In May, 2019 a close family friend who I’ll call Auntie N (to protect her privacy), was, in her beautiful Connecticut home, deeply distraught. “Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm Fani” (that’s what Wikipedia calls it) had just struck Odisha, India, where her
Air pollution has now been a daily fact of life in Asia for over 20 years, with a permanent brown-tinted haze doming entire cities and blotting out blue skies and sunshine on most days. My frequent travel to Dhaka gives me
The Paris Climate Agreement aimed to avoid a “catastrophic” 2ºC increase in global temperatures. We have just a decade left to cut current carbon emissions by half, and unfortunately we are nowhere near achieving this goal. Here’s what happens if we
Mathematician Safa Motesharrei of the US National Science Foundation-supported National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center, working with a team of natural and social scientists, recently published a shockingly dark report on the near future of Western civilization. According to these credible researchers,
We have to stop building businesses, and start solving for scarcity. Our planet is running out of natural resources like titanium, silver and copper at an alarming rate. Antimony, a product used in many batteries, will be exhausted from known mines
In 2005, investigative journalist James Howard Kunstler published The Long Emergency, a book that ominously describes economic and social collapse caused by climate change, crashing financial markets, and high oil prices. Hurricane Sandy (officially dubbed “Superstorm Sandy”) and the challenges
According to Napster founder and former Facebook president Sean Parker, “It’s technology, not business or government, that’s the real driving force behind large-scale societal shifts.” Thanks to improvements in technology across all sectors, we now produce sufficient goods and services
For the past few decades the United States has helped destabilize the planet by maintaining its status as the the world’s number one exporter of arms. It’s possible, however, that another US export will add a modicum of stability to
Brazil, Russia, India, China, Mexico… These countries can no longer be described in terms of first and third world or developed and developing nations. Instead, the vast chasm between rich and poor in those countries foretell a new global norm.
Since I’m involved in building technology, I often worry about the unintended consequences of my work. Technology will tear apart centuries-old institutions and laws, and the process of change will not be pretty. Very soon privacy will be effectively illegal.