For more than half a century, our planet has enjoyed a prolonged period of privilege and stability. Recent decades have seen some of the most extraordinary prosperity in all of human history, and we have come to view this as the norm.
But what if instability returned?
And what can we do to prevent that from happening?
In The Future in Plain Sight, author Eugene Linden lays out the nine factors that are symptomatic of instability in today's world. They include overpopulation, the widening gap between rich and poor, the resurgence of infectious disease, and the effects of a changing global climate. Linden explores these and other destabilizing forces and tells us what we can do to plan and prepare for life in an unsettled and unsettling universe.
From crises in the world's financial markets to the breakdown of natural systems that support human life, The Future in Plain Sight is a powerful look at what lies in store for us in the coming decades.
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Forget the year 2000 bug, says Eugene Linden, the world's in for something much bigger than power outages and fouled-up databases. The clues are everywhere, but what do they all mean? The Future in Plain Sight argues that the history of the world is full of ebbs and flows, periods of stability followed by instability. Every now and again, everything changes: the climate, the social order, the shape of the terrain. Linden outlines the nine major indications that the world is ready for another round of instability, claiming that the political, social, economic, environmental, and biological problems we all face today are not as unrelated or as random as they may seem.
Yet Linden actively discredits most doomsday scenarios, which usually seem to blame some outside force for bringing on disaster. In his view, the existing problems will continue to feed upon and exacerbate each other. Crowded cities, for example, put further stress on a sick, polluted environment, allowing diseases to spread faster, while social and political unrest causes native populations to uproot and immigrate to other countries, creating new cycles of poverty, disease, and overpopulation.
Linden doesn't pretend to know how the human race will deal with these issues, nor does he claim to know all the answers. But The Future in Plain Sight tells a compelling and frightening story that deserves to be heard out. --Elisabeth HigginsAbout the Author:
Eugene Linden is an award-winning journalist and the author of The Parrot’s Lament, The Future in Plain Sight, Silent Partners, and other books on animals and the environment. He has consulted for the U.S. State Department, the UN Development Program, and he is a widely traveled speaker and lecturer. In 2001, Yale University named Linden a Poynter Fellow in recognition of his writing on the environment. He lives in Nyack, New York, and Washington, D.C.
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