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The following trends from the July, August, and September issues of Future Survey have been selected by editor Michael Marien as authoritative statements on important issues shaping the future:

ECOLOGICAL FOOTPRINT GROWING. "The human ecological footprint is still increasing despite progress made in technology and institutions…many crucial sources are emptying or degrading, and many sinks are filling up or overflowing…we are much more pessimistic about the global future than we were in 1972."
Donella Meadows, Jorgen Randers, and Dennis Meadows in Limits to Growth: The 30-Year Update (FS 26:7/301)

HOPE IN DECLINE. "Over the last three decades a major cultural shift has taken place in the attitudes of Western societies toward the future. Optimism has given way to a sense of ambiguity…(which) threatens to stifle hope at a personal as well as a social level."
Theologians Miroslav Volf and William Katerberg in The Future of Hope (FS 26:9/415)

NEW NUCLEAR WEAPONS. "Nuclear scientists are actually designing, developing, testing, and constructing new nuclear weapons at an annual cost of $5 billion over the next 10-15 years."
Dr. Helen Caldicott in The New Nuclear Danger (FS 26:9/421)

BIRD FLU. "The recent appearance and spread of 'bird flu' across Asian poultry populations has raised concerns that a devastating new influenza pandemic is imminent…should the bird flu virus evolve to a form that readily infects humans, widespread loss of life is predicted."
Tyler Kokjohn et al. in WFS 2004 Conference Volume (FS 26:9/446)

RESPONSE TO AIDS. In the past three years, "the essential ingredients for a global response have coalesced: cheaper drugs, high-level political will, new money to pay for treatment, and growing grassroots muscle to push governments to follow through on their promises."
Anne-Christine D'Adesky on the race to treat global AIDS (FS 26:9/448)

SURPLUS MALES IN CHINA AND INDIA. "The masculinization of Asia's sex ratios is one of the overlooked megatrends of our time, a phenomenon that may very likely influence the course of national and perhaps even international politics in the 21st century."
Valerie Hudson and Andrea den Boer in Bare Branches (FS 26:7/333)

SUSTAINABLE FOREST MANAGEMENT. "In recent years, despite high rates of deforestation in many regions, progress in implementing sustainable forest management around the world has been steady and encouraging."
FAO report, State of the World's Forests 2003 (FS 26:7/305)

WORKFORCE TRENDS IN U.S. The US workforce in the next 10-15 years will continue to grow, but at a much slower rate, with greater workforce participation by the elderly, the disabled, and women with children.
RAND report on The 21st Century at Work (FS 26:8/379)

TRANSPORTATION INNOVATION. "University communities are at the leading edge in transportation innovation, developing new approaches that may have broad application, from central cities to suburban corporate campuses."
Will Toor and Spenser Havlick in Transportation & Sustainable Campus Communities (FS 26:7/349)

NOVEL FUTURES: RAPID GROWTH. "For the overwhelming preponderance of human history, humans have lived in societies that were characterized by 80% continuities, 15% cycles, and only 5% novelties at best. Now I believe the figures are reversed: 80% of our futures may be novel, 15% cyclical, and only 5% continuous with the past and present."
Prof. Jim Dator, Hawaii Center for Futures Studies (FS 26:7/317)

The following forecasts from the July, August, and September issues of Future Survey have been selected by editor Michael Marien as authoritative statements on significant probable developments that deserve wide attention.

WORLD POPULATION IN 2050. The human population is projected to grow from 6.4 billion as of mid-2004 to 7.9 billion in 2025 (24% growth) and 9.3% in 2050 (45% growth).
Carl Haub, Population Reference Bureau (FS 26:9/401)

AGING SOCIETIES. "Fiscal pressures associated with aging societies are set to intensify over the next few years, and even more so beyond…deficits and debts are on an explosive path in most large OECD countries, as well as in many smaller ones."
OECD Economic Outlook, 2004/1 (FS 26:8/392)

GREATER TRANSPARENCY. Pervasive computing and documentation will ultimately make all things transparent in all public and private enterprises, with total transparency finally becoming international law in 15-20 years.
David Pearce Snyder on "Five Meta-Trends Changing the World" (FS 26:7/326)

NORTH-SOUTH DIVIDE. "It is probable that, as of 2025, the North-South divide in the world-system will not be significantly reduced; indeed, it might be quite enlarged."
Immanuel Wallerstein on the relative decline of the US in the world (FS 26:9/411)

AL QAEDA'S NEXT ATTACK. "I write this book with a pressing certainty that al Qaeda will attack the continental US again, that its next strike will be more damaging than that of 9/11, and could include use of weapons of mass destruction…this war has the potential to last beyond our children's lifetimes and to be fought mostly on US soil."
"Anonymous" (CIA analyst Michael Scheuer) on Imperial Hubris (FS 26:9/417)

