Appendix B


Some of the future is knowable. When causes are known and slow to manifest, one need only watch to see the results revealed. The population size of a group is an example of one aspect of the future that can be predicted with a high degree of accuracy. Variables such as changes in birth rates over time, migration, and disease allow scientists to attach a range to their predictions. Anticipating how these variables will change outcomes over time is the art and science of predicting future trends. Many engage in such prognostications when the trends are linear and the causes and variables are understood. In these cases, future trends are quite predictable and worth foretelling. Some, however, predict about nonlinear or poorly understood events. One should discern between knowable future trends and the prophecies of oracles.

Futurists, seers, and prognosticators of all sorts have used trends as the basis of predicting the future. Of course, extending trends into the future does not necessarily reward one with accurate predictions. For instance, 73 individuals gathered at the World's Fair in 1893 to make predictions about 1993. Some of their inaccuracies included predictions that people would live to be 150, the government would grow smaller and simpler, and prison populations would decline as fewer crimes were committed.1 The reader should be cautious and judge if trends describe knowable and sufficiently linear events.

This appendix describes some of the general trends that served as background material in developing the 2025 worlds. Though some overlap is inevitable, the following categories are broad and simple, and they introduce the reader to the trends woven into the fabric of the alternate futures. The categories are computer hardware, computer software, space, communications, the media, nanotechnology, medicine, energy, international relations, the environment, education, world population, and economics.2 The one exception to the criteria of simplicity, or recognizability, is the field of nanotechnology-the ability to make things extremely small. This field has currently received little notoriety, but has the potential to affect most fields of science and technology. Nanotechnology will spawn revolutionary changes in the way humans conduct their lives and businesses.3

A more extensive list could have been compiled, but such a list would constitute a separate and lengthy volume in and of itself. Note that a disproportionate amount of text will be allocated to the environment and the last two categories. The environment receives extensive attention because it either impacts or is impacted by the number of people, where they live, and how they exploit the resources available to them. One good reason to examine demographics and economics is that these areas are particularly susceptible to statistical analyses.

Computer Hardware

This paper addresses two factors regarding computer hardware. First is the rapid evolution in the technology itself, so rapid it effectively renders systems obsolete within a year or two of introduction. Second is computers' impact on job production for the economy.

Over the last decade, the rate of increase in the speed of the central processing unit (CPU) of personal computers has risen from doubling every two years to doubling every 18 months.4 Considered from the viewpoint of 1986, that increase in the rate of change means the computers projected for the year 2000 are already available in the year 1996. Such accelerations in growth rates would be typical in a world experiencing exponentialn DTeK. This rate of doubling is known as "Moore's Law," and was postulated in 1965 by Gordon Moore, cofounder of Intel.5

Microprocessors continue to evolve at exponentially increasing speeds (fig. B-1). "Today's microprocessors are almost 100,000 times faster than their Neanderthal ancestors of the 1950s, and when inflation is considered, they cost 1,000 times less."6 Extrapolated 15 years, that rate of change in processing power produces a computer 1,000 times faster than current hardware, and 30 years at that rate would produce CPU speeds 1 million times faster than 1995 processors, but at the same price. Of course, the nature of lithographic processes limit current technologies from achieving such clock speeds. However, advances in technology, such as pipelining or parallel processing,7 may eliminate some of those barriers.8 In essence, the desktop computer of 2025 unarguably will be more powerful than today's Cray supercomputers.9

Figure B-1. Approximate Rate at which Speed of CPU Increases

The advent of this ever-more-capable hardware impacts job security, status, and levels of compensation.10 Developments in computer hardware have provided career opportunities for some, such as local area network (LAN) experts, but have negatively impacted other career fields. For instance, auto mechanics have gone from the role of well-paid specialists to mere technicians who remove and replace parts identified by a computer.11 Robotics in the auto industry have eliminated high-paying assembly-line jobs, often relegating individuals to minimum wage jobs.12 Remarkably, the LAN experts may be the next victims of continued advances, as plug-and-play software and hardware eliminate the need for individuals who can develop workarounds to connect disparate packages.13 It is similar types of economic upheaval in Digital Cacophony that lead computer engineers to sabotage the net, in response to losing their jobs to artificial intelligence.

Computer Software

Software provides a tool to control computer hardware. This section discusses some impacts of software development, as well as some of software's vulnerabilities. Software is not immune to the vagaries of the computing environment, as emphasized by the proliferation of computer viruses. Where viruses strike productivity suffers, and hardware can even be destroyed.14

Sophisticated software now impacts the livelihood of various workers, including professionals and sportsmen who may have thought themselves immune from such invasions of their working environment.15 Programs such as Parson Technology's Personal Tax EdgeŽ make it possible for untrained taxpayers to assess complex tax issues such as alternative minimum tax payments, depreciation of rental property assets, and how to carry forward losses from a previous year's tax return.16 Similar programs allow consumers to write living wills and powers of attorney that are recognized in many states.17 These programs do not "mean the end of the knowledge worker. It just means that different knowledge will be valuable."18 The bottom line, however, is that certain "cookie-cutter" functions of the professionals can be replaced, so certain professions can expect to see a decline in the number of practitioners or to receive lower levels of compensation.

Software has even intervened in the world of sports. International Grand Master and Professional Chess Association World Champion Garry Kasparov recently played a chess match against a supercomputer, Deep Blue. Deep Blue won the first game, then drew the next two games before the human won and evened the score.19 Though Kasparov went on to win the match, it is considered only a matter of a few years before computers can defeat any human competitor.20 The reason computers perform so well is not a capability to plan better than humans. Instead, the computer is capable of analyzing a large number of moves very swiftly.21 Positional assessments, however, have historically been one of the computer's weaknesses, and that is what eventually led to Deep Blue's downfall.

Computer viruses can subvert data, alter the flow of money, sniff out passwords, and conceivably arm, disarm, or retarget weapons.22 In general, the normative problem is the loss of productivity caused by viruses that spread across under-protected networks in the work environment.23 To date, the impact is relatively innocuous because most virus writers are inexperienced, amateur programmers with few skills. What is to be feared in the future is the sophisticated code writer with both more insidious purposes and means. Such an individual may imperil financial markets, weapons systems, or network security.


Space control, as a concept, is the twenty-first century equivalent to the concepts of Sea Control and Sea Denial used by major naval strategists of Britain, France, and the United States during the eighteenth through the twentieth centuries . . . It will be a major challenge for our forces to sustain the ability to control or deny access to space-device gathered intelligence, especially with transnational commercial proliferation of such devices. Such capability will require a coordinated combination of political, diplomatic, and military strategic policies.24

This section briefly addresses future uses of space and some concerns regarding the US's ability to maintain space dominance.

What seems certain about the exploitation of space is that the military will grow more dependent on space assets and commercial developments in space.25 Direct military applications might include the placement of directed-energy weapons on satellites.26 Exploiting commercial space technologies may be even more crucial to the DOD's future. In eras of possibly declining budgets, the US military will rely on leveraging high-technology commercial programs in order to sustain a substantive capabilities edge versus potential aggressors. This commercial research might include developing new materials on space stations by 2005.27 Though precise applications obviously cannot be provided for these supposed developments, it is sufficient to presume that the military dare not forego the opportunity to leverage new technologies lest a competitor gain an edge.

