Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 7

1 Running head: Seven Tomorrows

Book Report: Seven Tomorrows Brittany Garcia HSCI 271 Spring 2011

2 Running head: Seven Tomorrows Abstract The authors provide seven possible for the future, which at that time was projected to be the 1990s and 2000s. The names of the scenarios are The Official Future, The Center Holds, Mature Calm, Chronic Breakdown, Apocalyptic Transformation, Beginnings of Sorrow, and Living within Our Means. These scenarios cover all types of scenarios, from the extreme negatives to the calm yet deteriorating form of society. The most important factor that they believe will determine what form our future will take is how we perceive what the future will be like. With that said, society has every tool necessary to make any changes that they desire. Their predictions have proven very accurate in terms of where our nation stands today. This shows that all of their scenarios are very possible, therefore, it is essential that we set up precaution measures that will safeguard against those events ever getting to those severe levels.

3 Running head: Seven Tomorrows Book Report: Seven Tomorrows In this book, the authors main point is to provide seven possible outcomes of the future for the nineties and two thousands. They state that the prospects of doom paralyze action just as certainly as nave hopes render action unnecessary (1982, p. 4). They acknowledge that though facts are important to the outcome of the future, societys perceptions are what ultimately guide our actions. Therefore, if we view the future as being a disaster or complete chaoswhich so many people dothen the future will be just that. They label the seven scenarios as The Official Future, The Center Holds, Mature Calm, Chronic Breakdown, Apocalyptic Transformation, Beginnings of Sorrow, and Living within Our Means. The Official Future scenario states that there is a continuation of technological advancements. And much like we saw in the video called The Story of Stuff, the quality of life in this scenario is fueled by the quantity of goods. However, now a greater percent of the population has access to a broader range of resources that was previously available to wealthier groups which include improved health care, vacation travel, and personal computers. The drawback to this scenario is that there is a rapid deterioration of environmental resources and rising crime rates. The Center Holds scenario establishes that America is forceful abroad and at home at trying to solve its energy problems. The government also shifts to become more authoritarian, with a more interpretation of the First Amendment. Though there are increases in technological advancements, America comes to a standstill in that its energy resources will be severely reduced, the economy will stop growing, and there will be a rise in prices of food due to the extremities of climate change. The progressive future of the nation in this scenario rests on

4 Running head: Seven Tomorrows technology providing the data necessary to ensure that society does not break down again. Due to limitations on freedom, speech, and politics, fear takes over the future. Heterogeneity now becomes a threat in the nation since we are already facing problems with differences outside of our borders. Because of this, we vote for candidates out of fear we vote for people who promise us peace and protection. Despite this fall, multinational corporations will join forces with big government to restore these systems. During the Mature Calm, society shifts to conservatism which allows Americans to be less impulsive and more thoughtful. Here, there are two decades of peace and stability; however, there are no great improvements or shifts in any given direction. Overall, America is successful is using all possible resources to address the most threatening problems and people are not afraid to adapt to the drastic changes of the time; including changing ones social status. Scenarios four, five and six are somewhat combined. In Chronic Breakdown, there is a short supply of energy; America loses its influence on other countries; there are extremes in weather patterns. In the end, there is no plausible way out of this depression which may have been triggered by the consequences of our past economic imbalances finally catching up with us. In the Apocalyptic Transformation, it is considered the least likely of the scenarios, however, it states that society has the ability to adapt and accept to the tough conditions only if they choose to. The Beginnings of Sorrow scenario is much like Chronic Breakdown, except society does not perceive that there is a future given the terrible state of things. In short, the nation is overcome by sheer panic: lootings, epidemics, banditry, and anarchy. This occurs because we

5 Running head: Seven Tomorrows take a gamble and put all of our money and time into high-growth and energy-dependent industrial society and in turn, we lose everything. The final scenario, Living within Our Means, is when diverse groups now realize the importance of setting aside all differences because the world has changed permanently and it is their only means to survival. People are well adapted to their circumstance, however, Americans do not change because they think it will be better, they change because the old ways no longer work. In my opinion, I feel that these are all in fact very possible scenarios for the future. I really like the idea that these authors presentedthat the future does not necessarily have to be a huge drastic and exaggerated single event, but rather, it is most likely the result of many slight changes in a variety of areas. It is amazing to me that 30 years have passed since this book was written and they have pegged exactly how the nation presently stands. They predicted our economic downfall, our fight for diminished oil resources in the Middle East, the world war that we appear to be in, the growing deficit, and the depletion of all of our resources. I think that the future really does depend on our perception of what we believe it will be like. It is much like that YouTube video that we watched in which the man laid out the possible outcomes for climate change. We all acknowledge that our nation is facing numerous problems that can have very negative effects on the future we will lead. The main focus should not be on whose prediction proves to be the correct outcome of the future, but rather the focus should be on whether or not we choose to collectively take a stand to change our future for the better and how we would go about doing so. As we stand now, the future that the

6 Running head: Seven Tomorrows authors predicted is actually a mixture of all of the scenarios that they provide. And that is a sobering wake-up call in that if they were able to come this close predicting what the future is like now, who is to say that their extreme scenarios are not what now lie in our very near future? The fact is that if we continue using up all of our resources, increasing our deficit, and the eruption of conflicts around the globe, then those scenarios will very well become our reality.

7 Running head: Seven Tomorrows References Hawkin, P., & Ogilvy, J., & Schwartz, P. (1982). Seven Tomorrows. New York: Bantam Books.