A less Western World

There are two reports made by the European Union's Foresight Expert Group "The World in 2025", and "Rising Asia and Socio-ecological Transition". The experts assessed and measured global trends over recent decades and then developed forward projections and alternative scenarios.

I cannot relate to the research methods of futurology. But I'm sure the findings and opinions of the experts deserve attention, especially as most of their predictions are based on the here and now and could well be influenced by today's policies.

I'm in the middle of the report now.

Some findings:

The center of global activity will be in Asia, especially China. The population of India will approach China's, which will have started to decrease. Europe will place third, the United States fourth. Russia will be knocked out of the top ten because of growing population in Africa and South America. The European population will be older than that of any other country.

If everybody in the world follows the habits of the US population, which has the highest per capita energy, food and water consumption, a dearth of commodities could create a severe world crisis.

The poorest nations would be the main victims. Extending cheap energy, food and clean water supply therefore is a number one priority.

Ageing will challenge intergenerational solidarity due to changes in family patterns (more unmarried cohabitation, later marriage, more divorce, more repartnering, smaller family sizes, later childbearing).

There will be massive migration to the cities (most of the migrants will be "climate refugees") 60 % of the population will live there. This may lead to tensions with the existing population.

Further chapters are on economy, trade, employment (very interesting the chapter on "communicative sharing" - that's what do we here on the blogs, don't we?)

Then there's a chapter on environment and health, climate change and energy. I didn't find anything substantial on renewable energy, especially solar energy!

There are chapters on technology, innovation, research, education, information, entrepreneurship, international financial systems.

Very drastic are the parts on "the transversal threats and challenges".
"All the areas producing energy goods vital for defence and security (including uranium) are becoming major crisis areas: Russia, Middle East, Africa. The challenge for Europe is rather clear: except a genuine energy or technological revolution, Europe will be indeed increasingly dependent on more and more unstable areas (Africa, Middle East, Russia)".

The experts also name "main drivers that could impact the future", those being people and their cognitive abilities, and wildcards that may change the situation radically, such as wars, the first collapse of a third-world big city, and more.


Lydia said...

It's so strange but tonight after I watched the news I turned to the History Channel and saw some of the fascinating series "Life After People." I keep catching portions of it, and it's probably best for me that way because it's so powerful.

I am ashamed of the precedent of consumption set by the U.S. What more can I say? .....

francessa said...

Lydia, I've just watched a little of "Life After People" on Youtube. Very interesting, but also a bit creepy.

The part of the U.S. consumption was not to be meant personally. I'm sure, Austria is in the upper third,too, but I couldn't find any data.

Will mail soon!

Hattie said...

I thought Australia consumed more, per capita, than even the U.S., but that really is beside the point, I guess. And it is a much smaller country, population-wise. I wonder about Canada. It does seem that they are more careful in their consumer habits, as I have observed.
We are modest consumers at home, but when we travel we fly, out of necessity.
Rome and Paris are crowded to the point of madness, as we noted on our recent trip to Europe, and yet Tokyo is even worse! The human race is showing no signs of dying out yet.
Well, I have a lot of thoughts on all this, and your posting adds even more to think about.

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