While potential military applications are of longer term interest, US strategic and operational security issues are an ongoing concern as commercial and foreign space ventures develop intelligence-gathering capabilities once the sole domain of the DOD. This problem was exacerbated in the 1990s by the Russians and Chinese entering the commercial space markets as a means for generating hard currency.28 For instance, designers plan to provide one-meter resolution photos from commercial satellites by 1999 (fig. B-2); Russian imagery is already available with details down to two meters, though the images are historical.29 Operational issues are involved, because not only will such images provide any paying customer the ability to find targets, but precision targeting may be available from Global Positioning System satellites. Currently a hand-held "receiver can deduce its position to less than 5 meters by comparing signals received simultaneously from up to six different satellites--and the accuracy will soon be measured in centimeters."30 The mixture of accessible satellite imagery and a precision targeting mechanism implies a formidable threat to the operations of US forces abroad, and even to the populace of the continental United States if combined with a ballistic missile capability.

Figure B-2. Civilian Satellite Ground Resolution


Communications security issues impact bandwidth31 and the ability to operate in remote locations while denying that capability to the opposition.

"It is important to note that there is a tradeoff between high bandwidth and secure communications; security, particularly antijamming, requires redundancy and error-correction data, resulting in lower throughput (i.e., lower usable bandwidth)."32 Adm William A. Owens, for one, feels that the trend favors those who seek to increase security.33 For instance, a fiber-optic cable has characteristics that make it difficult to tap undetected. By the year 2000 one estimate is that communications should have reached a rate of one terabit34 per second over a single fiber.35 Consequently, bundles of fiber-optic cables would provide a relatively secure means of communication with tremendous bandwidth. Of course, that technology benefits potential enemies as well as the DOD.

Current and future realities are that operations in remote locations will require robust and reliable communications via commercial satellites. As a result, an enemy who knows which commercial satellites are being used by the American military could lease channels from the same source, thereby providing a level of sanctuary to their communications base. Even if satellite links are disrupted, it may be difficult to prevent an enemy from receiving information about the positioning of forces in a conflict if, as some suggest, the information and communications picture of the future is dominated by a worldwide decentralized network of interconnected webs.36 Of even greater concern is that this ubiquitous network is particularly susceptible to attack inside the US.37


It is safe to assume the omnipresent eye of the CNN camera will be an integral part of any future military operation. Hundreds of millions of people worldwide will judge the appropriateness of everything an air commander does.38

Traditionally, the media have not exerted much influence with respect to fundamental American attitudes and beliefs, but the media "can be important in influencing opinion on particular issues (especially network television)."39 In 1968, Walter Cronkite's opinion that North Vietnam could not be defeated sent shock waves through the White House, by some accounts contributing to President Johnson's decision not to stand for reelection.40 Media impact may become even more important under the dual influence of technology and the development of adversarial or "new" journalism. This "new" breed of journalist is said to be most concerned with discovering "truth" rather than uncovering "facts," a significant change from the twentieth century standard of impartiality.41 The combination of 24-hour, worldwide coverage and "new" journalism will present endlessly evolving challenges to leaders attempting to implement a particular policy or to achieve some specific military or economic objective. The Toffler's, in fact, note that broadcasts during combat operations, via commercial satellites, may "alter the actual dynamics and strategies in war."42

Of crucial import to alternate futures such as Gulliver's Travails and Digital Cacophony is the notion that the spread of new media forms, such as satellite broadcast access and bulletin boards on the Internet, tends to undermine central control, dispersing power towards ever smaller groups.43 This breakdown of central control is not confined to just new forms of media interaction. Activists such as Steve Dunifer are currently taking advantage of advances in technology to aid individuals in setting up pirate radio stations. It is possible to distribute the parts for a 30-watt radio transmitter44 inside a suitcase, at a minimal cost. These operations are so small and difficult to control that they usurp the Federal Communications Commission's monopoly in the United States and threaten government control of information in several one-party foreign states.45 In the future broad-band communication capabilities, supported globally by seamless satellite, fiber, and wireless links, will empower individuals in the information and communications domain as never before.46

Reflecting trends towards demassification and individual access to multiple means of communication, the media will also learn to design its message for the individual consumer, using commercial and government databases to surround each individual with a personalized news and advertising presentation.

What is the impact of burgeoning media presence on military operations? Lt Col Marc D. Felman suggests that combatant commanders might add a new principle of war:

Media Spin--Pay close attention to public relations, recognizing that public support is an essential ingredient of combat success. Aggressively ensure that media portrayal of combat operations is nether distorted nor misrepresented through press omissions. Above all, safeguard the safety of the troops and operational security but do not lie to the media merely for [the] sake of convenience. Never take for granted how combat operations will be portrayed in the news. Avoid operations that will swiftly turn public support away from the war effort and capitalize on success stories by ensuring they get maximum exposure. In an age where 24-hour instantaneous battlefield news coverage is a fact of life, paying attention to media spin is of paramount importance. For a combatant commander, anything less would be irresponsible.47


Nanotechnology will influence society as dramatically as the discovery of fire, writing, and agriculture put together.48 Nanotechnology appears to have revolutionary applications across the depth and breadth of engineering, from computers to medicine to materials science.49 What is nanotechnology, and how will this field impact the technologies of 2025?

The apex of nanotechnology is engineering at the molecular or even atomic level to create structures at the ultramicroscopic level, structures that can then be plugged together like Lego blocks at the designer's whim. The structures created might even be self-organizing, aligning themselves in response to external stimuli.50

A self-organizing nano-structure offers untold opportunities to expand present capabilities in a variety of fields. Eric Drexler of the Institute for Molecular Manufacturing in Palo Alto, California, states that building a computer atom by atom would offer more processing power in a desktop package than all the computing power created to date. At the large-scale industrial end of the spectrum, Drexler speculates that by arranging atoms in a precise fashion a material might be developed with "100 times the strength-to-weight ratio of steel. Thus, automobiles or anything else made of today's steel could be 10 times stronger and 10 times lighter at the same time."51 In the medical field nano-devices might be designed to act as cancer leukocytes. In the transportation safety field a wisp of molecules might respond to a collision in a manner that controls the rate of the deceleration forces that currently cause much of the harm to humans.52 Another proposal posits the development of swarms of nano devices that act to screen cities from various forms of viral, conventional, or informational attack, as well as providing a means for distinguishing between denizens of the city versus intruders.53 That concept is used in Digital Cacophony.


