108 futurists who were surveyed in 2001 shared that, we are in the midst of a unique period of historical transformation. They concurred that environmental sustainability is achievable through inclusive reconciliation of technological, spiritual and post-structural ideals - I would have also added the economy. Most interestingly, the surveyed futurist were hopeful of a better future.

I am not so optimistic. If we take each of those parameters one by one, and consider the trends in the last two decades, the future looks bleak. We are acceleratingly trashing the environment and there seems to be no resolve on the part of governments to tackle global warming. As far as post-structural ideals are concerned, we have seen the opposite, both cultural and economical homogenization and structuralism; The unchallenged grand narrative of the last 30 or so years has been Globalization. The technological revolution that was brought on in the 20th century by the advent of the radio, television, personal computer and the Internet, in the recent years, is trending towards mass surveillance and propaganda. And if the relentless attempts to regulate the Internet finally succeed, we can no longer view technology as a neutral. Most importantly, the Globalist-Capitalist economical system we have created has no precedent in history. Any system which fails to see the world as a commonwealth to be shared by all in the present and the future, that is built on the idea of infinite growth on a finite planet, and whose mission statement is the monopolization of money and resource extraction, is unsustainable itself, but more importantly, globally speaking, is antithetical to sustainability.

We urgently need to ask ourselves, what kind of a future do we want? This brings up the issue of "spirituality". All the talk about progress made in "religious tolerance" and "interfaith dialogue" is simply hogwash. So long as major religions continue to base their teachings on some form of "religious nationalism" and "identity of superiority", the necessary human spiritual transformation required for a sustainable future will be evaded. It's not going to matter whether you live in this country or the next one, or if you are Hindu, Jewish, Buddhist, Christian or Muslim; We all live in a single ecological and now economical world, and its destruction will also be the end of any illusory identity we cling on to. When our great grandchildren are dying of starvation or pollution, they're not going to care about which God we believed in, or which identity we assumed. I agree with the futurists that we are in the midst of a unique period of history. I would go further and say, we are at the critical moment, the kairos.

Song of the Day: A Day in the Life (Love Version) - The Beatles (2006)
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