The future Six drivers of global change

Albert Gore, 1948-

Book - 2013

"The consequential age we are living in will be remembered as one of the great turning points in civilization. Once we turn, though, where will we be? That is the compelling question Al Gore sets out to answer by examining the drivers of global change, connecting the dots among the social, economic, and political forces shaping our present and future. A rising global consciousness is forcing people around the world, but especially Americans, to rethink their basic assumptions about how the ...world works, and, even more fundamentally, how it should and can work. Borders matter less than ever. Technology is constantly reordering the way we live, think, work, learn, love, pray, and play"--

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Subjects
Published
New York : Random House [2013]
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
xxxi, 558 pages ; 25 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references (pages 379-387) and index.
ISBN
9780812992946
0812992946
Main Author
Albert Gore, 1948- (-)
  • Earth Inc.
  • The global mind
  • Power in the balance
  • Outgrowth
  • The reinvention of life and death
  • The edge.
Review by Booklist Reviews

Since exiting the political stage after the controversial presidential election of 2000, Al Gore has pursued a lucrative business career while continuing his series of works of environmental warning, which began with Earth in the Balance (1992). While less admonitory than An Inconvenient Truth (2006), Gore's green concerns persist in this new assembly of prognostications, which organize the author's vision of humanity's prospects into six categories. Those are economic globalization (which Gore tags as "Earth, Inc."), instantaneous communication ("the Global Mind"), international relations, demography and capitalism, human health and biotechnology, and natural resources and climate change ("the Edge"). Identifying trends in each area, Gore the polymath posits directions and destinations he sees as desirable and scolds what he regards as the impediment to their realization, namely, a corruption of American democracy by corporations, lobbyists, and campaign cash. Certainly a wide-ranging socioeconomic and scientific survey of humanity's next decades, Gore's palpably political imperative is the distinguishing trait of this contribution to futurology, a genre with a checkered past. Time will tell whether the author's predictions hold up. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Some of former vice president Al Gore's books have cracked best-seller lists, and though this title will not likely do so, Gore's high media profile will draw plenty of attention to his new book. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Former Vice President Gore draws links and offers cautionary advice for individuals and governments alike in this exhaustive, historically-grounded argument about six concepts that he believes will exert the greatest influence on humanity's future. The global economy, the proliferation of the Internet and intelligent machines, a shift in the balance of global power, unsustainable growth and consumption, the rise of biotechnology, and the relationship between man and Earth's ecological systems are the broad areas explored here. With echoes of his previous books' calls for restrained consumption and the reestablishment of a "healthy and balanced relationship" between humanity and the natural world, Gore (The Assault on Reason) makes the seemingly contradictory argument that a properly restrained democratic capitalism "can serve the world better than any other economic system." Particularly interesting sections cover the effect of the Internet and the globally-integrated economy on cultural and national identity, the potential for advances in biotech to disrupt "the ecological system within our bodies," and possibilities for combating global warming. Gore's strengths lie in his passion for the subject and in his ability to take the long view by putting current events and trends in historical context, and they outweigh the dry tone and occasionally contradictory arguments. Agent: Andrew Wylie, The Wylie Agency. (Feb.) [Page ]. Copyright 2013 PWxyz LLC

Review by PW Annex Reviews

Former Vice President Gore draws links and offers cautionary advice for individuals and governments alike in this exhaustive, historically-grounded argument about six concepts that he believes will exert the greatest influence on humanity's future. The global economy, the proliferation of the Internet and intelligent machines, a shift in the balance of global power, unsustainable growth and consumption, the rise of biotechnology, and the relationship between man and Earth's ecological systems are the broad areas explored here. With echoes of his previous books' calls for restrained consumption and the reestablishment of a "healthy and balanced relationship" between humanity and the natural world, Gore (The Assault on Reason) makes the seemingly contradictory argument that a properly restrained democratic capitalism "can serve the world better than any other economic system." Particularly interesting sections cover the effect of the Internet and the globally-integrated economy on cultural and national identity, the potential for advances in biotech to disrupt "the ecological system within our bodies," and possibilities for combating global warming. Gore's strengths lie in his passion for the subject and in his ability to take the long view by putting current events and trends in historical context, and they outweigh the dry tone and occasionally contradictory arguments. Agent: Andrew Wylie, The Wylie Agency. (Feb.) [Page ]. Copyright 2013 PWxyz LLC