"In 25 years the human genomethe DNA encyclopedia of our genetic codewill have been mapped, and we will be applying that knowledge to diagnostics, treatment of disease, manipulation of our bodies, and even behavior control."54 At the simplest level, this knowledge will allow the identification of individuals at risk for many diseases, and subsequent modification of behavior or therapeutic intervention.55 Some prognosticators even project that new organs will be grown from the patient's own tissue as early as the year 2015, while others predict that diseased organs will be regenerated, rather than replaced.56 Another aspect in the pending medical revolution is that automation will replace the current plodding trial-and-error research process of developing drugs based on plants. Automating the testing of reactive properties of plants means that researchers can reach out past the one-half percent of plant species that have been studied to date.57


By 2025 the worldwide demand for fuel is projected to increase by 30 percent and that for electricity by 265 percent. Even with more efficient use and conservation, new sources of energy will be required. Solar energy could provide 60 percent of the electricity and as much as 40 percent of the fuel.58

Finding alternate sources is important due to environmental concerns, as well as for the US to reduce its reliance on Persian Gulf oil reserves.59 This appendix discusses two potential replacement energy sources: fusion and solar power. Some other sources are "biomass (using a crop like corn to make fuels like alcohol),"60 geothermal, hydropower, waste-to-energy, and wind.

Marvin Cetron speculates that commercially viable fusion reactors will be available after 2010, and a major source of power by 2030.61 Others suggest that practical, commercial applications of fusion will not arrive until 2045.62 In the alternate futures of this study, Digital Cacophony and Zaibatsu represent worlds wherein commercially developed fusion is representative of the revolutionary nature of Exponentialn DTeK.

Solar power is a technology that is finally becoming economically competitive. That competitiveness was fostered by a 40-fold decrease in the price of generating photovoltaic power from 1979 to 1989.63 Eric Drexler suspects that nanotechnology might lead to breakthroughs in solar technology producing costs "significantly less than central-plant-produced electricity."64 Even now, predictions indicate that solar power will be competitive with conventional generation shortly after the year 2000.65 These and similar renewable technologies are crucial elements in the environmental planning strategies of worlds such as Gulliver's Travails and 2015 Crossroads. Returning to the quote that opened this section, however, note that solar energy is not sufficient to meet all the projected energy requirements of 2025. Coal- and oil-powered energy plants will still be required.

International Relations

Most commentators predict that the number of nation-states will continue to grow (fig. B-3). Secretary of State nominee Warren Christopher, in Senate confirmation testimony, underscored the seriousness of the situation by noting that the world might soon have 5,000 nations unless people put aside ethnic differences.66 Even if states do not proliferate to such an extent, individuals such as Riccardo Petrel, the director of science and technology forecasting for the European Community, predict that states will continue to lose relative power as new actors dominate the socioeconomic stage. Petrel predicts that multinational corporations will ally with city and regional governments to dominate the decision-making processes.67 The role of nongovernmental organizations will also continue to flourish-both benign groups such as the Red Cross and Greenpeace, and malign groups such as drug cartels and terrorists. The latter groups will use technology to link resources and shield their dominions.68

Figure B-3. Independent States, 1945-202569

The increasing volume of trade between nations, as a percentage of each nation's economy, creates a growing interdependence that analysts such as Peter Drucker perceive as determining the characteristics of relations between groups in the future.70 Some individuals predict that future wars will be small and regional in nature because major military conflicts are contrary to international trade and "the well-being of the trading nations."71 Others argue that strife might become more common, because the gap between the haves and have-nots is going to continue to grow.72 The Tofflers also dispute any utopian vision, noting that in 1914 Britain and Germany were each other's largest trading partners, yet they went to war. The Tofflers suggest that interdependence creates complexity, which can lead to unexpected effects because no one can predict how an input to one part of the system will impact outputs elsewhere. Their thesis is that unintended consequences can make the world more dangerous.73


Environmental problems are unlikely to be the proximate cause for conflicts. . . . Most pollution, resource, and population problems take decades to unfold. Their effect also depends upon the adaptive capacity of nations and societies; it would be inappropriate to jump from environmental trends to predictions about impending conflict. In most cases, environmental problems aggravate existing political disputes, rather than being the immediate cause for conflict. An exception to this rule could arise from water disputes over the Euphrates River involving Turkey, Syria, Iraq, or Iran.74

Though environmental degradation may not directly cause conflict in a region or local area, it can contribute to population and resource pressures that could lead to destabilization of society and civil authority, especially if the environmental degradation can be linked to specific groups.75 Of greater international concern, however, is the impact of global environmental change, generated by human activities, on the well-being and security of the world community. The following human-induced environmental changes have already endangered the global commons and the future stability of the world; their impact will be felt for decades and potentially for centuries to come:76

  1. Degradation of air and water quality, especially that associated with acid deposition from fossil fuel combustion.
  2. Massive ozone depletion over the Antarctic and lesser decreases over the rest of the globe, both attributed to emissions of chloroflourocarbons.
  3. Deforestation in general and large-scale destruction of tropical forests.
  4. Global warming and climate change due to rapid changes in the global atmosphere caused by fossil fuel combustion and industrial activities.

Pollution will increase in varied sectors. For instance, acid rain will be a continuing problem as industrializing countries choose not to hurt profits by installing emission-control equipment.77 Acid rain can "seriously affect soil properties, agriculture, certain sensitive inland fisheries, and coniferous trees."78 Often, the first victims will be the forests and animals located where the acid rain falls, sometimes thousands of miles from the pollutant's origin. In 1996 Dr Adrian Frank indirectly linked acid rain to moose deaths in Sweden. Lime was being used in the forests to counteract acid rain damage, but when moose ingested the lime while eating foliage they unexpectedly experienced a toxic liver imbalance of copper and molybdenum.79 Such unintended consequences are representative of the problems experienced in Digital Cacophony, wherein solutions to one problem generate unexpected side effects.

Meanwhile, the ozone layer is being depleted, increasing the risks of skin cancer and other skin diseases for humans and farm animals.80 Despite the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer,81 the use of technology based on CFCs is likely to continue into the twenty-first century. As a result, the ozone layer could not fully regenerate until at least the twenty-second century because CFCs take a century to settle out of the atmosphere.82 What is driving the continued use of these ozone-depleting chemicals?

The problem is that developing nations are attempting to modernize, and CFCs are cheaper than alternative technologies. For instance, the Carrier Corporation has tripled sales of air conditioners to Asia since 1986 and now believes that by 2000 Asia may account for half its sales.83 This "pell-mell chase after refrigerators"84 will likely involve use of CFC technology. In response to charges that they are violating the Montreal Protocol, the Chinese reply that other countries must provide technical and financial assistance if China is to develop alternative, non-CFC technology.85

This is the type of ecologically interdependent economic policy that contributes to international strains in several of the alternate futures. Of course, the problem is not restricted to industrializing nations. Skyrocketing prices for CFCs have created a lucrative market for smuggling into America, according to Miami-based US Customs agent Keith S. Prager. In a recent case the owner of an American automotive air-conditioning shop was "charged with smuggling 60,000 pounds of CFCs from Mexico."86 CFCs are also used in other fields, such as the production of circuit boards and styrofoam packaging. Industrialists will not forsake CFCs readily as long as replacement products remain more expensive.

