Understanding the Global Emergency

The global emergency has been emerging since at least the early 1970s but most people, especially the rich and powerful, have chosen either not to see it or pretend it does not exist. Clearly, it’s a challenging subject but, at the same time, there’s no shortage of evidence to support the view that something unprecedented and profoundly disturbing is happening. Like other Futurists I’ve made various attempts to summarise the evidence and identify ways out of the trap humanity has created for itself. It goes almost without saying, however, that work of this kind gains very little traction either with the general public or with those currently operating the systems of governance and regulation that are supposed to keep things on track.

I’ve known Richard Eckersley for over 30 years in part because our work runs in parallel but occasionally overlaps when one of the other of us reaches out in some way. Therefore, I was not surprised when I received a copy of his recent paper exploring the deep divides that run through the damaged soul of America. One of the many strengths of his work is that much of it is based on listening to people via in-depth surveys carried out in several countries. Hence the thesis he presents here is not merely personal but one that incorporates the insights, feelings and concerns of many others. What emerges is a thoroughly original and very perceptive analysis of ‘what is going on’ as the tensions and strains in people’s inner lives interact with those in the outer world to produce a surprisingly coherent pattern. This is work of the highest quality – which is why I sought the author’s permission to reproduce it here.

Richard’s view is essentially that there’s a widening gap between the science and politics of human progress on the one hand and the increasingly destructive modes of development that have become normalised over the last fifty or so years on the other. I came to similar conclusions myself some years ago. But what I was less clear about then was the nature of the social and human drivers involved. Needless to say, the evidence points conclusively toward the steady and irreversible demise of the ‘official future.’ What, then, can replace it? Read the paper and see for yourself.

Should you wish to discuss it further, the author’s contact info is included at the end of the piece. Read Richard’s paper here.

(If, for some reason, the link does not work you can also find the paper via: Foresight International -> Archive -> Global Emergency ->)