AL QAEDA'S LONG-TERM PROGRAM. The al Qaeda network is involved in a long-term program to create a wider and more coherent Islamic world. "Already underway for a decade, with another decade in prospect before it might be achieved, it is part of a much longer strategy that might stretch over half a century."
Prof. Paul Rogers of Bradford University, UK (FS 26:9/418)

GLOBAL FASCISM AHEAD? "The dangers of global fascism cannot be discounted as imaginary or alarmist."
Prof. Richard A. Falk in The Declining World Order: America's Imperial Geopolitics (FS 26:7/316)

FIBER FARMS. A few very large international corporations will increasingly dominate global markets in wood products. They will move toward fiber farms of intensively managed engineered trees grown on short rotations. These fiber farms "will certainly have the capacity to meet and grossly exceed global needs for bulk wood fiber for the next century."
David Lindermayer and Jerry Franklin on forest sustainability (FS 26:7/306)

IMPACT OF "NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND. NCLB systems for evaluating public schools place great score-boosting pressures on teachers, usually followed by unsound classroom instruction. Many students "will receive a far worse education than they would otherwise be receiving," and NCLB will implode in several years.
UCLA assessment expert W. James Popham (FS 26:89/370)

MONSTER QUAKE IN MIDWEST? The probability of another huge quake in the New Madrid Seismic Zone in Missouri, similar to the three quakes of 1811-1812, is roughly 20% between now and 2100. It could incur a cost of $1 trillion, probably bankrupting some state and local governments.
Jake Page and Dartmouth earth scientist Charles Officer on The Big One (FS 26:7/311).

III. TOP TEN PROPOSALS from Future Survey, Fall 2004
These preferable futures for a better society or a better world, from the July, August, and September issues of Future Survey, have been selected as exemplary visions worthy of consideration:

BREAKTHROUGH SCENARIO. An ideal scenario for the 2005-2020 period, describing popular movements for peace, reform of the world monetary system, more equitable distribution of recourses, widespread government and corporate reform, etc.
Ervin Laszlo, Global Citizen's Handbook (FS 26:9/404)

A FUTURE WORTH CREATING. Eradicating disconnectedness in the global economy is "the defining security task of our age…by expanding the connectivity of globalization, we increase peace and prosperity worldwide…making globalization truly global…(is) a future worth creating."
Defense strategist Thomas P.M. Barnett, The Pentagon's New Map (FS 26:9/407)

OUSTING DICTATORS BY 2025. A plan to get rid of the last 45 dictators in the world by 2025, because democracies provide more freedom and better governance. "It is wrong to stand by and do nothing when people anywhere on Earth are being brutally treated by the despots who rule them."
Freedom House VP Mark Palmer, Breaking the Real Axis of Evil (FS 26:7/321)

COMMUNITARIAN APPROACH TO INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS. A new layer of governance is needed, but one that differs from the neo-conservative and hyper-liberal views. Emphasis is needed on enhancing community building and on a convergence of interests.
GWU Prof Amitai Etzioni, From Empire to Community (FS 26:7/320)

STATE-BUILDING. "How to promote governance of weak states, improve their democratic legitimacy, and strengthen self-sustaining institutions…(is) the central project of contemporary international politics…because weak or failed states are the source of many of the world's most serious problems."
Francis Fukuyama on governance and world order in the 21st century (FS 26:7/322)

ANTI-TERRORISM STRATEGY. A three-dimensional strategy is proposed: attack terrorists and their organizations, prevent growth of Islamist terrorism, and protect against and prepare for terrorist attacks on the US.
The 9/11 Commission Report (FS 26:9/416)

GIRL'S EDUCATION. Investing in girl's education is "a strategy that will jump-start all other development goals." There is no tool for development that is more effective.
UNICEF Director Carol Bellamy, State of the World's Children 2004 (FS 26:8/397)

RETIRING RETIREMENT. "The concept of retirement is outdated and should be put out to pasture in favor of a more flexible approach to ongoing workone that serves both employer and employee."
Aging expert Ken Dychtwald in Harvard Business Review (FS 26:8/386)

REDESIGNING CITIES. Numerous proposals for redesign of neighborhoods, transport, commercial corridors, historic districts, parks, and public spaces to produce a more livable urban environment.
Jonathan Barnett, U of Pennsylvania Prof of City and Regional Planning (FS 26:7/339)

NATURAL STEP FOR COMMUNITIES. Profiles accomplishments of 60 Swedish communities that employed the Natural Step Approach toward sustainability.
Sara James and Torbjorn Lahti on how cities and towns can change (FS 26:7/341)