Humanity also acts against its own long-term interests with respect to deforestation. Though acid rain contributes to deforestation,87 most of the destruction is undertaken to fuel agricultural expansion and economic development. The process leads to losses in plant and animal species, increases global warming and climate shifts, and over time degrades the supportability of the land due to erosion and overexploitation.88

Species extinctions constitute an opportunity loss for humanity. This loss is reaching sizable proportions, as perhaps "15 to 20 percent of all species will become extinct by the year 2000."89 As noted in the medicine section, half of 1 percent of plant species have been tested for medical properties to date. As a result, at the same time technology opens unparalleled opportunities, the impact of population growth and economic exploitation reduces the scope of those opportunities.90

What are other impacts of deforestation? "On a local scale, trees protect the soil from the rain and wind that would otherwise wash or blow it away."91 At the regional level, deforestation of upland watersheds in the Himalayas is believed to have exacerbated the extent of flooding in Bangladesh. The disastrous flood of 1988 left two-thirds of Bangladesh under water and 25 million people homeless, nearly a quarter of the population. At the global level, forests reduce global warming by absorbing energy that might otherwise reflect back to the atmosphere, and by absorbing carbon dioxide (CO2), one of the greenhouse gases. Deforestation not only eliminates these beneficial aspects but releases the stored CO2 back into the atmosphere.92

All of the above environmental topics impact global warming patterns, though oftentimes circuitously, and the extent of damage caused by all of the above can be traced to humanity. Acid rain increases rates of deforestation, thus reducing the CO2 sink.93 The contributions of deforestation to global warming already have been noted. Finally, CFCs contribute some cooling effects, but the impact is regional whereas warming is spread relatively evenly around the globe. As a result, the differential changes in temperature gradients may alter weather patterns in unforeseen and perhaps unfavorable directions.94 Benjamin Santer, of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, developed a model that produced evidence human pollution, particularly the release of CO2, is responsible for global warming, also known as the greenhouse effect.95 Combining all these effects has numerous implications for future regional and global environments, but this paper only addresses the impact of global warming on flooding of low-lying lands.

One of the dire predictions tied to global warming addresses the issue of rising sea levels as glaciation recedes and the ice caps are put at risk. Since the 1890s the average global temperature has increased by about one degree Fahrenheit.96 Santer's model predicts the temperature will rise another 2.3 degrees Fahrenheit by 2050 (fig. B-3), but others have forecast increases of five to nine degrees.97 Some suggest that a six-degree rise would suffice to melt the icecaps, since that is comparable to temperatures that ended the last Ice Age. Such melting would raise sea levels up to three meters. Subsequent flooding in the low countries, island states, and along coasts would displace up to 100 million people.98 Other scientists disagree with both the temperature extremes and the extent to which sea levels will rise. At least one source suggests that sea levels will rise a maximum of one-third of a meter by 2050. A one-meter rise in sea levels would find Egypt and Bangladesh among the hardest hit countries, as the majority of their populations and arable land lie in deltas that would be susceptible to flooding, particularly during storm surges. "Where the rivers are dammed, the effects of inundation and coastal erosion will be particularly severe."99 The US would also be impacted by rising sea levels, though developed areas would probably choose to take protective measures. Conservative estimates indicate that $30 to $100 billion would have to be spent to protect low-lying coastal cities from a two-meter rise in sea levels.100 Such infrastructure investments would obviously crimp budget opportunities elsewhere.

Figure B-4. Global Warming Trends (1880-2050)


Education may become an area of competition, as countries steal the best ideas and techniques from each other.101 That is because education will remain "a major goal for development as well as a means for meeting goals for health, higher labor productivity, stronger economic growth, and social integration. Countries with a high proportion of illiterates will not be able to cope with modern technology or use advanced agricultural techniques."102

To enhance the competitiveness of the educational process, education may be demassified, adjusted to meet the individual needs and capabilities of the student. Furthermore, traditional methods of instruction may be replaced by interactive sessions using personal computers,103 artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and simulations in a seamless teaching environment.104 This process would be aided and abetted by feedback from analysis of the students' cognitive processes so that the learning devices could alter strategies to best support learning.105 At the very least, students will be expected to take charge of their own learning. They may meet in a traditional schoolhouse to enhance social interaction, or they may meet interactively. In any case, the decision to focus on a particular area will be delegated to the student(s), who can engage an instructor or computer packages on an as-needed basis.106

The end result of educational opportunities is often seen in impacts on population growth, along with the predicated economic consequences. These consequences will show up by comparing current enrollment trends with the projected rates of population and economic growth. For instance, in industrialized countries over 95 percent of the populace receives secondary schooling. In Latin America these rates approach 50 percent for males and females, but in other developing nations the female half of the populace often lags 10 percentage points or more behind their male counterparts in secondary school attendance rates. Formal educational opportunity has a strong correlation with birth rates, so educational opportunity differences between males and females impact the future of many areas. In Asia, enrollment for males has only recently approached 50 percent, while in Central Africa less than 25 percent of the population receives a secondary education.107

Worldwide Populations

Since Malthus, scientists have speculated on the day when humanity would exceed the planet's carrying capacity.108 That age may be pending. Gretchen Daily, a Stanford biologist, noted that at current rates of consumption and population growth109 every drop of fresh water available would be getting used by the year 2020.110 This study used the highest published rates as the standard, generating a population base of approximately 10 billion in 2025. Lower rates were applied to worlds such as Digital Cacophony, where increased education opportunities and access to information decreased fertility rates at dates earlier than otherwise projected.

The problem of increasing numbers of people competing for scarce resources is exacerbated because "about 95 percent of the world's population growth between 1992 and 2042 will take place in the Developing World."111 The states with such high rates of growth are the same states that cannot afford the infrastructure to support burgeoning masses of would-be urbanites seeking jobs. Nor are moves to rural areas an answer, since population pressure often leads to overuse of the land, resulting in desertification. As a direct consequence, people must migrate to seek sustenance, adding fuel to an international refugee problem that already numbered between 20 and 40 million in 1994.112 Examination of table 2113 exposes at least one potential direction of refugee flows. The population of Africa nearly triples between 1995 and 2025, while that of Europe is relatively stable.

Table 2

"The rich get richer, the poor have children,"114 and the old get older.115 Trends in medicine, economic growth, population density, and other areas tend to multiply the differences between the technological haves and have-nots. For instance, per capita gross domestic product in the US is projected to grow from $25,850 in 1995 to $37,740 in 2025, primarily as a consequence of a projected 1 percent annual population increase and economic growth averaging over 2 percent. In contrast, though Saudi Arabia is currently one of the better-off developing nations, analysts project a decline in per capita GDP there from $9,510 to $3,865. Their population is growing faster than their economy, which is dependent upon oil exports.116 Higher relative per capita income translates into increased access to better health care. Better medicine extends lives and increases the likelihood children will survive into adulthood. The intertwined issue of economics and children is critical. Industrialized countries can rely on social programs and investment programs to provide for health care in their dotage. The elderly in developing nations rely on the good fortunes of their children "so they have as many as they can."117 A vicious cycle results, eroding the ability of countries to escape from the web of poverty.

Worldwide population trends will impact food, water, the environment, economic competition, and military affairs. For instance, over 3 billion Chinese and Indians (table 3) will be pressing against each other, potentially jostling for critical resources and markets. Combining the data in these tables with those in the next section, which discusses economic trends, provides insights into where economic competition will arise in 2025 and where outward refugee flows are most likely as birth rates exceed economic growth.

