A gloomy picture of the future emerges as we view a worsening global energy situation and grow acutely aware of the devastation caused by climate change on our world. Notably, the climate change results, at least in large part, from humankind's lack of stewardship of the earth. The continued use of fossil fuels, especially dirty coal, is particularly worrisome in the future.
All of the foregoing is doubly exacerbated by the unabated demands of an exponentially growing population driven by greed without regard to the future. Does Earth have a chance? A look at the growing demands of developing economies like India and China for more and more energy, coupled with the refusal of developed nations of the world to recognize these needs leads to a poor prognosis for the future of our species. An article illustrative of the problems that are coming up in India and other parts of Asia, shows that suicides are already increasing greatly in India as fertilizer supplies fail. This process is referred to as "die off" and will claim billions of people on the planet before it is through. See www.hindu.com/the hindu/holnus/001200808011140.htm
In my youth, I lived for a couple of years in India in the mid-60s during a bad time of famine and threat of war. I observed levels of poverty that would have been judged unacceptable in this country. At that time, the western world came to the rescue through the supply of surplus food grains and other assistance.
Later with the growing globalization of world trade, India and China, be rift of hard currency, found a market for the major asset they did possess: Labor or sweat equity. The trail has been rough, but both countries have become less impoverished as the global economy has grown. We all know the process. Labor in the industrial nations of the world became expensive compared to the price offered by the labor pools of third world nations. Capitalists reaped profits and destroyed jobs in America and other developed nations as they "out sourced" factories and service needs to what were viewed as "sweat shop" countries.
The energy crisis now looms for all nations big and small. Look at the following website for a perspective: http://www.orionmagazine.org/index.php/articles/article/2962 and before you say that bio-fuels offer an escape, visit http://www.archive.org/details/Myths_of_Biofuels. We need strong leadership.
As children growing up in a vast land of what appeared to be infinite resources, we were taught that each of us could individually reach for the stars. Now in a world of 6.7 billion people, those dreams have to be revised. Some say that present circumstances portend the arrival of a more autocratic society regardless of protests. The "rugged individualism" that encouraged the greed and boundless appetites of the past will fall.
Others argue that the future is going to be one where we can't do it alone, no matter how hard we work in our individual gardens. We will need each other and the contributions of each other without the additional burden of competition. One thing is almost a certainty: The future will dictate a complete rethinking of how we organize our society. The old way of greed and consumerism is no more.
On a brighter note, into this void of gloom and doom come new ideas you should know about. Many say that vanity cannot be eradicated from human nature. A good compromise may be found at a nifty new shop in Tallahassee, Florida, where the emphasis is on a green world and the value of recycling. The name of the shop is Almost Exclusive. Their stock includes many innovative ideas for saving energy and finding new lives for products previously consigned to the junk pile. Visit the web site at www.almostexclusive.com for more details. Also, what do you think about a magic food to feed the world? Well, kinda like magic. Go to http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/paul_stamets_on_6_ways_mushrooms_can_save_the_world.html
for more details.