IS IT THE END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT?
In Where On Earth Are We Going?, Maurice Strong considers a worst-case scenariothe possible fate of planet Earth if nothing is done to reverse our current rate of political, social, and environmental decline. Here's how bad things might be thirty years from now:
Relationships between the nations of the world continue to deteriorate, and the United Nations virtually ceases to exist.
Nations collapse into civil war and break off into separatist states at an accelerated pace.
As governments fall, regionally based crime bosses and military dictators rise to power throughout much of the world.
Religious and ethnic tensions have been exacerbated by the miserable conditions, and several long-standing conflicts have been renewed.
Russia is virtually without power, and the nuclear materials from most of its power plants are widely available on the black market.
Members of Congress, along with the military and FBI, are attempting a coup against the U.S. President, while "citizen militias" engage in guerrilla warfare across the country.
Thanks to increased hurricanes and rainstorms, most of Florida is now underwater, and the California shoreline is devastated. Similar flooding has caused billions of dollars in damage, including ruined farmlands, in regions like Bangladesh and the Netherlands.
Iran and Iraq have ended their war and now control much of the Middle East, including roughly 70 percent of the world's severely diminished oil supply. Oil prices have skyrocketed.
The Dust Bowl has returned to the Great Plains with a vengeance. Farms are barely able to produce enough food for their local communities, let alone the rest of the world.
People turn to the ocean for a new food supply. Now many forms of marine life have become virtually extinct. Battles are breaking out on the high seas over fishing rights, and piracy has increased dramatically.
In the Amazon and West Africa, the drought is so bad that forests have been reduced to one-fifth their original size.
The air over most of Siberia is thick with smog. The only reason the cities are doing better is because their factories have almost entirely shut down.
New plagues are breaking out in every comer of the world.
Refugees are fleeing the world's worst trouble spots, only to meet with violent resistance in already overcrowded countries.
We've finally achieved zero population growth ... on the other hand, infant mortality is also on the rise. The ongoing crises around the world have reduced Earth's population to 4.5 billion, and it's still shrinking rapidly. Experts predict it may drop as low as 1.6 billion before the worst is through.
Where On Earth Are We Going? by Maurice Strong, TEXERE, April 2001. Contact: Brian Feinblurn, 1-212-583-2718
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