Table 3

Scientists such as Wolfgang Lutz, the director of the International Institute for Applied Systems in Vienna, Austria note that fertility appears to be dropping worldwide, as depicted by the flattening of the population growth curve in figure B-5. Lutz estimates that the world's population will reach about 10 billion in 2050 and 12 billion in 2100.

Figure B-5. Population Growth over Time


Economic forces can change political structures and the international landscape, altering relationships between nations, corporations, and individuals. Economics, therefore, ranks among the most important of trends. This study has examined growth rates of various regions of the world, and projections for their future growth, including the impact of multinational corporations. A synopsis of this material is contained in tables 4 and 5.

Table 4

As the study participants examined the impact of the drivers on the alternate futures, two worlds emerged as clearly outside the boundaries of existing trends. Economic growth rates in the alternative futures were based on a relative scale. Consequently, in Digital Cacophony the growth rates were greater than current trends, while in Gulliver's Travails the rates were lower than current trends (table 4). Thus, a range of projected economic data points was created. The world of King Khan contains two further extremes that lie outside table 4. In King Khan, the GDP of greater China is estimated at $75.6 trillion. The GDP for the United States in that world was estimated using a notional 1.3 percent average annual growth rate, yielding a 2025 GDP of $10.1 trillion.122

Some facets of existing trends merit special mention. For instance, the current rate of growth in the Chinese GDP indicates their economy will supplant that of the United States as the world's largest economy by 2001. Furthermore, combining Western Europe's 1996 GDPs with those from Central and Eastern Europe would create a market encompassing 850 million peoples and a combined GDP of $12-14 trillion, already dwarfing the current American GDP of around $7 trillion.123 Table 4 demonstrates that extrapolating growth rates to 2025 describes a world in which the GDP of China is four times that of the United States, though table 5 shows that the per capita GDP of the United States is still 40 percent greater than that of China while both trail Japan.

Table 5

Trends in the growth of MNCs also require notice. Most opinions indicate that MNCs will continue to grow in size, economically if not in personnel, and new ones will appear.124 This has critical bearing on the power of the nation-state, since in 1992 the world's 44 largest MNCs were among the 100 largest economic units and produced almost 10 percent of the world's gross product.125 MNCs will grow not only in size but in power, particularly as governments downsize by privatizing certain aspects of social programs.126 To gather a further sense of the sprawling size and economic clout of MNCs, consider that one-quarter of all world trade is currently between subsidiaries of the same firm.127 If this trend continues, it will proportionally diminish the relative power of states, an effect that is exacerbated as state control of currency rates diminishes.128 The calculations for the MNCs also demonstrate the danger of extending growth rates for corporations indefinitely into the future. If one accepted the calculations wholeheartedly, then Genentech would develop into the world's second largest economic unit in Digital Cacophony, and Intel would be the fifth largest economic unit in the same world.


