DO THE RIGHT THING
Most of us just want to “do the right thing” for ourselves, our friends, and our families, but what
is this “right thing”?
First, we must educate ourselves—knowledge is power—about where our world is headed,
so that we have a realistic view of the challenges facing the world in the next few years and the
This chapter will give you a summary of world trends to help you realistically
design a course for your own future. It will also help you to recognize signs of imminent world altering
shifts in climate, environment, and/or economics, so you can react quickly and
Second, we can do our best to be proactively prepared for life on a changing planet as the
business, social, and ecological climates of our world become increasingly unstable.
The rapidly escalating prices of gas and oil, which we saw in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and again in
2007, were simply a preview of an endless stream of price escalations that are ramping up now
that the world’s oil production approaches, and has possibly already passed, its peak (“Peak Oil”)
and is starting its natural and inevitable decline. Unless our scientists are able to develop a new
“miracle” as-yet-undiscovered technology to bail us out (as an MIT engineer, I would not bet on
it), our society will soon grapple with an accelerating pace of global climate changes combined
with an unending energy crisis.