 35 years by 2050 (and 46 years in the current developed world).
- Cities are growing, mostly in the developed world. Already, half of all people live in urban environments and by 2025 there will be 27 cities with populations over 10 million people.
It gets worse. It’s hard to see how this future avoids universal poverty, plutocratic totalitarianism, and frequent bouts of chaos.
It doesn’t sound attractive, does it?
Of course not. But we don’t have to participate in that negative future.
While we can’t do anything about growing old, we can opt for a better place and way to do it.
A better future. A resilient future.
We have the smarts, the work ethic, and the passion. We have a global network filled with the information and compatriots required. We have a host of new techniques/technologies to make resilience easier than ever before.
It’s time to get started. Let’s build a resilient system that puts the current system out of business, before it does the same to all of us.
PS: Today’s Resilient Strategies roundtable is a short course on how to crowdsource investment for local solar projects.
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