  1. Will Kopp, Vital Speeches of the Day, VOL. LX, No. 8, 244. Address delivered at Perry/Morgan County National Honor Society Recognition Conference, Zanesville, Ohio, 22 November 1993.
  2. In 1991 Marvin Cetron and Owen Davies identified 50 trends that would shape the world in the 1990s. They grouped these 50 trends into 12 different fields: population, food, energy, environment, science and technology, communications, labor, industry, education and training, world economy, warfare, and international alignments. Marvin Cetron and Owen Davies, 50 Trends Shaping the World (Bethesda, Md.: World Future Society, 1991). Cetron revised his forecast in 1994, identifying 74 trends that would shape America in the year 2000, this time aligned in seven different areas: general long-term societal, technology, educational, labor force and work, management, values and concerns, family, and institutional. Marvin Cetron, 74 Trends that will Affect America's Future-and Yours (Bethesda, Md.: World Future Society, 1994). Examining only into the field of science and technology, Industry Week identified six technologies for 2020 that the authors assert will be virtually indistinguishable from magic: nanotechnology, smart systems, biotechnology and medical advances, bioelectronics, information and communications, and thinking computers. Tim Stevens, "Do You Believe in Magic," Industry Week, 21 August 1995, 72. Will Kopp divided his technology categories into health care, the environment, transportation, and commercial and industrial technology. For an entire text discussing the future, see John L. Petersen's The Road to 2015 (Corte Madera, Calif.: Waite Group Press, 1994). Petersen broke his categories into technology, the environment, exploding population growth, shifts in energy, new directions in transportation, space, health, changing social values, economies, political relationships, and wild cards.
  3. It is useful to caution that though a particular field now seems to have unlimited potential, "it seldom is possible to predict the full technological, economic, and social impact of inventions, even long after their commercial introduction." The source of that quote continues by examining the checkered history of lasers, computers, railroads, the telephone, and other accepted technological marvels. For example, the laser was invented at Bell Laboratories, yet lawyers were initially reluctant to seek a patent for the laser on the grounds it had no relevance to telephone systems. Similar stories apply to numerous advances. Nathan Rosenberg, "Trying to Predict the Impact of Tomorrow's Inventions," USA Today, May 1995, 85-87. On the negative side of the equation, some technologies are estimated to have unlimited opportunities for growth in the near term, and fail. For instance, jetpacks were designed during the 1960s, but the amount of fuel required to fly any distance rapidly outgrew the capability of an individual to carry the fuel supply. In the field of semiconductors many believed that silicon would be replaced by now as the substrate of choice, but the extant research and development base associated with silicon has allowed it to retain a commercial advantage over competing technologies such as gallium arsenide. John Rennie, "The Uncertainties of Technological Innovation," Scientific American, September 1995, 5743-5744.
  4. David A. Patterson, "Microprocessors in 2020," Scientific American, September 1995, 49.
  5. George I. Zysman, "Wireless Networks," Scientific American, September 1995, 53.
  6. Zysman, 51. Since 1980, the "power of computers per unit cost is increasing at the rate of 4,000 times per decade." That means a computer purchased in 1995 is 4,000 times more powerful than a similarly priced computer in 1985. Petersen, 30.
  7. Pipelining is achieved by designing the low-level commands of the hardware to increase performance. In a simple analogy, a single individual can wash a load of clothes, then dry them, then fold them, then repeat that sequence until all the clothes are washed, dried, and folded. A more efficient method is to put a load of clothes in the washing machine once the previous load is moved to the dryer, and fold the clothes that are now dry. The next step after pipelining is superscalar, which uses the same idea, but handles larger loads. Finally, in parallel processing all loads are washed simultaneously in separate machines, then dried separately, then folded separately if enough people are available to fold the clothes. Patterson, 49. "There are many ways in which parallelism can be built into a computer. The simplest, perhaps, is the processing of bits of data words simultaneously in arithmetic or logical operations, rather than serially." Frederick J. Hill and Gerald R. Peterson, Digital Systems: Hardware Organization and Design (New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1978), 329. For an example of massive parallelism consider the human, who can talk, walk, and process external and internal inputs simultaneously.
  8. Ibid., 50; and "Through the Glass Lightly," Science vol. 267 (17 March 1995): 1612. Other technologies that may provide factors of speed from a hundred to a trillion times faster than current technology include quantum dots, quantum computers, holographic association, optical computers, or DNA computers. For a brief discussion of these technologies the following article is salient. "Computer Scientists Rethink their Disciplines Foundations," Science vol. 269 (8 September 1995): 1363-1364.
  9. Kopp.
  10. Various authors suggest that large members of the middle class will find themselves out of jobs. Alvin Toffler and Heidi Toffler, "Getting Set for the Coming Millenium," The Futurist, March-April 1995, 12. Some go so far as to suggest that no new employment sectors may arise to replace those jobs that disappeared. Also Art Levine, "The Future is Bleak," Esquire, October 1993, 153.
  11. Philip E. Ross, "Software as Career Threat," Forbes, 22 May 1995, 240. Even toy cars are using computers: some "1995 model cars contain over 50 microprocessors." Nicholas Negroponte, Being Digital (New York: Vintage Books, 1995). The full-scale Toyota Camry reportedly has 64 microprocessors. That says as much about the capabilities now embedded in toys as it does about the reliance of modern autos on computer technologies. Petersen, 31.
  12. Since 1961 more than 500,000 industrial robots have been placed in service. "They are common sights in chemical processing plants, automobile assembly lines and electronics manufacturing facilities, replacing human labor in repetitive and possibly dangerous operations." Joseph F. Engelberger "Robotics in the 21st Century," Scientific American, September 1995, 132.
  13. Ross, 246.
  14. Viruses can attack databases, hard disks, computer chips, monitors, or software programs themselves. Winn Schwartau, Information Warfare (New York: Thunder's Mouth Press, 1994), 104.
  15. Ross, 240.
  16. Parsons Technology, Personal Tax Edge, Hiawatha, Iowa. Other popular tax programs include Block Financial's Kiplinger TaxCut and Intuit's TurboTax. Anne Willette, "Tax software acts as drawing card," USA Today, 16 February 1996.
  17. Family Lawyer documents are state-specific and "valid in 49 states and the District of Columbia. (Some may not be valid in Louisiana.)" Parsons Technology, Family LawyerTM (formerly It's LegalŽ).
  18. Ross, 240.
  19. Kasparov said that with Deep Blue, quantity had become quality. By looking multiple moves into the future, Deep Blue achieved effects similar to those achieved intuitively by human beings. Charles Krauthammer, Time, 21 February 1996, 60-61.
  20. How available are strong chess programs? One of the authors, Kevin Smith, is rated among the top 12 percent of all human players in the world, yet computer packages are available for less than $100 that are capable of defeating him handily, by his own account. A decade ago, the best packages were incapable of providing a challenge except when using very fast time controls; e.g., allotting each side only one or two minutes for an entire game.
  21. To simplify the computer's workload, a database of opening moves, or book, is usually part of the computer. The computer's ability to look at multiple plys (a ply is one move, by one side) can actually operate against it during the opening because a computer tends to make judgments based on an algorithm it applies equally to all parts of the game after exiting the book. But during the opening, the potential range of moves is so high that extensive calculations are generally counterproductive. Instead, as a general principle, it is more important to develop pieces, particularly minor pieces, and operate to control the central squares of the board. By exiting quickly from standard opening lines a player can create a mismatch between general principles and the computer's algorithms. This mismatch will often result in the computer making moves inappropriate to the opening phase of a chess game, potentially granting the human player a decisive edge. Lev Alburt and Larry Parr, "Beating the Beasts, Part I," Chess Life, April 1996, 18-19. Comments on general principles in the opening. Kevin C. Smith, United States Chess Federation Life Member, over-the-board rating 1848, Class A.
  22. Alvin Toffler and Heidi Toffler, War and Anti-War (New York: Warner Books, 1993), 177.
  23. Another problem with computer viruses is the expenditure of resources to combat their effects. Schwartau estimates that the American government and industries have spent billions combating viral infections. Schwartau, 102, 109.
  24. Petersen, 205.
  25. Toffler and Toffler, War and Anti-War, 158.
