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Introduction

Part of the Springer Praxis Books book series (PRAXIS)

Abstract

In this book we study the physical circumstances that will shape the long-term future of our civilization. Why should we be interested? Perhaps we may have an idle curiosity for how the future will look. But there is more. The distant future will be very much constrained by what is physically possible and what is not. This may help us to select among our present options those that are viable in the future. If we were to follow a path that is a dead end, we may first have to undo the damage before we can follow one that shows more promise for the future, assuming this still to be possible. As an example, we all know that oil and gas will become exhausted in the not too distant future and also that the burning of these will lead to serious consequences for the Earth’s climate, though these may not be immediately obvious. So, in the long run we shall have to find alternative sources of energy. That being the case, is it not better to start work on these alternatives now than invest all our efforts in augmenting the oil supply only to discover later that it is not enough and that irremediable damage has been done to the environment?

Keywords

Past Climate Distant Future Ozone Hole Brundtland Report Chess Board 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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1.5 Notes and references

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Copyright information

© Praxis Publishing Ltd. 2008

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