January 16, 2007

My three global scenarios

The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment presented four scenarios for the near future of humanity (Global Orchestration, Order from Strength, TechnoGarden and Adaptive Mosaic) and the Global Scenario Group presented six (Policy Reform, Market Forces, Fortress World, Breakdown, Eco-communalism and New Sustainability Paradigm; hat tip to Resilience Science). I hereby present my three global scenarios - Market Forces, Business as Usual, and Business as Usual. As you can see, two of them share the same name.

Market Forces. In this scenario the world undergoes a radical shift towards individual freedom and away from government intervention. Almost everybody in the world becomes very happy and very wealthy. The environment gets much better overall. Despite its name this scenario bears little resemblance to the Market Forces scenario of the Global Scenario Group.

Business as Usual. In this scenario political regimes remain more or less as they are now. Governments keep interfering with people's actions while granting limited freedoms. Most people slowly get better materially but many remain poor ("are left behind") for a very long time. In some respects the environment gets better but in others it gets worse. This scenario is very similar to the Market Forces and Policy Reform scenarios of the Global Scenario Group, and a mixture of the Global Orchestration, Order from Strength and TechnoGarden scenarios of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment.

Business as Usual. In this scenario political parties and conscious citizen groups that want to implement the Adaptive Mosaic/New Sustainability Paradigm scenarios of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and the Global Scenario Group become the main political force worldwide. Otherwise, the situation is the same as in the Business as Usual scenario I have described above.

I admit that my three scenarios are somewhat simplistic,
of little practical use, and perhaps biased by my political beliefs. On the other hand I developed them with very little effort and without the financial support of the Kingdom of Arabia or the Rockefeller Foundation. On the whole, the cost-effectiveness of my enterprise greatly surpasses those of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and the Global Scenario Group.

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