  26. Though satellites themselves are relatively nonmaneuverable, the power of directed-energy weapons could be concentrated through the placement of affordable reflector satellites positioned in appropriate constellations. "Aerospace Power Capabilities," Air Force Manual 1-1 vol. II (Washington, D.C.: Department of the Air Force, March 1992, 82). "Due to the energy requirements, satellites normally are not very maneuverable relative to their orbital paths." Although these reflector satellites are much simpler than a complete laser satellite, "they still must be precisely positioned and be capable of very accurate pointing/tracking tasks associated with the beam relay process." Col Gerald Hasen et al., electronic message, 2025 technology team, Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, 9 April 1996.
  27. Kopp.
  28. Petersen, 204.
  29. Institute for National Strategic Studies, Strategic Assessment 1995 (Washington, D.C.: National Defense University, 1995), 155.
  30. Petersen, 197.
  31. Bandwidth can be thought of as the amount of information that can be transmitted in a given period. In communications bandwidth is often measured in bits per second.
  32. "This is fundamental and is almost certain not to change by 2025. New World Vistas does not say there will be unlimited bandwidth; the information technology volume predicts an effectively infinite data-rate for the communications backbone, but bandwidth-constrained backbone-to-platform transfers. Therefore one must specify what is most important in a given situation and not build systems and CONOPS that require an unlimited amount of bandwidth and security." USAF Scientific Advisory Board, New World Vistas: Air and Space Power for the 21st Century (unpublished draft, the information technology volume, 15 December 1995), 14 and Hasen et al.
  33. Adm William A. Owens, "A Report on the JROC and the Revolution in Military Affairs," in Maj Glenn Cobb, ed., Theater Air Campaign Studies (Maxwell AFB, Ala.: Air Command and Staff College, 1995), 210-214.
  34. A terabit equals 1012 bits, or one trillion bits.
  35. "Through the Glass Lightly," 1613. In theory, a single fiber could carry 25 terabits per second. However, current technical issues make it difficult for electronic equipment to handle transmission speeds above 50 gigabits per second. Vincent W. S. Chan, "All-Optical Networks," Scientific American, September 1995, 56-59.
  36. Stevens, 72.
  37. George J. Stein, "Information War--Cyberwar--Netwar," Battlefield of the Future (Maxwell AFB, Ala.: Air University Press, 1995), 153-170.
  38. Col Phillip S. Meilinger, 10 Propositions Regarding Air Power (Maxwell AFB, Ala.: School of Advanced Airpower Studies, 1995), 47.
  39. Frederick H. Hartmann and Robert L. Wendzel America's Foreign Policy in a Changing World (New York: Harper Collins College Publishers, 1994), 184.
  40. Henry Kissinger, Diplomacy (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1994), 671. According to David Halberstam, in his book The Powers That Be, this event caused Johnson to tell his press secretary, "if he had lost Walter, he had lost Mr. Average Citizen." Lt Col Marc D. Felman, "The Military-Media Clash and the New Principle of War: Media Spin," Theater Air Campaign Studies (Maxwell AFB, Ala.: Air Command and Staff College, 1995), 9.
  41. Felman, 186.
  42. Toffler an d Toffler, War and Anti-War, 203.
  43. Ibid., 199.
  44. A 30-watt radio transmitter has an extremely limited range. For purposes of comparison, a 30 kW transmitter has an approximate range of 40 miles. The import of the 30-watt transmitter lies in the notion that individuals are empowered to spread their message via means that are difficult for the sovereign power of the state to control. The Internet similarly erodes government power, as Singapore is discovering in their attempts to police the net. Brit Hume and T. R. Reid, "Citizens go online for information restricted by their governments: Leaders can't police Internet," The Atlanta Journal/The Atlanta Constitution, 14 April 1996.
  45. Kenneth B. Noble, "Defying Airwave Rules and Exporting the Way," The New York Times, 24 January 1996, A7. It has been asserted that commercial capabilities such as Direct Broadcast Satellite are a threat to the sovereignty of nations that had maintained a communications monopoly. Institute for National Strategic Studies, Strategic Assessment 1995 (Washington, D.C.: National Defense University, 1995), 159.
  46. One article described this media revolution in the following way: "The information and communications picture of the future is dominated by a ubiquitous, worldwide decentralized network of interconnected webs, evolving as a technological organism." Stevens, 72. Another article discusses the impact the media and information revolution are already having on politics and the major media sources, as individuals significantly impact events that might once have disappeared under the onslaught of news that journalists instead chose to present. John Fund's thesis is that alternative sources of information can impact the direction of policy and legislation by empowering groups in ways that discomfit both the established major media sources and the politicians who must adapt to new methods. As an example of the power of information, he cites Scott Shane's Dismantling Utopia, asserting that "technology and the information it conveys directly contributed to the collapse of the Soviet Union." John Fund, "There is No Stopping the Information Revolution," USA Today, May 1995, 88-90.
  47. Felman, 85.
  48. Quote from Arlen Andrews, Sandia National Laboratory, in Stevens, 69.
  49. Japanese interest in these technologies is exemplified by the $200 million they are spending on research. Art Levine, "The Future is Bright," Esquire, October 1993, 152.
  50. Ibid., 69.
  51. Stevens, 69.
  52. Ibid., 70.
  53. Neal Stephenson, The Diamond Age (New York: Bantam Books, 1995).
  54. Stevens, 71. The first example of gene therapy was conducted on 14 September 1990, to treat a case of severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID). The patient now receives occasional follow-up treatments, but is no longer quarantined. W. French Anderson, "Gene Therapy," Scientific American, September 1995, 96-98B.
  55. "Through the Glass Lightly," 1609.
  56. Cetron, 5; and Kopp.
  57. Scripps Howard News, "Medical researchers foresee rosy future," Montgomery Advertiser, 11 February 1996, A10.
  58. William Hoagland, "Solar Energy," Scientific American, September 1995, 136-139.
  59. Current oil reserves, about 1 trillion barrels of proven and probable reserves, are sufficient to meet the assumed demands well into the twenty-first century. Petersen, 145.
  60. Hoagland, 137.
  61. Cetron, 9.
  62. Hoagland, 136-139.
  63. Petersen, 153.
  64. Ibid., 154.
  65. Hoagland, 136-139.
  66. Toffler and Toffler, War and Anti-War, 288.
  67. Ibid., 289.
  68. Ibid., 291.
  69. Linear extrapolation performed on 1945-1993 data taken from Papp indicates that the number of countries in 2025 will equal 250. Note that Gulliver's Travails is only 19 percent greater (297), according a relatively high degree of plausibility to that world. Daniel S. Papp, Contemporary International Relations (New York: Macmillan College Publishing Co., 1994), 42. According to the World Factbook there are 184 UN members; seven nations that are not members of the UN (Holy See, Kiribati, Nauru, Serbia and Montenegro, Switzerland, Tonga, Tuvalu); Taiwan; 63 dependent areas under the jurisdiction of nine countries; and six miscellaneous entities (Antarctica, Gaza Strip, Paracel Islands, Spratly Islands, West Bank, Western Sahara) for a total of 261 entities. The World Factbook 1995 (Washington, D.C.: Central Intelligence Agency, Office of Public and Agency Information, 1995), ix.
  70. Schwartau, 39.
  71. Cetron and Davies, 1. Schwartau suggests that economic warfare will become the medium of choice for inflicting damage on other global powers. At least part of the reason is that the US has already demonstrated a capability to counter "gun-toting armies." Schwartau, 43.
  72. Cetron and Davies, 7. Schwartau suggests that the growth in global communications will allow the have-nots to fully glimpse how well the haves live. This will spur immigration, whether legal or illegal, creating a growing source of potential conflict since the population of the undeveloped nations is growing faster than that of the advanced technological societies. Schwartau, 36.
  73. Toffler and Toffler, War and Anti-War, 251.
  74. Strategic Assessment 1995, 183.
  75. Michael D. Lemonick, "Heading for Apocalypse?" Science, 2 October 1995, 54-55.
  76. Cheryl S. Silver and Ruthe S. DeFries, One Earth, One Future: Our Changing Global Environment (Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 1990), 174-175.
  77. Lemonick, 5.
  78. F. Peter W. Jennings, Energy Use and the Environment (London: Lewis Publishers, 1991), 44.
  79. Les Line, "Acid Rain Leading to Moose Deaths," The New York Times, 12 March 1996, B6.
  80. Papp, 556.
  81. The World Factbook 1995, 526.
  82. Papp, 556.
  83. "Asian Survey," The Economist, 30 October 1993, 14.
  84. Cassius Johnson, "From Carbon to Diplomacy: A Sketch of the Interrelations Among Energy, Electric Power, the Economy, the Environment, Global Warming, and Foreign Policy in China, 1995-2025" (Maxwell AFB, Ala.: Air War College Regional Studies Paper, 21 February 1996), 5-7.
  85. Unilateral corrective actions can create a national handicap, particularly for developing nations. Jessica Poppela, "The CFC Challenge," The China Business Review, July-August 94, 34-38.
  86. "The Treaty that Worked--Almost," Scientific American, September 1995, 16-18.
