What’s really out there

Gerald Celente doesn’t think much of the future our media paint for us. He says they “suffer from millennium myopia.”
Celente is director of the Trends Research Institute in Rhinebeck, N.Y. He warns that most predictions rehash the recent past and extend present events and patterns.
The resulting “future scenario” is believable because it’s already here. But it misses the quality of coverage and analysis that could help us understand and prepare for what really lies ahead.
And what is that?
It may be anyone’s guess but some guess better than others. The Trends Research Institute works at it. It also publishes a quarterly newsletter.
Here are three “trendposts” from “The Trends Journal,” Spring, 1999.
1. Multiple family forms
The scandal: The Lewinsky affair epitomizes the essence and complexity of the “values” problem in the U.S. and beyond. A year of marathon lies, leaks, moralizing, and hypocrisy has turned out lucrative for most of those involved.
How it shapes the future: The officially prevailing value system is exhausted and unrealistic. People mouth it but don’t abide by it, nor do they really seem to care.
Many different types of family arrangements, short-term unions and life partnerships, child guardianships, and frowned-on-but-tolerated practices exist now. For any type of regulation, a new spectrum of standards is needed.
Celente thinks it will happen. But whether that makes people happier is quite another question.
2. Empires 2000
A new empire-building trend began with the creation of “Euroland.” The “Asian Tigers” have started to move together, albeit rockily, and will become the Asian Bloc.
North American free trade is expanding, and will grow into the Americas Zone over the next decades.
The implications: With luck and good will, these major empires will be economic, not military. Canada may do well as a resource-rich and technologically strong partner in the Americas Zone.
Not all nations will be included. India may, if its workforce can be educated to compete in a high-tech world. That appears possible now.
The unresolvable political turmoil in the Middle East makes its prognosis poor. And for Russia and its former satellites, the prospects are downright gloomy.
The African nations, still reeling under centuries of colonization, exploitation, and civil war, may languish even longer.
3. Clean food
The food industry is likely to expand factory farming, develop more genetically manipulated foods, and keep on using pesticides, chemicals, drugs, and hormones. All those make for volume and efficiency.
But those who can afford it will increasingly buy “clean and green” foods for good health.
The term Clean Food” means it is free of artificial preservatives, colouring, irradiation, pesticides, drug residues, growth hormones, and genetic engineering.
Sounds good, doesn’t it? Want some? Pay up. Want to grow it? You’ll need a bigger market than Northwestern Ontario–and you’ll have to work as hard as farmers always did.
But you should be able to make a good living with a new incarnation of “the family farm.”

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