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World Futures: Who Do You Trust – Or Is It Whom? Part Two

on July 14, 2017 - 4:39am

World Futures:  What Do We Need?

Los Alamos World Futures Institute

In part one of this series, three documents were listed for suggested for reading. In your busy schedule, did you have the time? Let’s consider the challenge.

There is a card in circulation titled “100 Days of Summer Get Out. Get Active” One of the check boxes is “Read 100 Books.” What does this really mean?  According to www.reading, the average person reads 200 words per minute with 65 percent comprehension. Checking Wikipedia, novels range from 100,000 to 175,000 words. Using 100,000 words, it takes the average person 500 minutes to read a book. With ten minute breaks each hour, it becomes a 10 hour work day (excuse me, recreation day).

The example is about novels. The documents suggested for reading in the previous column are not novels and they are relatively short. Only about 82 pages on standard paper in a 10 to 12 point font. How fast can you read and comprehend them? Maybe this is an indication of why YouTube and social media are so popular.

The first suggested read was the U.S. Constitution. The basic document is a mere 10 pages of text. The amendments are another seven pages. This document defines how American citizens are going to get along and the basic rights of each citizen. More importantly, it defines the United States as a republic and not a democracy, in so doing defining how the citizens collectively make decisions about what is okay and what is not (laws).

Recall from part one that academe decided on the “validity” of the Special Theory of Relativity and the cold fusion paper. But what if approval required a majority vote of the population? Recall that it was asked if you both read and understood the papers. Understanding is the key adjective, dependent on first reading the document.

The second document in Part One was the Communist Manifesto penned by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Older readers of this column may recall the conflict between “democracy” and “communism.” The real conflict was between “how” and “what.”  If one reads the manifesto, one finds some good things in it with regard to the “what,” but the “how” is not well defined. Frequently we hear the terms who, what, when, why, where and how. The five “w”s are the easy part and the “how” is the hard part because “how” is in the realm of creativity and action.

In May 1956. “The Carbon Dioxide Theory of Climate Change” by Gilbert N. Plass was published by the Johns Hopkins University. In 1976, in the book The Next 200 Years, “possible greenhouse or other effects from CO2 in the atmosphere…”was postulated as a 1985 technology crisis. The projection was incorrect in that it included a new ice age because of atmospheric dust, but it did include global warming. The Paris Agreement  published in 2015 says in Article 2, paragraph 1(a):

“Holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels, recognizing that this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change.”

The rest of the Paris Agreement describes organizational “how” of “what” is to beachieved among the nation-states of the world. There is an implicit assumption that each nation-state will fully embrace the goal and share knowledge and technology. It is about humanity uniting to save the world for (from?) humanity. Have we met the enemy and it is us?

In Part Three we will consider the impact on the List of 18.

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Previously published columns can be found at or