  87. Piquantly, some industrialized nations, such as those in North America and Western Europe, are experiencing certain levels of reforestation. This reforestation is sustained by "green" movements and the return to nature of lower-yielding croplands. Such results are unikely to be replicated in areas such as the Amazon Basin and China. Erosion and depredation of the soil's nutrients are generating conditions that cannot support new growth. Silver, 116-121.
  88. Ibid., 174-175.
  89. Ibid., 124.
  90. Explosive population growth has altered traditional cultivation patterns, resulting in accelerated deforestation and subsequent species depletion. Ibid., 118-119.
  91. Ibid., 121.
  92. Ibid., 118-122.
  93. A "CO2 sink" conceptually describes the fact that forests, and plant life generally, remove CO2 from the atmosphere.
  94. Silver, 63-67.
  95. If much of the global warming can be traced to human atmospheric pollutants, then China's share of the burden is increasing rapidly as they industrialize. As of 1993 China emitted 11 percent of the world's CO2. By 2020, China is projected to be the leading emitter, with over 20 percent of the world's emissions. Vaclav Smil, China's Environmental Crisis (Armonk, N.Y.: M.E. Sharpe, 1993).
  96. Environmental warming also occurs at the regional level, even down to metropolitan areas. Since the 1970s Atlanta has experienced an average temperature increase of six to nine degrees. The primary cause is the removal of trees and the subsequent building of concrete and paved structures. As heat rises, it is more likely that smog and other pollutants will form. As a result of these factors, a low pressure area is created over the city center that traps the hot air and pollution, generating a self-sustaining "heat island." Studies indicate that Atlanta could save $4.6 million annually in cooling by planting trees in selected areas. Charles Seabrook, "Hotlanta gets hotter as trees fall to development," The Atlanta Constitution, 27 March 1996.
  97. It should be noted that aerosols, chemicals like sulfur dioxide that are produced when fossil fuels are burned, have a cooling effect, but not enough to counterbalance the impact of carbon dioxide. Carl Zimmer, "Verdict (almost) in," Discover, January 1996, 78; Papp, 556.
  98. Lemonick, 54-55.
  99. Half of Bangladesh is less than five meters in elevation, and storm surges currently travel as far as 200 km inland. In Egypt the populace lives on only 3.5 percent of the land. If the sea level rose 13 to 133 cm as much as 19 percent of the inhabitable land could be inundated. Silver, 97-101.
  100. Cost estimates to protect the nation's recreational barrier islands range "from $135 billion to $200 billion for a 2-meter rise." Silver, 101.
  101. Toffler and Toffler, War and Anti-War, 172.
  102. Cetron and Davies, 7.
  103. Educational programs are already extant for the very young, children from the ages of two to five. Programs teach math, the ABCs, reading, and innumerable other topics. This bloc of children educated on computers will provide the basis for a group used to learning electronically. The article cited provides a list of freeware, indicating that education has already evaded the grasp of traditional classrooms, unrestrained by any cost other than the initial purchase of the computer itself. Noah Matthews, "Some programs are designed for the very young," The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 24 March 1996.
  104. Marvin, 5.
  105. "Through the Glass Lightly," 1615.
  106. An alternative school currently exists in Farmingham, Massachusetts, that allows students to establish their own self-directed educational agendas. Similar schools have been developed in 11 other states. John Larrabee, "Private alternative school thrives without structure," USA Today, 7 February 1996.
  107. Dr Allen L. Hammond et al., World Resources 1994-95 (New York: The World Resources Institute, 1994), 32.
  108. Marshall T. Savage, "Dawn of a New Millennium," Ad Astra, July/August 1995, 41; and Papp, 519. For a succinct compendium of articles regarding limits to growth, population control, and migrations, see Paul Neurath, From Malthus to the Club of Rome and Back (Armon, N.Y.: M.E. Sharpe, 1994).
  109. "In population projections, an important variable is the time at which a country's fertility rate drops to the replacement level of two children per woman." Hammond, 30.
  110. Knight-Ridder Tribune, "Scientists: Too many resources consumed," The Sunday Montgomery Advertiser, 11 February 1996. Kopp notes that clean water may cost $20 per barrel by 2025; and Kopp. At such a price, the value of water would be comparable to the price of oil in 1996. Considering that US national security strategy declares access to the oil of the Persian Gulf to be an American vital interest, it is apparent that $20 barrels of water would merit equal consideration from other parties around the world. This ties in neatly with a mention by the Institute for National Strategic Studies that water disputes might arise over the Euphrates River involving Turkey, Syria, Iraq, or Iran. Strategic Assessment 1995, 183.
  111. Papp, 516.
  112. Ibid., 516-518.
  113. A 1994 estimate places the total world population at eight billion in the year 2021, and only nine billion in the year 2035, not reaching the ten billion estimate of the table until the year 2054. Source: Population Division, Department for Economic and Social Information and Policy Analysis, World Population Growth from Year 0 to Stabilization (New York: United Nations, mimeograph, 7 June 1994). Wolfgang Lutz, director of the International Institute for Applied Systems in Vienna, Austria, expects the world population to stabilize around 10 billion by 2025 and below 12 billion by 2100. Knight-Ridder Tribune, "Scientists: Too many resources consumed."
  114. Cetron and Davies, 2.
  115. Life expectancy has increased due to the widespread advances in nutritional standards, health care services, and medical science. In poor countries, however, fertility rates did not fall to correspond to this new demographic dynamic. Thus the steep rate of growth in Figure B-5. What this curve does not depict is the corresponding change in the relative proportions of the young and old. By 2020, estimates suggest that those over 60 years of age will comprise over 10 percent of the total, up from nine percent in 1995. At the same time the percentage of those under the age of 15 will decline from 46 percent to 26 percent as birth rates decline. This accounts for the flattening of the population growth curve following 1995. Winteringham, 95. One prediction foresees a breakthrough by 2005 providing 115 to 120 years of good health for the average human. Cetron, 10.
  116. Calculations based on data in Statistical Yearbook, Thirty-Ninth Issue, Department for Economic and Social Information and Policy Analysis, Statistical Division, United Nations, New York, 1992; and Statistical Abstract of the United States 1995 (Washington, D.C.: US Government Printing Office, 1995).
  117. Cetron and Davies, 2.
  118. Note that The World Factbook 1995 GDP figures, in billions, are based on a one-year sample. As a result the change in GDP does not reflect long-term trends. In fact, in 1994 the GDPs for several of the countries shown actually suffered an annual decline: Russia, -15 percent; Iran, -2 percent; Turkey, -5 percent; Saudi Arabia, -3 percent. Furthermore, the actual rate of growth for the Japanese economy in 1994 was 0.6 percent, well below historical norms, while the US rate of 4.1 percent was above historical norms. Therefore, historical growth rates were calculated over the period 1985-1993.
  119. Since Russia did not exist in 1985 as a separate economic entity, it was not possible to derive a long-term growth rate based on the period 1985-1993, as was done with the other growth rates. Therefore, a notional rate of 2 percent growth was assigned to the projected Russian growth rate, slightly less than industrialized nations such as the US and Germany and about the same as Italy.
  120. Revenues for General Motors in 1994 in millions of dollars. This serves as a measure of how large multinational corporations are relative to national economies.
  121. This case illustrates the fallacy involved in extending a corporation's growth rate over multiple decades, particularly when the corporation has not been in existence for a great deal of time. A 50 percent average annual growth rate in revenue for 30 years generates a corporation worth more than the combined wealth of all the countries in the world.
  122. Peter C. Newman, "The Way to the Number One Market," Nation's Business, 1 October 1994, 56.
  123. Schwartau, 39.
  124. Cetron and Davies, 7. Cetron suggests that by 2010 there will be only five major automakers in the world, and only three computer hardware firms. Paradoxically, microbusiness will also flourish, as entrepreneurs seek to support ever narrower niche markets. Cetron, 11. One of the 2025 senior advisors suggested that MNCs would actually diminish in significance in the future. He felt they would be displaced by a series of niche competitors who exceeded the ability of the MNCs to respond to specialized customer demands. The Alternate Futures team included the idea of niche competitors in several worlds, but chose not to disregard the survival potential of MNCs over the relatively short time frame of three decades.
  125. "Perhaps even more surprisingly, every one of the world's largest Fortune 500 corporations in 1991 produced more than the world's 61 smallest state economies." Papp, 94.
  126. Cetron and Davies, 9.
  127. Toffler and Toffler, War and Anti-War, 290.
  128. Ibid., 288.

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