"I am directing the Council on Environmental Quality and the Department of State, working in cooperation with... other appropriate agencies, to make a one-year study of the probable changes in the world’s population, natural resources, and environment through the end of the century." President Jimmy Carter, May 23, 1977
... I would like to see the Global 2000 process revived. It was killed when I left Washington.... It ought to be resurrected... We can do this collectively, as men and women committed to sustainable development, to better quality of life, for all those on Earth. President Jimmy Carter, Foreword to the 1991 reprinting of The Global 2000 Report to the President.
The Global 2000 Report
The Global 2000 Report to the President was published in 1980, with the aim of providing a foundation for long-term planning and to help the global community protect its common environment. The study, which was based on the best data and models then available to the US Government, provided a twenty-year, integrated, outlook on the population, economy, resources, and environment for the whole world. It also provided an assessment and critique of the data, models, and underlying assumptions used in the study.
The Report sold 1.5 million copies in 9 languages and had a large impact on policy and thinking around the world. In the more than three decades since Global 2000 was published, no comparable study has ever been undertaken.
The Global 2100 Project
Our Task, an international network of young adults who are very concerned about the issues discussed in Global 2000, plans to undertake a Global 2100 Project loosely modeled on the original Global 2000 Report, and extend it to address in an integrated manner additional issues of concern to young adults today. The following paragraphs provide a preliminary sketch of the Project.
We plan to use a methodology similar to the original study - distilling and integrating the best available data and analysis from the most respected sources, while also giving careful attention to consistency of the underlying assumptions. In the original Report, the following topics were addressed: Population, Economy/Income, Food, Fisheries, Forests, Water, Nonfuel Minerals, Energy, Environmental Consequences and Climate. Global 2100 will revisit these critical areas, while also broadening its scope to include new and additional topics such as economic instability, effective governance, ethics and inequalities, education, sustainability, oceans, toxic substances, and genetic diversity which are of increasing concern to people today, in particular to young people. Further, the conceptual organization of these issues and their linkages will benefit from the latests ideas, including broadened concepts of human security, the water-energy nexus, and new conceptual tools for analyzing interlinked problems. Our sources will include reports from international agencies, think tanks, thoughtful activists, and centers of scholarly research.
A group of approximately two dozen thoughtful young adults from around the world will do the analysis, writing, and presentations. They will be distinguished students, majoring in environmental science, economics, modeling, communications, and other related fields. They will be supported by a team of highly respected mentors from many fields and disciplines to assure high-quality, professional work. Dr. Gerald O. Barney, who directed the original Global 2000 Report, is available and willing to be an adviser and mentor. President Jimmy Carter has sent a personal letter of support and encouragement for the project.
The Global 2100 Project will do more than provide a report to inform decision-making for this century; it will also provide the foundation for - and proactively aim to stimulate - an inter-generational dialogue about the direction of today’s policies and serve as a rallying point for people who are concerned about the future of our species and our planet.
The original Global 2000 assessed only one scenario, “Plan A” (or “business as usual”). Scholars and activists are now proposing alternative “PlanBs.” Our Task has collected and summarized more than a dozen “Plan B” documents. The Global 2100 Project will consider not only “Plan A,” but several “Plan B” scenarios, including the UN Millennium Development Goals and draft Sustainable Development Goals.
The original Global 2000 Report was written primarily for national and global decision makers of the 1980s. The new Global 2100 Report will be written both for today’s decision and policy makers and also for young adults, who in only a decade or two, will be our leaders and policy makers. The tone will be that of a concerned, young citizen of the world. It will describe how thoughtful young adults would like to manage human affairs on Earth when it is their turn to lead. The original study looked ahead 20 years; the Global 2100 Report will look ahead over the lifetime of a child born today to the year 2100.
A full project plan and a funding proposal are in preparation. The original Global 2000 Study required three years to complete. We think a group of thoughtful young adults can complete the Global 2100 Project in two years.
The principal product from the original Global 2000 Study was the three-volume Global 2000 Report. While the Global 2100 Project will also produce a written report, the project will communicate primarily using digital social media. The ultimate goal of the project is not yet another report, but rather a strong, civil, and thoughtful inter-generational dialogue on the future of Earth.
Thoughtful young people everywhere today are very concerned about their future. They know the stakes in today’s global decisions are very high. They urgently want a constructive, comprehensive, and civil dialogue with their parents’ and grandparents’ generations about the future implications of today’s decisions. The Global 2100 Project will set the stage for this much-needed dialogue.