Archive: futurist speaker

September 2nd, 2008 | By Glen Hiemstra | Posted in Environment & Energy | Comments Off

Future of Permafrost – bigger issue than ice

From Science Daily we learn of a new study published in the Journal of BioScience, Sep. 2008, on potential impacts of thawing arctic permafrost. Over millennia, according to the study authors, northern latitude permafrost has sequestered a trillion tons of organic compounds. Warming in the Arctic, which melts the polar ice cap, also has the effect of melting the permafrost and releasing carbon dioxide. The new study doubles the estimated amount of carbon stored, and likewise increases the amount estimated to be released into the atmosphere as the permafrost warms. In fact the estimate now is that leakage from northern permafrost may be the equivalent of half of all other carbon released by land use in this century on Earth.

It is this phenomenon that leads some scientists to be concerned about a run-away climate change scenario, in which temperatures could spiral more rapidly that can be dealt with. One possible counter balance will be the encroachment of carbon absorbing trees into the tundra, but this process is quite slow in relative terms.

Glen Hiemstra is a futurist speaker, consultant, blogger, internet TV show host and founder of Futurist.com. To arrange for a speech contact Futurist.com.

Continue Reading & Comment »

August 31st, 2008 | By Glen Hiemstra | Posted in Art & Society, Environment & Energy | 3 Comments

Future of Arctic Ice – New Data

Among the interesting policy positions of the new Vice President nominee designate of the Republican Party, Sarah Palin, is that global warming, if it exists, is not related to human activity, and that polar bears are in no danger in the Arctic and thus do not need endangered species designation. As a futurist speaker, I hear these same positions echoed after each of my talks in which I mention global warming, if I include that topic. One or more people will come up to me after the speech and ask if I am aware that the whole idea of global warming is a plot on the part of some who want more government control, or that other planets are warming just as much, or that melting arctic ice is just a natural cycle, or more recently that whatever warming had been happening came to an end a decade ago according to data from NOAA (though one can search the NOAA site for hours and not find reference to such data).

Two stories caught my attention yesterday that add to this discussion. First, apparently as the 2008 summer Artic melt seasons nears its end, for the first time in 125,000 years the ice has retreated sufficiently on all boundaries that an ice-free passage is open an all sides.

Compare these photos:
Arctic Ice 1979 NASA Photo

Arctic Ice 2008 showing open water

Second, the ice has retreated so far from the coast line in some areas, more than 400 miles, that polar bears have been observed, as their immediate ice flow disintegrates, beginning a swim of 400 miles toward the retreating sea ice rather than 60 miles south toward Alaska. They do this according to instinct, as the ice is their summer home and hunting platform. Bears generally have not been known to survive swims of more than 100 miles, so these particular bears are probably swimming to their deaths.

The end of August report on the extent of Arctic sea ice will be available soon, and so far the year 2008 is shaping up to be a least the 2nd worst year in record keeping history, after 2007.

The prospect of a national office holder who ignores scientific data is of concern, though this would not be new.

Glen Hiemstra is a futurist speaker, consultant, blogger, internet TV show host and founder of Futurist.com. To arrange for a speech contact Futurist.com.

Continue Reading & Comment »

August 26th, 2008 | By Glen Hiemstra | Posted in Media | Comments Off

Futurist Speaker – Media Futurist Videos

Gerd Leonard, EU-based media futurist and I just got a nice notice for our video series in a blog called SkipVision, by David Potsiadlo. He links to all of our online videos about media futures and the forces impacting the future of media. He says,

Remember when you were a kid and used to think about the future? If you were like me, visions of the future were full of hoverboards, flying cars, and shiny chrome everything. There was no doubt the future would be awesome, even if it seemed forever away.

Things seem quite different as an adult, especially one living in the early 21st century. The future no longer waits quietly over the horizon, but is instead standing at the doorstep. At times, peering ahead one or two decades seems somewhat unfathomable, as our lives change so much with each passing year. How to put it all into perspective?

The solution is simple: turn to a media futurist!

Particularly, I speak of media futurists Gerd Leonhard and Glen Hiemstra, the work of whom has left me recently fascinated….

Glen Hiemstra is a futurist speaker, consultant, blogger, internet TV show host and founder of Futurist.com. To arrange for a speech contact Futurist.com.

Continue Reading & Comment »

August 26th, 2008 | By Glen Hiemstra | Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Futurist Speaker Glen Hiemstra in Google News

This is just a quick note to alert you to two currently available articles that feature quotes from me, noted for me by Google news alerts.

The first is actually about China and the Beijing Olympics, “Beijing results serve food for thought,” which appears in the blog at the WRAL TV station out of Raleigh Durham, NC. It is written by Barry Jacobs. Mr. Jacobs notes the successes, failures, and inherent contradictions that seem inevitable in a authoritarian yet capitalist state. He quotes an observation I made last week when speaking in North Carolina to the annual meeting of the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners, in New Bern, NC. I had described the success that China has had moving quickly to build high speed rail systems.

The second article, on the future of the economy, appears in the Richmond, VA Times-Dispatch. The writer, Emily Dooley, bases her assessment on interviews with several experts. She had explored with me in particular two of my major interest areas, the impact of an aging society, and the energy transition now underway. Ms. Dooley reaches an interesting conclusion, that we should expect a strong economy in five years. In my conversation with her I was a bit more cautious on that prediction, suggesting that the energy transition may not be an easy one, and that we may be in a period that is not quite like traditional business cycles.

Glen Hiemstra is a futurist speaker, consultant, blogger, internet TV show host and founder of Futurist.com. To arrange for a speech contact Futurist.com.

Continue Reading & Comment »

August 19th, 2008 | By Glen Hiemstra | Posted in Business & Economy, Environment & Energy | 2 Comments

Future of Energy – Glen Hiemstra in The Economist

The current issue of The Economist, August 16-22, 2008, on news stands now, features a paid special section entitled “The Future of Energy: Sustainability Rules in 2030.” Comments from Futurist.com founder and futurist speaker Glen Hiemstra are prominently featured by the article author, writer Morey Stettner.

In this piece, sponsored by BP, the writer explores energy alternatives and likely developments by the year 2030. In the extended interview that contributed to the article, I discussed such concepts as advanced telecommunications and the impact on workplaces, the home and commuting by 2030, the fact that about 75% of our carbon footprint comes from agriculture and residential and commercial buildings, and world population growth. I suggested that nanotech solar will lead to a shift in energy production for homes and businesses, and that high speed train travel is a likely part of the future by 2030.

Mostly the article points out that a mix of energy sources, and a variety of infrastructure and life-style choices will be essential if we are to navigate to the next energy era. It seems quite a balanced piece for a sponsored “advertorial” and I was pleased to be a part of it.

You can find the piece in The Economist, August 16-22, 2008 issue, pages 32-33.

Glen Hiemstra is a futurist speaker, consultant, blogger, internet TV show host and founder of Futurist.com. To arrange for a speech contact Futurist.com.

Continue Reading & Comment »

Page 6 of 15« First...45678...Last »