Which World?: Scenarios For The 21St Century

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9781559635752: Which World?: Scenarios For The 21St Century

In Which World?, scientist Allen Hammond imaginatively probes the consequences of present social, economic, and environmental trends to construct three possible worlds that could await us in the twenty-first century: Market World, in which economic and human progress is driven by the liberating power of free markets and human initiative; Fortress World, in which unattended social and environmental problems diminish progress, dooming hundreds of millions of humans to lives of rising conflict and violence; and Transformed World, in which human ingenuity and compassion succeed in offering a better life, not just a wealthier one, and in seeking to extend those benefits to all of humanity.

"Hammond's credo, 'to envision the future we want and then set about making it happen,' is a thinking person's call to arms. ..... By bringing together an ambitious set of data, lively scenarios, and provocative claims, Hammond seeks to reorient and reenergize public conversation about sustainable development and the strategies of peoples and institutions. It is a vital conversation, and this is a notable contribution to it." Kai N. Lee, Environmen.

"Hammond offers an excellent contribution to the growing literature on the human predicament and the challenge of sustaining the Earth's legacy. The book will open the eyes of the ignorant, and fulfill its purpose of stimulating further thought and action." Carl Folke, Scienc.

"In Which World?, Allen Hammond offers both knowledge and vision. He presents a lucid and incisive guide to the trends with which we have to work, and the possibilities they offer." Stephen Schmidheiny, founder of the World Business Council for Sustainable Developmen.

"Fascinating and thought-provoking." Library Journal

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Review:

"The author, for some years editor of the uniquely useful environmental almanac, World Resources, brings an impressive ability to sift data and articulate crisp judgements. The scenarios inevitably reveal the author and his milieu as much as they illuminate the contours of an inscrutable future. Hammond is sober and clear-headed, and the scenario writer's need to discuss statistics vividly curbs the glib and the superficial. He observes both the long march ahead of Africa and Russia and the inward-turning politics of Japan and the United States. But he argues that institutional reforms only just emerging may bring about major changes over the next half century. The rise of nongovernmental citizen organizations demonstrates how much can be done in a generation...and how much remains to be done. By bringing together an ambitious set of data, lively scenarios, and provocative claims, hammond seeks to reorient and reenergize public conversation about sustainable development and the strategies of peoples and institutions. It is a vital conversation, and this is a notable contribution to it." -- Professor Kai N., Lee Center for Environmental Studies Williams College, Environment Volume 40 Number 10

Another fascinating perspective on possible futures comes in the new book Which World?: Scenarios for the 21st Century by Allen Hammond. -- Business and the Environment, September, 1998

By synthesizing existing data and the findings of the 2050 Project, a five-year venture involving dozens of scholars from all over the world, [Which World? offers] insights into global and regional trends likely to prevail over the next half-century. These syntheses are presented in a series of scenarios Market World, Fortress World, and Transformed World as contrasting visions of human destiny.' Transformed World [is] characterized by a vibrant and internet-linked global civil society, socially and environmentally responsible global corporations, and radical policy changes...designed to narrow the gap between rich and poor. -- Inter Press Service, September 16, 1998

En route to [a] cloyingly sentimental conclusion, Hammond does give us plenty of sober and well-informed analysis, drawing our attention to potentially telling trends. -- New Scientist, Graham Farmelo

Hammond shows his capacity to highlight clearly options for long-term sustainability. His assessment...should be studied by anyone with serious concerns about the future. -- Science Books & Films, October, 1996

Hammond's...conclusions and recommendations would have made a lot more sense to [1998 Nobel laureate in economics Amartya] Sen than to [1997 Nobel laureates] Scholes and Merton. They literally wrote the book on financial derivatives, yet their spectacular failure [in the hedge fund debacle of Long Term Capital Management, in which Scholes and Merton were involved] may well help fuel a new period of anti-capitalist, anti-business radicalism. [In contrast] Professor Sen wants to restore an ethical dimension to the discussion of economic problems. The ideas of Hammond and Sen are crucial, as they encourage us to believe that we can choose the future we want. -- John Elkington, The Guardian, October 31, 1998

Hammond... has become one of the most respected analysts in the field of international economic development. His new book, Which World?, is more deeply informed and more persuasively argued than Paul Kennedy's excellent Preparing for the Twenty-first Century...

Hammond... identifies the choices on which the path of development will turn... [his] grasp of the particular problems facing each region and of the possibilities of addressing them makes his book the most useful guide I know to the strategy of international development. -- Mark Sagoff, The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

The results of this five-year investigation into the future of environment, society and the economy... -- Publishers Weekly, July, 1998

Where is humanity heading what destinations can we plausibly reach within the next half century? Addressing this question is the overall objective ofAllen Hammond's thought-provoking book. The author does not fall into the trap of trying to predict the future or simply extrapolating partial data. -- Science, 28 August, 1998

Which World? offers an eye-opening critical survey of the long-term trends economic, demographic, social, environmental, security that will help shape the next several decades in each of the world's major regions. -- Envirolink, Summer 1998

From Library Journal:

Hammond (director, Strategic Analysis, World Resources Inst.) bases the title of this work on the results of the 2050 Project, a joint research program of the Brookings Institution, the World Resources Institute, and the Sante Fe Institute. Given the fairly liberal bent of these organizations, it is not surprising that the most enlightened and socially productive path centers around the "Transformed World" scenario, which requires some enlightened social engineering, significant environmental payoffs, and enlightened self-interest among international market forces. The other two scenarios are "Market World" and "Fortress World." Market World pictures a number of positive social and economic indicators but also significant degradation of environmental quality. Fortress World imagines a world beset by massive social and economic unrest and inequalities, dwindling natural resources, and less tolerant governments. The book concludes with surveys of seven major global regions and how each of the three scenarios could play out there. Hammond quite correctly sees elements of all three scenarios in world economic, social, environmental, and security trends. Fascinating and thought-provoking, this is an excellent choice for all academic and larger public libraries.?Stephen W. Green, Auraria Lib., Denver
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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