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The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change

3.78  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,301 Ratings  ·  222 Reviews

From the former vice president and #1 New York Times bestselling author comes An Inconvenient Truth for everything—a frank and clear-eyed assessment of six critical drivers of global change in the decades to come.

Ours is a time of revolutionary change that has no precedent in history. With the same passion he brought to the challenge of climate c
Hardcover, 592 pages
Published January 29th 2013 by Random House (first published January 1st 2013)
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The Assault on Reason by Al GoreAn Inconvenient Truth by Al GoreThe Future by Al GoreEarth in the Balance by Al GoreOur Choice by Al Gore
Best of Al Gore
3rd out of 37 books — 1 voter
Divergent by Veronica RothThe Handmaid's Tale by Margaret AtwoodThe Golden Compass by Philip PullmanThe Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca SklootEleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
The Commune Reading List
143rd out of 178 books — 11 voters

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This is the broadest of future predictions. Instead of six drivers of global change, Mr. Gore has included some dozens of new rapidly changing factors, neatly categorized in spidery charts. They file under the broad topics of economic globalization, the interconnectivity of modern communications technology, a re-examination of the traditional balance of power in the American world-system, technological innovation, and Mr. Gore's favorite: climate change.

The far-right's criticism of Mr. Gore is a
Everyday eBook
Jan 29, 2013 Everyday eBook rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Everyday by: Joe Muscolino
In the introduction to Al Gore’s The Future, Gore credits a mysterious person for the inspiration behind his new book. This unnamed muse asks the former vice president a standard loaded question, the kind so impossible to answer succinctly that it becomes treated like a 1950s prom date, where the responder awkwardly dances with the answer a ruler’s length apart. “What are the drivers of global change?” the person asks. After rattling off some conventional wisdom – technology, communications, dem ...more
Mar 10, 2013 Mason rated it liked it
I had the pleasure of seeing Al Gore during the promotional tour for this new book. In the course of his presentation, I had the feeling that he had a firehose of information to share but only an eyedropper with which to share it. The Future firms that perception.

This is a good ol', all-American data assault. With enough bibliography and endnotes to make a university press editor proud, Mr. Gore bludgeons the reader with fact after fact. Within the rapid-fire prose is a chilling picture of our c
Bill Pardi
Apr 20, 2013 Bill Pardi rated it liked it
Shelves: current-events
Al Gore spoke at the Microsoft campus recently while on his book tour for "The Future." I thoroughly enjoyed his talk and decided to pick up the book. In it, Gore details what he sees are the "six drivers of global change" that are impacting and will continue to influence the future of our civilization. At a hefty, though not overwhelming 592 pages, the book is ambitious, wide ranging and exceptionally well documented.

Gore delves into topics such as the globalization of economics, the linking o
Nov 16, 2014 Eric_W rated it liked it
Shelves: current-affairs
I'm usually reluctant to read political documents, but this was chosen for our reading club so I decided to slog through it. It's often interesting although I felt sometimes that he was just summarizing each of the myriad of research articles pulled together by his research assistants in some kind of coherent fashion.

There's no way in hell I could summarize everything in less than 50 pages but I've got some general comments below. It's a good book to use from the index, i.e., want to see about a
Jul 24, 2013 Richard rated it it was amazing
In an ambitious, far-reaching investigative argument, Gore lays out what he sees as the six key drivers of global change shaping the future: a fully-globalized market; a digitally-interconnected global civilization; power shifts from nation-states to multinational corporations and from West to East; depletion of essential natural resources (water, topsoil, oceans, and species) due to overpopulation and rampant consumerism; humans' increasing mastery over the biological organism; and, of course, ...more
H Wesselius
Apr 22, 2013 H Wesselius rated it it was ok
When a person of a certain status - athletes, actors, and even authors - writes a book, book editors tend to give him/her a pass. This is essentially what occurred with Al Gore and The Future; nobody told him when to quit, when to rewrite and when to focus.

