Our Future of Great Abundance

Abundance Peter Diamandis

In the TED video below, Abundance is Our Future, techno-philanthropist, billionaire Peter Diamandis explains how much technological progress has already improved our lives and offers compelling evidence for an optimistic future. I’ve written a summary of that video at the end of the post, but before that I’d like to discuss some of misconceptions about what abundance means and offer some of my predictions for the future.

What Abundance is Not

The word ‘abundance’ often conjures images of luxury and excess. Abundance in my definition, and that of Peter Diamondis, is not the Wall Street investment banker stereotype of wealth.

It’s not about everyone on the planet having 5000 square foot houses, with luxury sports cars, access to private jets, yachts and $1000 hookers on lunch breaks.

Clearly that idea of wealth is environmentally and morally bankrupt.

Abundance is not about stuffing our faces with processed food while we watch 4 or 5 hours of television a day. It’s not about disposable lifestyles needlessly wasting food, water and other precious resources while we fill up our over-sized houses and storage garages with useless junk.

We only have one planet. If everyone consumed like a European, we would need 3 planets of resources. If everyone consumed like an American, we’d need 5 planets. Clearly, that is not feasible.

I also want to make clear that this is not some type of spiritual or ‘secret’ abundance where if you have the correct thoughts, everything will be magically delivered to you. Try explaining that to the 6 month old African baby that died for lack of a $0.12 malaria vaccine or the young third world girl sold into sexual slavery. It’s grossly insulting to suggest that the world’s poorest deserve what they have because they are dwelling on negative thoughts.

What Abundance Really Means

Abundance is not about giant houses and SUVs. It’s about providing clean water, food and basic human rights like education and freedom from persecution to everyone on the planet. It’s about removing barriers of scarcity so that humans are free to pursue creative, intellectual and social pursuits. Historically, suffering has been a large part of the human condition. As modern economies have proven over the last 60 years, it doesn’t have to be that way.

The abundance I talk about is very simple. It’s all about technological progress.  In the first 190,000 years of existence homo sapiens, had virtually no progress. Societies, art and agriculture are only thousands of years old. The automobile, air travel, electricity, telephone, film, radio and television are only about a century old. The personal computer, mobile phones and the Internet are only a few decades old. The pace of technological change is accelerating. We will reach point of singularity where the rate of change becomes so fast it will be completely incomprehensible to the un-augmented human mind.

Countdown to Singularity

This is difficult to comprehend. I certainly don’t claim to have any understanding of quantum physics, nanotechnology, genetic engineering, biofuels, thorium reactors and hundreds of other scientific fields that  each have the potential to profoundly affect our future. The knowledge in each of these fields is so specialized that it’s impossible for any individual to truly understand the complete ramifications.

Let’s keep it very simple.

If the price/performance of computer processing keeps doubling every 18 months, computers become amazingly powerful and inexpensive, as they have. It’s extremely likely we’re moving to a world where computers will have billions times more processing power than the human brain. Like Ray Kurzweil points out, it’s the application of the current computing power that builds the next generation of technology, which keeps the rate of change accelerating.

If solar energy keeps growing at 40% plus per year, while energy consumption grows at single digit rates, as they have, there will come a time in the not so distant future when clean and cheap energy is ubiquitous. Energy will become abundant and essentially free, just like electricity is now for most of the developed world. This alone changes everything. Suddenly, problems like environmental pollution, water shortages and resource wars go away.

When free online learning platforms like the Khan Academy and MIT Open Courseware offer the best instruction on the internet at no cost, learning is transformed around the world.

Robots will become ubiquitous in all aspects of our lives. Machines will do increasing amounts of boring, dangerous and repetitive work.

Nanobots will enter our bloodstream and fix illnesses and diseases at a cellular level.

Just as the combustible engine automobile replaced horse transportation, we will move to electric cars, trains and other transportation that are much cleaner and much, much more inexpensive.

Food substances like Soylent or perennial food crops have the potential to drastically alter food shortages in the developing world.

Wait until the bottom 3 billion are freed from unimaginable poverty and deprivation and finally get access to the tools to connect with the rest of the world. We are in for an intellectual renaissance never seen before. It’s all likely to happen at a time when computers surpass the human mind in processing power; very likely in the next two decades.

