A Global Forecast for the Next Forty YearsBook - 2012
Draws on global forecasting tools, the predictions of over thirty experts, and the author's experience in sustainability to speculate on the world's economic future, addressing overpopulation, renewable energy, and China as a superpower.
Chelsea Green Publishing
Forty years ago, The Limits to Growth study addressed the grand question of how humans would adapt to the physical limitations of planet Earth. It predicted that during the first half of the 21st century the ongoing growth in the human ecological footprint would stop-either through catastrophic "overshoot and collapse"-or through well-managed "peak and decline."
So, where are we now? And what does our future look like? In the book 2052, Jorgen Randers, one of the coauthors of Limits to Growth, issues a progress report and makes a forecast for the next forty years. To do this, he asked dozens of experts to weigh in with their best predictions on how our economies, energy supplies, natural resources, climate, food, fisheries, militaries, political divisions, cities, psyches, and more will take shape in the coming decades. He then synthesized those scenarios into a global forecast of life as we will most likely know it in the years ahead.
The good news: we will see impressive advances in resource efficiency, and an increasing focus on human well-being rather than on per capita income growth. But this change might not come as we expect. Future growth in population and GDP, for instance, will be constrained in surprising ways-by rapid fertility decline as result of increased urbanization, productivity decline as a result of social unrest, and continuing poverty among the poorest 2 billion world citizens. Runaway global warming, too, is likely.
So, how do we prepare for the years ahead? With heart, fact, and wisdom, Randers guides us along a realistic path into the future and discusses what readers can do to ensure a better life for themselves and their children during the increasing turmoil of the next forty years.
In The Limits of Growth (1972), coauthor Randers (climate strategy, BI Norwegian Business School) cautioned that unless humanity changed its ways, the planet's future looked unsustainable. In this report to the Club on Rome commemorating the 40th anniversary of this landmark book, he and a new group of prognosticators forecast scenarios about population, consumption, production, energy use, and a counter-globalization trend for the next 40 years for the US, China, and other regions. Supporting figures and maps are drawn from a statistical database, computer models, and other tools. Annotation ©2012 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)