Proofreading one's work is a near impossible chore as one tends to fall in lover with their own prose. Gore leaves us with sentences the length of a paragraph and paragraphs the length of a page. Coupled with awkward phrasing, a reader is left
Richard Reese
Jul 07, 2015 Richard Reese rated it really liked it
Al Gore’s book, The Future , is fascinating and perplexing. The world is being pummeled by enormous waves of change, and most are destructive and unsustainable. What should we do? To envision wise plans, it’s important to know the past, and understand how the present mess evolved. The book presents a substantial discussion of six megatrends that are influencing the future:

EARTH INC is the global economy, dominated by a mob of ruthless multinational corporations. It’s pushing radical changes in t
Donnal Walter
Jul 15, 2013 Donnal Walter rated it it was amazing

It is unfortunate that Al Gore is still a polarizing figure in American society, because his tour de force, The Future, deserves a wide reading by thoughtful individuals of all political persuasions. The premise, that "no prior period of change remotely resembles what humanity is about to experience", is unassailable. Although the massive collection of supporting material would be hard to come by any other way, any given item can be readily confirmed independently. All information is public. The

Apr 04, 2013 Steve rated it it was amazing
Outstanding book! A must read for all Americans. I think Al's personal agenda is to educate and inform. I don't think he is part of the problem, he is part of the solution. He 'lays out' what we are facing as a culture with a much needed clarity. It is up to us. He likes to reapeat that our government has been 'hacked', and that is such a perfect description.
Jeff Scott
May 08, 2013 Jeff Scott rated it liked it
Al Gore's version of the future is all encompassing, covering several major trends that have influenced our world over the centuries, in particular the last ten years. While the first portion of the book treads over well-known topics, over explained by the author, it is the latter half of the book that provides some very worrying trends. His book, if it was less dense, would probably be held up as being extremely prescient in identifying stock market flash crashes, cyber warfare, and environment ...more
Mohamed Korym
May 07, 2015 Mohamed Korym rated it liked it
أنتهيت من قرأه الجزء الأول من الكتاب الصادر بالعربية ضمن سلسله عالم المعرفة

به الكثير من المصطلحات التى يصعب فهمها من الوهله الأولى لا اعرف بسبب الترجمه أم بسبب بعدى انا عن مجال الكتاب بشكل عام ولكنه يحلل بشكل ما المحركات الست الأساسيه من وجهه نظر المؤلف لضمان مستقبل أفضل للبشرية

الكتاب يتناول معظم التصورات من وجهه النظر الأمريكية ومحاولة إبراز أمريكا بأنها صاحبة الفضل فى كثير مما وصلنا اليه الأن ولا اختلف كثير مع الكاتب فى هذه النقطه وان كان محاوله ابراز أمريكا بأنها ملاك غير واقعيه

يتنقد وبشده ال
Jun 12, 2013 Ben rated it really liked it
This book serves as a good survey of the issues affecting modern society and the mounting problems we will face in the future. Because there are so many problems (and opportunities, I guess, but it's hard to put a positive spin on things when you look at the data, our nonfunctioning government, and all the turmoil in the world), it's hard to cover every topic in sufficient detail. Each chapter of The Future feels like a summary of a different book - one on the Internet, one on medicine and insur ...more
Apr 05, 2015 Richard marked it as not-gonna-read
Apparently when I heard about this book I asked requested a copy from my library when they came in. A few days ago when I got the email telling me it was waiting for me, I was "Wha?"

So I'm going to try to slog through this door-stop of a book. Wish me luck.