The Challenges

Of course, progress doesn’t eliminate immediate environmental destruction, nuclear and biological terrorist threats, global pandemics, mass animal and plant extinctions and countless other problems we are facing. However, it does point to a way forward.

There will be decades of suffering ahead for the world’s poorest. Consumers in richer nations tend to be quite selfish when it comes to the idea of sharing their good fortune.

We can’t even be certain if all the technological progress will be beneficial to mankind. It’s not infeasible to completely wipe humans off of the face of the planet. Even at a conceptual level, why would infinitely wiser artificial intelligence want to keep destructive and selfish humans on the planet? Humans, as a species, place little value on intellectually inferior animals, why would artificial intelligence be any different?

The biggest problem with accelerating technological change is that it’s becoming largely incomprehensible to humans. My 93 year old grandmother has a hard time understanding how it’s possible to have a Skype conversation on an iPhone, never mind what technologies like quantum computing or nanotechnology will mean to future generations.

There will be mass social upheaval as large sectors of the global work force find themselves without the skills to find employment. As I wrote in my End of Work post, I believe it’s already happening with the high rates of youth unemployment around the globe.

Abundance is not going to mean luxury living for all. However, it will greatly reduce global suffering and minimize the need for most types of non-creative work. If robots can build cars and computers, it’s not hard to imagine them making our food in restaurants or cleaning our offices. It’s only a matter of time.

We simply won’t need people making stuff when we can print products on inexpensive home 3D printers. There are already early versions of 3D printers that can manufacture buildings and others that create biological tissue and organs. This technology is undoubtedly going to get cheaper and more powerful. It always does.

What Should We Do

On the whole, I’m pretty optimistic about what the future holds. My grandmother grew up in a homemade, one-room mud house with 7 sisters.  She didn’t have running water, electricity, access to supermarkets, toys, entertainment or anything that is commonplace now. She had no choices in her life. If she didn’t do endless backbreaking chores on the farm, her family wouldn’t eat. That was less than a century ago. Relative to the history of the planet and human existence, 100 years is a minuscule fraction of time.

In contrast, my life is pretty damn good. I can do anything I want, anywhere I want. Over the winter, I’ll be visiting family in Europe, Japan, Thailand and Australia. I’m not rich or privileged. These same opportunities are available to all of us in more advanced nations. The best part is that the definition of advanced nations is rapidly expanding. Hundreds of millions have been lifted out of poverty already over the last few decades.

In order to prepare to this age of abundance, I feel it’s absolutely critical to take control of our own economic destinies. Lifetime, stable employment is long gone. The only security is self-employment. We need to create our own opportunities.

There are skills and ideas we need to master if we want to excel.  That is the purpose of my ActionMBA.com program. We will need to all become life-long learners and take charge of our own futures.

Now that material wealth is quite easy to come by, I believe we are seeing a shift to more contribution and charitable work. Most people are not there yet, but with all the meetups, non-profits and social enterprises I see springing up around the world, there’s definitely positive change in the air. What’s the point of creating socially useless businesses, when our best and most productive minds can do something meaningful in the world?

Please watch the Peter Diamondis’ TED talk below. I’ve summarized the key points he makes, but the video is definitely worth a watch.

Abundance is our Future Peter Diamandis

Over the last 100 years:

  • Average human lifespans have doubled
  • Average per-capita income adjusted for inflation has tripled
  • Childhood mortality has come down by a factor of ten
  • Cost of food is a tenth of what it was
  • Cost of electricity is 5% of what it was
  • Cost of transportation has dropped 100 fold
  • Cost of communications has dropped 1000 fold

Steven Pinker has shown this is the most peaceful time ever for mankind.

Charles Kinney has reported that global literacy has gone from 25% to over 80% in the last 130 years.

In America, for those under the poverty line:

  • 99% have electricity, water, toilets and refrigerators
  • 95% have a television
  • 88% have a mobile phone
  • 70% have a car and air conditioning

A century ago these would have been unimaginable luxuries for even the ultra rich and royalty.

The cell phone in your pocket is a million times cheaper and a thousand times faster than a super computer from the 70s.

Any tool which becomes an information technology follows Moore’s Law and experiences a price/performance doubling every 12 to 24 months. Over the last century, this curve has been very smooth. Even through world wars and economic depressions, technology keeps improving at an exponential rate. Which means the rate of technological change is increasing. Technological progress is accelerating. Faster computers are being used to build faster computers.