Review by Publisher Summary 1

"The consequential age we are living in will be remembered as one of the great turning points in civilization. Once we turn, though, where will we be? That is the compelling question Al Gore sets out to answer by examining the drivers of global change, connecting the dots among the social, economic, and political forces shaping our present and future. A rising global consciousness is forcing people around the world, but especially Americans, to rethink their basic assumptions about how the world works, and, even more fundamentally, how it should and can work. Borders matter less than ever. Technology is constantly reordering the way we live, think, work, learn, love, pray, and play"--

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Assesses six critical drivers of global change in the future--economic globalization, digital communications, a growing balance of global power, unsustainable population growth, scientific revolution, and disruption of ecosystems.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

The former vice president and #1 best-selling author of An Inconvenient Truth offers a frank assessment of six critical drivers of global change in the decades to come—economic globalization, worldwide digital communications, a growing balance of global power, unsustainable population growth, scientific revolution and disruption of ecosystems.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERFrom the former vice president and #1 New York Times bestselling author comes An Inconvenient Truth for everything—a frank and clear-eyed assessment of six critical drivers of global change in the decades to come. Ours is a time of revolutionary change that has no precedent in history. With the same passion he brought to the challenge of climate change, and with his decades of experience on the front lines of global policy, Al Gore surveys our planet’s beclouded horizon and offers a sober, learned, and ultimately hopeful forecast in the visionary tradition of Alvin Toffler’s Future Shock and John Naisbitt’s Megatrends. In The Future, Gore identifies the emerging forces that are reshaping our world: • Ever-increasing economic globalization has led to the emergence of what he labels “Earth Inc.”—an integrated holistic entity with a new and different relationship to capital, labor, consumer markets, and national governments than in the past. • The worldwide digital communications, Internet, and computer revolutions have led to the emergence of “the Global Mind,” which links the thoughts and feelings of billions of people and connects intelligent machines, robots, ubiquitous sensors, and databases. • The balance of global political, economic, and military power is shifting more profoundly than at any time in the last five hundred years—from a U.S.-centered system to one with multiple emerging centers of power, from nation-states to private actors, and from political systems to markets. • A deeply flawed economic compass is leading us to unsustainable growth in consumption, pollution flows, and depletion of the planet’s strategic resources of topsoil, freshwater, and living species. • Genomic, biotechnology, neuroscience, and life sciences revolutions are radically transforming the fields of medicine, agriculture, and molecular science—and are putting control of evolution in human hands. • There has been a radical disruption of the relationship between human beings and the earth’s ecosystems, along with the beginning of a revolutionary transformation of energy systems, agriculture, transportation, and construction worldwide. From his earliest days in public life, Al Gore has been warning us of the promise and peril of emergent truths—no matter how “inconvenient” they may seem to be. As absorbing as it is visionary, The Future is a map of the world to come, from a man who has looked ahead before and been proven all too right.Praise for The Future “Magisterial . . . The passion is unmistakable. So is the knowledge. Practically every page offers an illumination.”—Bloomberg “In The Future . . . Gore takes on a subject whose scale matches that of his achievements and ambition.”—The New York Times Book Review “Historically grounded . . . Gore’s strengths lie in his passion for the subject and in his ability to take the long view by putting current events and trends in historical context.”—Publishers Weekly “Provocative, smart, densely argued . . . a tour de force of Big Picture thinking.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review) “A luminously intelligent analysis that is packed with arresting ideas and facts.”—The Guardian