Thinking about the future or wanting to fail. It should be an easy choice 4


The Forum for the Future has done a study called Megacities on the Move. There’s a booklet detailing their methods (pdf document, I haven’t read all of it yet) and a series of simple animations, each detailing one of their four scenarios. None of the scenarios is a prescription, indeed at least two of them are outcomes to be avoided. As they say themselves-

Forum for the Future’s scenarios are not predictions or depictions of desirable futures which we wish to promote, and they do not represent our vision of a sustainable future. They are pictures of different possible futures, designed to help people understand the major trends that are shaping our world. They aim to challenge, inspire and excite, so that people feel motivated to plan for a better, more sustainable future.

The whole exercise, above all else, is designed to make people think.

Except, of course, some people don’t like thinking. Some people would rather photoshop green swastika armbands onto zombie Nazis and imagine it makes them clever. The denial brigade have latched onto one of the scenarios, Planned-opolis, and are trying to convince themselves that this undesirable outcome is what Forum for the Future are saying should happen.

Megacities on the move – Planned-opolis from Forum for the Future on Vimeo.

They wilfully ignore the existence of three other videos, including the one called Renew-abad, which has a more positive, and fairer, vision-

Megacities on the move – Renew-abad from Forum for the Future on Vimeo.

They also ignore the fact that these are ideas, not plans. They’re busy demanding that we do what they tell us to do- in this case, take a hit from their opiate and await the coming apocalypse and judgement like good sheep- and they can’t abide that others want to think about solving our problems. The denial brigade aren’t all driven by a hate filled misreading of their religion, but they do all want us to sit back and do nothing whilst things get worse. Thankfully I don’t have their negative vision of people. I think we can solve some of the problems we’ve created and mitigate the harm from the others. I’ve even done a bit of Green prediction in Sounds of Soldiers and my recent short story Mia in the Snow.

Climate change denial relies on people betting on increasingly long odds that the science, and the ever growing evidence, is somehow wrong. They want us all to gamble on a hundreds to one shot rather than the odds on favourite. And they want us to do it even though we’ll be worse off even if they are right and we do what they want. Even if anthropogenic climate change isn’t happening, everything we do to mitigate it will make the world a better place. If burning oil and releasing all that CO2 somehow isn’t having an effect on the climate, we’re still going to run out of fossil fuels and the sooner we start planning for a post oil planet the better the transition will be. Even if cutting our carbon footprints doesn’t do anything to the bigger picture, the money we save is doing more for us in our own bank accounts than it ever could if it went to energy companies or the taxman. If we improve our quality of life, and that of those around us, it won’t matter why we do it.

Work for a better future, or plan to let things get worse? I know which one I’m doing.


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4 thoughts on “Thinking about the future or wanting to fail. It should be an easy choice

  • Stewart Cowan

    Ian,

    You are very trusting, aren’t you? The government and some of the groups it funds deal in propaganda; it’s not just the BBC they rely on for that. The Gov’t has been aggressively promoting certain things, like the “war on terror” and “manmade climate change” and acceptance requires a change in the public’s perception of the risks involved – disinfo and scaremongering encourage us to give up our rights and freedoms. They want us to accept our own enslavement. Can you see how far it’s gone already? Can you?

    As I wrote in that post, Forum for the Future produces a stream of think-tank directors and government advisers.

    I mentioned the Optimum Population Trust’s campaign to reduce the UK’s population to 30 million. I wonder if you think this is also a harmless suggestion.

    Ian, you believe all this carbon nonsense without seeing that it is only being used to control and impoverish us. The “science” is becoming less believable all the time, but that hardly matters so long as the majority think as you do and believe the propaganda.

    And you’re wrong, I don’t want to “sit back and do nothing whilst things get worse” nor am I. I am using my blog as a warning to others and planning on what to do personally to at least save myself from the dystopia should not enough people see the dangers soon enough that we can act together.

    • Ian Pattinson

      The denial propaganda is becoming less and less believable, which is obviously why people like you, who have bought into it, feel the need to shout ever louder and make ever dumber claims.

      Where’s your evidence? Everything you’ve ever cited has proven to be a lie and you keep parroting talking points long after they’ve been shown to be wrong. Some people may be dumb enough to listen to you alone, but most of us aren’t so you’re desperately flailing around and being more ridiculous in the hope that you’ll hold onto your decreasing audience.

      And, as I said in the post, even if your hundreds (sinking to thousands) to one bet is right, we still lose if we put money on it. What do you propose we do about peak oil? What’s your solution to overpopulation and the fact that our resources can’t cope with it? Why are you against people being encouraged to be energy independent (and thus giving corporations and the government less control over them)?

      And, apart from believing and repeating any old nonsense that fits your prejudices, what are you planning to do about these “dangers” only you can see?

      • Ian Pattinson

        Mr. C

        Stewart and his friends can’t stand the idea of anyone doing anything which might make the world a better place. It would mess with their fantasies of the end times (check out the first two comments on his post). They probably have dreams that after the fall they’ll get to be the ones putting on the tight leather jumpsuits and riding around the wastelands “converting” the poor left over souls.