Actions for Building Better Futures
Climate changeand what we can do to avert its negative effectsis arguably one of the hottest issues confronting humanity today. Futurists can play a valuable role in identifying not only possible or probable scenarios, but also desirable solutions. This issue of THE FUTURIST analyzes the rise of two such potential solutions to the twin problems of global warming and growing energy demand.
In "The Hybrid Phenomenon," authors Norma Carr-Ruffino and John Acheson provide an overview of new and emerging hybrid vehicle technologies. They argue that the costs and benefits of hybrid-fueled vehicles must be measured from the moment a fuel is extracted to when it propels a vehicle down the road. This gives analysts a better view of which technologies may be more suitable to pursue for a sustainable future. See "The Hybrid Phenomenon."
One type of fuel that has gained much attention as a substitute for petroleum dependence is biodiesel. Market analyst William Thurmond scrutinizes some of the sources for these types of fuel, such as algae, soy, and palm oil, and reports on where the world's economies stand on pursuing these options over the next 15 years. See "Biodiesel's Bright Future."
Also in this issue, FUTURIST research director Lane Jennings takes a look at one fundamental problem of future-building: Dealing with others who disagree on what an ideal future should be like. The concept of "utopia" is typically too large to please everyone, so Jennings suggests smaller, more individualized versions of utopia, where people may pursue their values and lifestyles without harming others. Three such approaches are Safe Havens (like the Amish community), Free Zones (like De Wallen district of Amsterdam), and Parallel Worlds (such as virtual communities and role-playing environments). See "Reinventing Utopia."
July-August 2007 issue
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