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Chapter 1: Worrying About the Future, An Excerpt from 2052

Forty years ago, three researchers teamed up with a computer model and attempted to predict the future.

The result was a report to the Club of Rome entitled The Limits to Growth. But that was just the beginning.

In the years that followed, the future scenarios the model predicted — the most dire of which showed humanity using up its nonrenewable resources as fast as possible, and then sliding into myriad catastrophic shortages and crises — were hotly contested, and viciously derided as bad science. They were also occasionally championed as a Cassandra story — telling a truth nobody wants to admit.

The controversy surrounding Limits to Growth remains to this day, even as actual observations track right along with some of the more dire scenarios outlined by World3 (the model), Dennis Meadows, Donella Meadows, and Jorgen Randers (the researchers).

Randers has continued to worry productively about the future, and his new book, 2052: A Global Forecast for the Next Forty Years, offers a best guess at what that future might be. To develop this new forecast, Randers spoke to numerous experts, and asked what they saw coming in the realms of economy, resource-use, environment, climate change, and more. What will happen to us in the coming decades? Some of the answers may surprise you. The book is now available, and to celebrate its arrival we’re putting it on sale for 25% off. Below is an excerpt from the book’s first chapter, “Worrying About the Future.” An Excerpt from 2052 by Jorgen Randers

Bullshit. *Charisma, Icon, Intelligence, Empty Sandwich

How does the word “bullshit” connect to Charisma, Intelligence and the notion of The Empty Sandwich?To find out the answer to this question we meandered through David Fleming’s Lean Logic. A dictionary unlike any other, Lean Logic encourages readers to actively and intellectually engage with its entries. These entries are often cross-referenced so that you […] Read More

The Miracle of Farming: Toward a Bio-Abundant Future

Charles and Perrine Hervé-Gruyer’s Le Ferme du Bec Hellouin is a celebrated model of innovative, ecological agriculture in Europe, connected to national and international organizations addressing food security, heralded by celebrity chefs as well as the Slow Food movement, and featured in the inspiring César and COLCOA award-winning documentary film, Demain (Tomorrow).In this excerpt from their […] Read More

Three Principles to Survive the Future

What guiding principles will you need to not just survive the future, but imagine a better one? Surviving the Future is a story drawn from the fertile ground of the late David Fleming’s extraordinary Lean Logic: A Dictionary for the Future and How to Survive It. That hardback consists of four hundred and four interlinked dictionary entries, […] Read More

Sow Seeds: Stop Walking Around Doing Nothing

“In the last one hundred years, 94 percent of seed varieties available at the turn of the century in America and considered a part of the human commons have been lost.”That’s one of the key takeaways in award-winning author and activist Janisse Ray’s book, The Seed Underground: A Growing Revolution to Save Food. In her book, Ray […] Read More

True or false? Figs contain dead wasps

They are trees of life and trees of knowledge. They are wish-fulfillers … rainforest royalty … more precious than gold. They are the fig trees, and they have affected humanity in profound but little-known ways. Gods, Wasps and Stranglers tells their amazing story.Fig trees fed our pre-human ancestors, influenced diverse cultures and played key roles […] Read More
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