WORLD FUTURE FUND, BOX 1829, OLD
TOWN, ALEXANDRIA, VA. 22313 U.S.A.
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VISIONS OF THE FUTURE
AN INTRODUCTION TO FUTURE WATCH STUDIES
We have been studying future trends since 1995.
In order to understand the future, you need to understand the past. You need to understand time.
Time reveals what is true and what is not true.
Nature is billions of years old. Thus, we know that nature is truth.
The environmental structure of today's world has almost no roots in time. Furthermore, without drastic change, it is virtually certain to collapse. Thus, we can see from a very elemental point of view that today's world is not closely connected to truth.
There are many amazing and positive aspects to today's world, however. Indeed, if you could turn world history into a DVD player and keep your finger on the freeze frame button, a strong case could be made that we are living in the best of times. There are no major wars between world powers at the moment. Technology has enabled the top 20% of the world's people to lead lives of amazing comfort and wonder.
There is also a limited amount of freedom of speech around the world that offers the possibility of open debate about reality. The miracle of the internet is a key part of this process.
The problem is that history is not a DVD player, and even on a DVD player, you cannot hold down the freeze frame button indefinitely. On issue after issue, the "progress" that has been made is all too connected to debts against the future, particularly from an environmental point of view.
The wheels of time roll forward and cannot be stopped. Our world has spent the last 50 years borrowing against the future on a scale never seen before in history. Our world has sown the wind, and we are beginning to feel the growing global whirlwind. We are living in sight of the shadow of a gathering storm that is going to sweep across our planet.
A key problem in preparing for what is to come is that people have been lulled into a false sense of security by the benefits of borrowing against the future. Furthermore, the dimensions of the problems now will require very bloody reforms.
A main point here is to understand the severity of the global crisis. In the opinion of many leading environmental experts like James Lovelock there is zero chance (short of a miracle) that the world's current population levels are viable. Lovelock even suggests we need to drop from today's 6.5 billion down to 1 billion and soon.
We are not convinced that things are that bad but we are convinced that current environmental problems are likely to kill about 2 billion people before 2050 and probably a lot sooner if things keep going downhill at the rapid pace of today. Thus, it is obvious that coming changes are going to create huge political upheavals.
Unfortunately, there is a near total disconnect today between politics and science today, probably greater than at any time since the struggle between Copernicus and the Catholic Church. Copernicus was right. The world is round, not flat. Today, the scientists are again right. The modern "New World Order" is not going to lead us into paradise. It is leading us into the greatest global disaster in history.
History is a major issue. Time matters. It is very important to understand that the political, economic and religious structures of our world have roots that are almost as shallow as the environmental foundations of modern life.
Modern Anglo-American parliamentary democracy and capitalism are a mere 200 years old. They nearly collapsed in the 1930's and were only able to survive via an alliance with the Soviet Union in World War II. America came very close to losing the Cold War, and was only able to succeed due to the geopolitical revolution organized by Nixon and Kissinger which caused Communist China to become an ally of America against the Soviet Union.
The dominant religion in England and America, evangelism, is also a new factor, being invented about 200 years ago. Pentecostal evangelism, the dominant American religion on TV and the fastest growing part of American evangelism, was only invented 100 years ago.
The "New World Order" dominated by America is a mere 20 years old dating from the collapse of the Soviet Union in December, 1991. It nearly collapsed in 1998 with a global economic crisis. In the year 2000 the candidate who actually lost the popular vote was elected President of the U.S.. In 2008 the global economy experienced its worst crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930's.
Meanwhile, the global environment has declined to its worst state in history and continues to head towards disaster.
Can we believe that things can keep going as they are? Can we believe that the current crisis is merely a crisis of political tactics and management miscalculations?
Does it really make sense to expect the political system that created the crisis to solve it?
Today's crisis is a deep crisis of the system with deep roots in the political, economic and religious systems of today's world order. At the heart of the crisis is a lack of respect for nature and an inability to understand time.
We certainly hope that non-violent peaceful reform is possible. This would be the best solution. Indeed we have even published a non-partisan Citizen Education Guide for people in America to show people how to participate in the process of democracy.
However, our years of study show us that the current structures of political power on our planet are not likely to reform themselves. Thus, we need to prepared for grim events.
Probably more than any similar institution in the world we have studied the failure and suicide of democracy in ancient Greece and Rome as well as the deep roots of totalitarianism in world history.
We need to think about the political future of the world in a creative manner. For example, the American political system is not a suicide pact or a religion. The biological foundations of life on this planet must be protected. This is the ultimate frame of reference for the analysis of the political future of the world.
Here are some useful reports to raise your awareness.
WORLD FUTURE OUTLOOK A basic summary of the world situation which discusses in detail the weak political structure of today's world order and the deep roots of totalitarianism in history. This is our most important work.
BUILDING A SUSTAINABLE GLOBAL FUTURE This defines some priorities for real reform so people are not deceived by false reforms produced by political leaders. The latter point is extremely important.
SIGNS OF THE TIMES News articles that reveal the severity of the current crisis.
CRIMINAL DESTRUCTION OF OUR PLANET (PDF) This is a draft of a chart and photo essay on the state of our planet. More is to come here but it can give you picture of what we are facing.
PORTRAIT OF OUR PLANET - A COLLECTION OF CHARTS AND PICTURES (PDF) Similar to above but with one chart per page.
READING LIST A good set of books and web sites on the crisis.
It has been said that a picture is worth a thousand words. These videos bring home the reality of where we are.
CREATIVE VIDEOS ON THE STATE OF THE PLANET These will raise your awareness of what is wrong with the planet.
VISIONS OF TRUTH: SOME GREAT VIDEOS ABOUT NATURE. Nature has been so thoroughly destroyed that it is often not visible to many people. It is more than an intellectual abstraction. It is a state of mind. These videos create a frame of reference for making contact with reality.
VIDEO VISIONS: IDEAS ABOUT THE FUTURE ON VIDEO A picture can be worth a thousand words. What can one say about a video?