• • • •

Well, that went poorly. Far too much of what I really already knew to keep my interest. Gore's got a tough problem — he's a pretty polarized figure these days, and so a large portion of his natural audience will be people t
Mar 20, 2013 Robyn rated it it was amazing
Al Gore's 'The future' is an enlightening and important book. Our world is changing rapidly and Gore has researched his topics extensively and attempted to convey, in laymans terms, how these changes might effect humanity.
As an Australian with little knowledge or understanding of US politics I was particularly staggered at the state of democracy in America, although I can see worrying parallels here. The chapters on communication, gene technology and climate change exposed important and urgent
P. R.  Schoenfeld
Mar 07, 2013 P. R. Schoenfeld rated it it was amazing
This was the most eye-opening book I have read in a long time. Mr. Gore analyzes 6 technology areas and really gets readers thinking past the technology. For instance, gene splicing and manipulation. He shows us where we are, what can be done with current technology, and what will be available in the future. Then he asks some questions that really get you thinking. Is manufacturing a person using this technology ethical? What if we create a new set of genes that mutates into something really bad ...more
Ron Moss
Mar 02, 2013 Ron Moss rated it really liked it
Al Gore is simply brilliant. He demonstrates such a wide ranging, seven-generation, perspective and innovative imagination, and a deep dedication to the public interest, that I keep thinking how different things would be, how much better in my opinion, if, in the year 2000, the votes had been counted, as they should in a democracy, and our President had been elected rather than appointed...Change is still possible...
Florian Blümm
Apr 30, 2015 Florian Blümm rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mustread
This book is a must-read for every world citizen. There is simply no other book more important than this one, there can not be.

"The Future" is about the present ecological, economical, technological and political trends and how they shape the future.

The strongest of those trends include:
* Outsourcing and Robosourcing
* Rising inequality
* Earth Inc.
* Climate change

According to Al Gore, all of us are part of an experiment, gone off track. Al Gore makes out the USA as the only political force, tha
Dirk Davidson
Apr 11, 2013 Dirk Davidson rated it it was amazing
Awesome look into the near future with Al Gore and his researched insight. Listened to Al read it via audible and I'm currently listening to it a second time through.
Chris Donnan
Mar 07, 2013 Chris Donnan rated it it was amazing
Truly thought provoking
Well stated and well researched
You don't have to like or agree with his views but the facts and choices in this book are real issues
John Tolhurst
May 05, 2013 John Tolhurst rated it it was amazing
This is the most frightening book I have every read. His coverage is incredible, the depth is thorough, the language crisp and precise.
Dec 29, 2014 Mark rated it liked it
Clearly a smart guy saying a bunch of generally very sensible things about a lot of the hot topics that people worry about when we speak of 'the future' e.g. global warming, GM crops, and 'water wars'.

It sometimes read like a series of essays brought together and so I found that some issues, especially global warming, were attached from 3 or 4 directions at different times. This might be because he's hacking together separate works, or because the topics by which he divides up the book are possi
Neil Fox
Jul 16, 2014 Neil Fox rated it liked it
Al Gore' s The Future presents 6 emergent and interrelated drivers of Global change and explores how our response to these will shape the future of our planet and our civilization.

The book is data-driven and based on facts, research and reporting, not speculation, scaremongering or wild blue-sky thinking. Each chapter is packed with detail, and rather than synopsise each, instead I list the key takeaways from the 6 chapters :

