Author:Thompson, Joseph
Position:Book review

Jorgen Randers (author); 2052; Chelsea Green Publishing (Nonfiction: Business & Economics) 24.95 ISBN: 9781603584210

Byline: Joseph Thompson

As the countdown to the end of the Mayan calendar nears, humanity is being overwhelmed by a flood of doomsday messages. And while some obsess over the idea of a rock predicting the end of the world, most focus on the changing environment: what kind of world will future generations be looking at?

Four decades after coauthoring the groundbreaking and controversial Limits to Growth, Jorgen Randers offers a new look at a potential future in 2052: A Global Forecast for the Next Forty Years. The author has served as deputy director for the World Wildlife Fund International and on the sustainability board of the US-based Dow Chemical Company.

Presented as a report to The Club of Rome, a global think-tank, Randers uses three distinct methods to stitch together his forecast. The first, a simulation model with dynamic spreadsheets, follows standard and acceptable forecasting practices. His data, the model, and the spreadsheets are available on the book's webpage for those who can understand them. For the lay reader, Randers provides a brief, simplified introduction to forecasting and modeling.

The second method highlights thirty-four essays, each under 1,500 words, written by a range of experts focusing on what they see happening within their area of study over the next forty years. These "glimpses," as Randers refers to them, offer a mosaic of well-researched responses to current trends. Topics include advances in green technology and biofuels to urban development and intergenerational conflicts.


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