First Post

This is my first post on this website, so I want to say a few introductory things to get the conversation started.

I’ve long been interested in the future. I loved sci-fi books growing up, and then in college I majored in environmental engineering. That field is all about doing the right things in the present so that Planet Earth stays habitable into the future.

My purpose in creating this website is to discuss ideas and share stories about the future, primarily in the environment area. What do I know about the future? No more than you, but together maybe we can discover what we’d like it to be (or not to be), then come up with steps we can take in the present that will make it more likely we’ll get to the positive ends and avoid the negative ones.

At least that’s the theory. Simple, right? But as we know, there are usually too many variables in human affairs to allow one human being or even a dedicated group to make much of a difference. Events often control us, not vice versa, as Lincoln said. But I have faith in ideas. They can take root in the mind of one, then many, and over time can become part of the landscape, the conventional wisdom. And then, what was once radical and unproven becomes the new normal. Creating a newer world, in the words of the poet.

Enough philosophy for now. I’ll pause here with a quick mention of my first novel. That’s my second reason for setting up this website.  Now I know I shouldn’t be flacking “Heat, 30:1” in my posts. That will only drive you away . . .  I see your hand moving the cursor towards the exit button. But before you leave, consider this. We story tellers can dramatize the future, bring it alive, for better or for worse. Human beings love stories, they remember stories, they think of stories when discussing the future (1984 and 2001 come to mind).

“Heat, 30:1” is set in Dodge City, Kansas, in 2025, but it’s really about all of us, everywhere . . . and where we may be heading. It’s about rising temperatures, falling aquifers, food chains, guns, pot, robots, billionaires, and more. Just take today’s world and extrapolate it ten years, add in a few ordinary (and not so ordinary) characters trying to make a go of it like you and me, spice it up with a conspiracy, and voila. ‘Nuff said. Check it out if you like.

One final item I’d like to mention is the following quote attributed to Øystein Dahle, a former Vice President of Exxon: “Socialism collapsed because it did not allow the market to tell the economic truth. Capitalism may collapse because it does not allow the market to tell the ecological truth.” I’m not an economist, but this sums up for me what we’ve been trying to do the last 50 years – making the prices of goods and services reflect all the costs of the resources we use and the wastes such use creates, including the externalities. But we’ve got a long way to go.

Welcome to the discussion. I look forward to hearing from you.

Doug

Want a free story?

Subscribe to my newsletter and you’ll immediately receive an electronic version of They Are Coming Tomorrow, a short story set in America in the early 2030s at the start of the Transition to the world portrayed in Above Sea Level.

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