Technological Progress

Technologies riding on Moore’s Law

  1. Infinite Computing
  2. Sensors and Networks
  3. Robotics
  4. 3D Printing
  5. Synthetic Biology (Fuels, vaccines and food.)
  6. Digital Medicine
  7. Nano-materials
  8. Artificial Intelligence

IBM’s Watson computer beat human opponents on the Jeopardy game show.

Peter Diamondis and Ray Kurzweil have started Singularity University to encourage entrepreneurs to start businesses that can potentially affect a billion people within a decade.

Abundance is not about creating a life of luxury. It’s about creating a life of possibility. It’s about taking that which was scarce and making it abundant.

Scarcity is contextual and technology is a resource liberating force. Aluminum was once one of the most valuable metals on the planet, but electrolysis made it ubiquitous.

For the first time, the cost of solar generated electricity is 50% the cost of diesel generated electricity in India.

Once we have abundant energy, we’ll also have abundant water.

Dean Kamen’s Slingshot technology can purify water at less than two cents a litre. Coca Cola is currently testing this technology. If it’s successful it will be deployed around the world.

By the end of 2013 there will be 70% penetration of cell phones in the developing world.

The biggest protection against a population explosion is making the world educated and healthy.

The biggest force for bringing abundance in the world is the rising billion. In 2010, about 2 billion people were online, 23% of the world’s population. By 2020 it’s expected to increase to be 5 billion. Three billion new minds are connecting to the global conversation. We are about to have the biggest economic injection ever. These people represent tens of trillions of dollars to the global economy.

Do you think we are headed to a world of abundance?

These are all very difficult issues to comprehend.  When you’re struggling to pay bills and have to wake up to go to work on Monday morning, it can be difficult to believe that we are in a world of abundance.

I think we need to step back sometimes and think about just how much the world has changed in our own lifetimes. Your cell phone can send messages anywhere in the world, offers free video calls, has a GPS, can play movies, holds thousands of songs, can order products and have them delivered to your door, can act as a mini-recording studio, can play games and thousands of other things I have no idea about.

That’s only information technology. There are much bigger changes in store as we continue to master quantum physics, genetic engineering and energy production. It’s exciting and scary at the same time.

Do you think we are entering an age of abundance?
Do you think humans will be able to cope with the changes ahead?




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My name is John Bardos. My wife and I gave up our business, house and possessions in Japan to search for more meaning and fulfillment in our lives. We've discovered that a satisfying life is about rich experiences, quality relationships and meaningful contribution, NOT consumption.

16 Responses to Our Future of Great Abundance

  1. Hello, again, John,

    I love reading your posts and, frankly, they are becoming more and more thought provoking as time passes. So much of what you write about resonates with me. Since you last interviewed me, I have evolved as well. Although I still find myself enjoying extensive travel, I was wondering how you see the nomadic lifestyle fitting into the future of a world without money. In other words, does our moving about by air, for instance, provide benefits that outweigh the footprint we leave behind? Just curious.

    cheers, my friend!

    • John says:

      Hi Teresa,

      Thanks for the comment.

      Travel is a difficult topic to reconcile for me. It’s very environmentally destructive, so I’m trying to minimize the amount I fly. However, living in foreign countries is extremely eye-opening and rewarding. I never want to stop living abroad.

      The biggest problem is that the shear numbers of travellers are going to destroy cultures around the planet. In the past, only a small percentage from wealthy countries could travel. Now it’s accessible to hundreds of millions more. Just in the last few years, there have been millions more Chinese, Russian and Indian tourists that have started to visit popular destinations. I’m afraid this is only the beginning.

      The whole world is going to want the quality of life that developed countries have enjoyed for that last 5 or 6 decades. The problem is they can’t. We can’t have billions of people travelling regularly. At least not with the technologies we have now.

      Travellers want to go to shopping malls and eat at McDonald’s, so we are going to see a much more homogenized world. It’s just in the last couple of decades that western style shopping malls have sprung up around the world. Any shopping mall in any country looks the same as any other.

      On the positive side, global incomes will rapidly equalize. There won’t be huge income disparities as we connect more, however, I’m afraid we’ll lose lots of our uniqueness as well.

      Overall, I think this will be the last decade of authentic travel experiences. There are not many untouched places to visit anymore.

