It requires a good deal of study and preparation to portray the combination of problems facing the world today and in this century. Paul Chefurka has invested that time and energy and over the years has evolved a set of information that portray many aspects of the Club of Rome's "Problematique". The accompanying series of slides shows many, though not all, the problems that will eventually be solved.
As Paul points out, if we do not make choices to solve the problems, they will resolve themselves, most likely in a form that people would not consider "optimal" for comfort and survival. For that reason he urges, as do many other environmental thinkers, that we give a lot of hard thought and then individual and community planning and action, so as to have as much of a say as possible in how the world proceeds during the 21st century.
I am a Canadian ecologist with a passionate interest in outside the box responses to the converging crisis of industrial civilization.
The crisis of civilization is not simply a convergence of technical, environmental and organizational problems. These are symptoms that are themselves being driven by a philosophical and perceptual disconnection so deep that it is best understood as a spiritual breakdown. The disconnection goes by the name of Separation.
Our sense of separation is what allows us to see ourselves as different from and superior to the rest of the apparently non-rational universe we live in. In this worldview the complex mutual interdependence of all the elements of the universe is replaced by a simple dualistic categorization: there are human beings, and everything else in the universe—without exception—is a resource for us to use.
The only way to keep this planet, our one and only home in the universe, from being ultimately ravaged and devastated is to change our worldview and heal our sense of separateness. Unless we can manage that breathtaking feat all the careful application of technology, all the well-intentioned regulations, all the unbridled cleverness of which we are so proud will do little to delay the final outcome, and nothing whatever to prevent it.
My desire is to find ways to heal that sense of separation, with the goal of helping us prepare for ecological adulthood.