The Future

Peter Goodhew

Global warming concerns me greatly, as it should any citizen who cares about his or her grandchildren and their descendants. I am not convinced about any set of predictions, believing (along with Hayek on economics) that the whole system is too complex to model.

However, whatever the details, we can reliably make a few inferences. Among them are that our climate is warming, that many of our energy and material resources are finite and that many (including clean water) are already scarce. I do not need to know the reason for these facts, nor the timescale over which they will become intolerable, in order to deduce the behaviour which will give my grandchildren the best chance of a high quality of life and few wars. The obviously desirable behaviours include using less energy per capita, limiting the world's population, reducing our use of finite material and energy resources, and reducing the envy-creating differences between the richer and the poorer. The challenge for all of us (me included) is how to achieve these goals personally, nationally and internationally. I can claim little success. I only have two children and I pay my taxes both promptly and willingly, but I also have a big car and fly a lot ...

Eliminating personal greed would be good but I'm not optimistic about changing human nature this much!

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