  2. Dave says:

    Hi John, I think we’re definitely heading into a world of abundance. It angers me sometimes when I hear people saying things like “the state of the world these days”, concentrating only on something bad which they saw on their news channel and completely oblivious to the achievements and advancements made in the last 100 years.

    With 5 billion new people coming online in the next 7 years, I wonder how much this will even out the world’s economy? This should prevent a few wars and as the difference in wealth reduces, also reduce the amount of violence in communities.

    I am slightly afraid of the point of singularity though. I’m all for abundance of food, water and electricity to everybody in the world and obviously advancements in medicines and transport, but I don’t feel the need to take it any further. I worry that humans will one day lose track of who they are and a new type of greed will emerge in terms of new advancements and different types of luxuries. Some people now are already forgetting what is important and concentrating on spending their lives solely on earning more money or trying to compete against others for whatever reason. Further advancements can only take people further away from nature and from our roots. If we go to far with technology the spirit of being human is in jeopardy.

    • John says:

      Thanks for the comment Dave,

      I agree. It’s not hard to see how much opportunity and convenience we have in our lives. For people that don’t believe in abundance, I suggest they go into a forest without any possessions and try to make a living. That’s what it was like as little as a century or two ago for our ancestors, and it still is like that for billions around the world. We’ve come a long, long way in the last couple of hundred years.

      I think that equality will drastically improve around the world. If we can all print whatever we want on 3D printers, it doesn’t make much sense to fight about resources or wealth. There will be more than enough for everyone. I’m hoping the competitions will shift to contribution and art. That is what we should be fighting for, who can make the biggest difference in the lives around us.

      I agree that there are dangers with technology. Whether we like it or not, humans will start augmenting themselves with technology. We all want to be smarter, healthier and live longer so we will most certainly be implanting artificial intelligence and other technologies just like we do pace makers or artificial limbs now. There will be a time when people will very likely be more technology than human. There are some major moral issues to deal with there, so that is probably best left for another blog post. 🙂

      One controversial issue that I’m afraid to introduce is that of evolution. Homo sapien sapiens, our current human species is certainly not the end of evolution. There are many compelling arguments that technological augmentation is part of our evolution. Perhaps we are in for another punctuated equilibrium of massive evolution. Humans are the first species to overcome (some of) our biological tendencies with technology. Maybe technology is part of the natural evolution, just at a higher level than experienced in the past?

      Even worse, there is no guarantee that self-aware artificial intelligence would even need us. Humans have been a cancer on the planet. If any animal deserves to become extinct, it’s probably us.

      These are still theoretical ideas decades away, but there is no question that these are issues we will have to deal with.

  3. I’m optimistic about the future. We are definitely entering an age of abundance

    I worked in technology for the past 20 years, so I’ve seen the acceleration of advancement first hand.

    Humans will struggle with the changes, but will ultimately prevail. Religions, governments, and cultures will resist change (as humans do) but will ultimately themselves change (as humans do.) See emancipation, women’s suffrage, gay marriage, and stem cell research as examples.

    Cultures will come together and bring together the strengths and weaknesses of both, for mutual benefit. Some people will be afraid, others angry. Children will just accept it

    At the risk of geeking out, if there is a segment of the population that has focused on this the most, it is probably artists and science fiction writers.

    Some focus on the positive, e.g. Star Trek:
    “The acquisition of wealth is no longer the driving force of our lives. We work to better ourselves and the rest of humanity”

    Some focus on the negative, e.g. Terminator, because who would watch a movie about people living in peace and harmony, for the same reason that the mainstream news is negative

    Ultimately, I think John Lennon summarized an era of abundance the best

    Yes, I’m a dreamer 🙂

    • John says:

      Awesome comment Jeremy,

      I love the Star Trek vs Terminator comparison.

      I often think about the idyllic Star Trek future. Reality is not likely to be quite that perfect, but history as shown that we are moving in a positive direction.

      Despite all the wars, greed, pollution and environmental destruction, there is no question that quality of life has massively increased on the planet. As a whole, we are richer, safer, healthier and have more choice and opportunity than ever. That sounds like abundance to me.

  4. Nick Loper says:

    One of my all-time fave TED talks!

  5. Johnny R says:

    Sounds great and I appreciate your optimism. But, I have a few words to interject here:

    peak oil
    eroei (energy return on energy invested)
    climate change
    resource depletion

    I could go on, but I think you get the picture.

    As for being richer, safer, healthier, having more choice and opportunity, I’d say: What country are you talking about? Perhaps, just perhaps, this is true of Canada, but definitely not in the States and definitely not in most of Europe. Look at unemployment figures for the young in Europe and the US. Social mobility is way down. Democratic institutions are on the ropes (particularly in the States since 911). And healthier? Hmm…one in three kids born in the States today will be diagnosed with Type II diabetes. And life expectancy is now declining in the States.

    Before signing on to techno-utopianism, I’d strongly recommend that one familiarize oneself with the basic thoughts of a guy like Dmitry Orlov. Listen to an interview or podcast with him. Then, at least, before you joint the masses waiting for the wonders of singularity, at least you’ll have some balance.

    • John says:

      Hi Johnny,

      Thanks for the comment. I guess you didn’t read the entire post. I’m far from a techno-utopian, although I do remain hopeful.

      I wish we were heading to peak oil, then we’d have much more economic pressure to diversify to alternative energy sources. The problem is that technological advances keep making difficult to access oil economically viable. The US is almost a net exporter again. We’ve been hearing the peak oil arguments for 40 years now, where is it?

      Diabetes is a major epidemic around the globe but it is not a problem of scarcity, it’s a problem of abundance. That’s a big difference. I acknowledge that abundance brings many problems as well, however I feel it’s worth dealing with those problems if we can get the bottom three billion on the planet out of abject poverty.

      I don’t know of a single country where quality of life hasn’t dramatically improved by every measure over the last century. By every measurement, (infant mortality, average lifespans, choice of consumer goods, education opportunities, access to information, quality of medical care, vaccinations, etc. ) life is phenomenally better across the globe. That is not utopia, it’s a fact of the progress we’ve gone through.

      We are most certainly going to go through major social adjustments (unemployment) as we continue to advance, however that is also not a problem of scarcity. There is more than enough wealth to go around, the problem is the growing income inequalities in the world.

      If you doubt the abundance we have in the world, ask your grandparents what their childhood was like. My grandmother grew up in a one room mud house with 8 sisters, no running water and no electricity. There were essentially no consumer goods, no outside entertainment and very limited medical treatments. All of her food, other than coffee and sugar was grown on the farm. I think it’s safe to say we’ve come a long way since then.

  6. Johnny R says:

    Hi John,

    Thanks for the thoughtful reply.

    Good point about diabetes being a disease of abundance.

    I’d consider taking issue with your statement that you don’t know a country in the world where things are not getting better. I’d say your direct neighbor to the south is getting worse according to almost every single metric (yes, I’m American), but we could probably go tit for tat all day long on that.

    As for peak oil being arguments having been around for 40 years, I don’t see how that in any way invalidates them, since most of them have been calling for a peak in the early 2000s, which is exactly what happened (by most estimates, peal conventional oil production peaked in 2005).

    I obviously take the time to read techno-utopian opinions, or I wouldn’t have read yours or watched the TED talk. My question to you, John, is this: Have you ever really taken the time to read a well-written piece about peak oil, or watched a good video on the topic? I do appreciate your optimism and respect your writings, but I think you owe it to yourself to carefully study the ideas that lay on the other side of the fence. Only then can you be really secure in your own conclusions.

    • John says:

      Hi Johnny,

      The US is only getting worse for the poor. It is still the richest and most innovative country on the planet. The problems of the US are completely political in that huge income equalities are not only permitted, they are encouraged.

      Why do you use the word ‘conventional’ for peak oil? Of course, ‘conventional’ oil has peaked, but almost all the new oil coming on-stream in north america is unconventional. That is the point.

      Only you have equated abundance with utopia. I was very clear to define what abundance means to me and even others like Kurzweil or Diamandis. You seem to ignore most of what I said in the post above. Abundance is NOT utopia. That is your word, not mine.

      Even in the Star Trek techno-utopia, there are real problems to deal with. More wealth and abundance leads to a whole different set of problems, but they are no longer problems of scarcity. For examples, cars lead to car accidents, the internet facilitates child pornography, antibiotics lead to stronger bacteria and viruses, etc.

      There will most certainly be new problems that we can’t even imagine. I’ve acknowledged this in the post above. However, I think most of us would rather deal with problems of over-eating as opposed to problems of starvation.

      A big part of abundance to me, is providing enough basic necessities for everyone on the planet. We are making huge progress, already.

      The Millennium Development Goal of reducing extreme poverty rates by half was met five years ahead of the 2015 deadline. Organizations like CharityWater, Water.org and technology like Dean Kamen’s Slingshot are bringing clean drinking water to millions.

      We are very close to having battery and solar technologies that are more competitive than coal. With price/performance increases of 30 to 40% per year, it is inevitable that alternative energy will be cheap and abundant.

      These are all facts, not hypotheses.

      Have you talked to you grandparents about their childhood? Do they feel that life is worse now than it was 60 or 70 years ago? Let me know what they say. 🙂

  7. John,

    Love the ideas here. Your optimism is contagious!

    Technology is indeed improving at an exponential rate. New technology feeds ever greater technology, and it goes on and on. It’s amazing to sit down and even think what we’ll see in our lifetimes.

    There’s amazing change going on right now. However, for all of this to work there will have to be some kind of living wage, correct? Governments would have to basically support its citizens with a basic wage because if the future is a mostly jobless one, people must get by on something. There will always be an exchange of some type of currency for some types of goods. You can’t 3D print food. So, I suppose at that point you have a basic living wage, and then for people who want to go out and make more you make more. I assume there would still be enough jobs (highly skilled, likely) for this subset of citizens. However, this would disrupt civilization and a democratic republic like the U.S. as we know it. Would human beings allow a jobless, effortless future to exist? It seems unlikely.

    I’d also be concerned about over-population. This is already an issue, as there have been numerous studies I’ve read over the past couple years that cite the correct human population for Earth on a sustainable basis to be somewhere around 3 billion. We’re more than double that now. Without jobs, people have even more time to…umm…procreate.

    All interesting ideas and theories. I’d love to see a utopia, but I’m afraid that technology can advance much faster than human beings.

    Best wishes!

    • John says:

      Greetings Jason,

      You are absolutely correct. There will have to be a fair and universal living wage. Growing income inequality cannot be tolerated. Particularly when it’s acquired through fraud, coercion, corruption or tax avoidance. We don’t have a lack of wealth we only have inequitable distribution.

      I think most countries around the world see the value of a comprehensive social support system for all. The alternative is crime, instability and the loss of human potential. How can a rich society not ensure that every child has access to food, education and health care?

      I think it’s valuable to look at extreme examples rather than trying to imagine how we will incrementally get to the future. Imagine if someone told us 50 years ago that we’ll have access to infinite information, music, education, videos, global GPS maps, games, etc. all for free or close to free on a portable device that could fit in your pocket. There would be few that could comprehend that level of change. Yet, we know have that with our smart phones and the internet.

      We’re going to see similar improvement with physical goods. Costs relative to income are already practically free in my mind. Like Diamandis says, In wealthier countries, even the poor have TVs, AC, video games and cars.

      With abundant alternative energy and recycled materials for 3D printing, everything is going to become much, much cheaper. I think goods will effectively be free, just as information is now. We’ll still have a money based society, but it will become a much smaller part of our lives than it is now. Peter Drucker called it the Post-Capitalist economy.

      People will work for meaning and fulfillment not just to survive. I think we’ve already started that transformation. I see it all over the world with younger generations opting out of corporate jobs.

      Over population is a huge problem but it will correct itself by the end of the century. Only the poorest countries have population growth. Populations in countries like Japan and China have already peaked and will face mass shortages of young workers mid-century. In 100 years, we’re going to be more afraid of the lack of children, rather than having too many.

      In terms of population, the biggest problem will not be the number of people, it will be poor refugees inundating wealthier countries.

      Of course, we need to survive this century first. That is not guaranteed either. Humans may very well become extinct in a few more generations. Most of us don’t really appreciate how fragile life really is.

      We also have to be careful of thinking the future will be ‘utopia.’ That’s not what I’m saying at all. We are in for some drastic and probably violent social upheaval over the next couple of decades. It’s not going to be a smooth transition. This will be the fastest and biggest social and economic change humanity has ever experienced. I believe we’re already losing the battle on the generation that is graduating now.

      I remain optimistic of course. If we can survive the next 4 decades will probably be okay.

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