1) The robosourcing / outsourcing characteristic of the increasingly i
Jul 08, 2013 Emefa rated it liked it
I think this is Al Gore's equivalent to the book The Price of Civilization, a huge sprawling analysis and wake up call on our society and times by Jeffrey Sachs. I was dissatisfied by Gore's book, though there seemed a lot to like at the outset. I like Al Gore, I like his perspective, I find the concepts in this book generally interesting, I like the combination of analysis on all aspects of our society...but this book was just Extremely specific and remote, as if Gore wrote it for himself, then ...more
Jun 06, 2013 Stephen rated it it was amazing
The Future is Al Gore’s latest foray into speculation about where he thinks the world is headed over the next several decades. In this well-written and thought-provoking book, he hasn’t found a lot of reasons to be any more optimistic than he was in An Inconvenient Truth seven years ago, at least with regard to such frightening prospects as massive global climate change, the continued and increasing disproportionate power in the hands of corporations and their lobbyists, and the dangerously sky- ...more
Glen Stott
May 06, 2013 Glen Stott rated it it was ok
Shelves: politics
When Al Gore was VP, I had no opinion about him, except that he and his wife looked good together. When he ran for President in 2000 my opinion of him was negative because it seemed to me that truth was unimportant to him. Most politicians suffer from this malady, but Al seemed more afflicted than most. When the movie, "An Inconvenient Truth," came out, I was neutral on the global warming issue. I was still trying to get a handle on the 1970s when scientists were telling us the world was heading ...more
This book is an incredibly fact driven, painstakingly detailed, thoroughly argued description of the the six drivers of change in our world. From the obvious globalization, political shift, and technological advance to the more nuanced environmental issues, Gore dissects the current situation of the human race. He even lays out a logical approach to some of the coming challenges.

If only I had confidence that we could be convinced to act as he suggests.
Aug 06, 2013 Frederick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Compelling story of the future of America from the sustainability perspectives of human-Earth interactions of an environmental and natural history, the transformative technologies associated with biomolecular sciences, loss of biodiversity from over consumptive behaviors, geopolitical forces that have tremendous potentials for destructive disruptions, rapid evolution in our abilities to tele-connect all aspects of living worldwide, and the ramifications of economic globalization. Some may view t ...more
Apr 27, 2013 Lori rated it it was ok
Shelves: politics
here's my prediction for the future: kindles that write their own books. not hard, here's the recipe:
mention Steve jobs/Malcolm Gladwell/Clay Shirky/Khan Academy-Coursera/edX/Udacity/ClaytonChristenson/Twitter/"Savant" Tim O'Reilly/Netflix/Amazon/3-D Printers/DIY/MakerFaire/X Prizes/algorithms/quote a philosopher - nietzsche plato descartes.

i read. a lot. i bet i've read 10 books in the last year with all these familiar themes. steven johnson, Tinkerers, Abundance, Citizenville, Makers. i read
Apr 05, 2013 Peg rated it it was amazing
As the jacket cover says, "a frank and clear-eyed assessment of six critical drivers of global change in the decades to come." Very well researched and passionate look at the world, including close looks at the six areas of economic globalization, increased digital communications, a re-examination of the traditional balance of power in the American world-system, technological innovation, revolution in the life sciences and climate change. His style is very matter-of-fact and down to earth. He tr ...more
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Albert Arnold "Al" Gore, Jr. was the forty-fifth Vice President of the United States, serving from 1993 to 2001 under President Bill Clinton. Gore also served in the U. S. House of Representatives (1977–85) and the U. S. Senate (1985–93), representing Tennessee. Gore was the Democratic nominee for president in the 2000 election, ultimately losing to the Republican candidate George W. Bush in spite ...more
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“if consumption by the one billion people in the developed countries declined, it is certainly nowhere close to doing so where the other six billion of us are concerned. If the rest of the world bought cars and trucks at the same per capita rate as in the United States, the world’s population of cars and trucks would be 5.5 billion. The production of global warming pollution and the consumption of oil would increase dramatically over and above today’s unsustainable levels. With the increasing population and rising living standards in developing countries, the pressure on resource constraints will continue, even as robosourcing and outsourcing reduce macroeconomic demand in developed countries. Around the same time that The Limits to Growth was published, peak oil production was passed in the United States. Years earlier, a respected geologist named M. King Hubbert collected voluminous data on oil production in the United States and calculated that an immutable peak would be reached shortly after 1970. Although his predictions were widely dismissed, peak production did occur exactly when he predicted it would. Exploration, drilling, and recovery technologies have since advanced significantly and U.S. oil production may soon edge back slightly above the 1970 peak, but the new supplies are far more expensive. The balance of geopolitical power shifted slightly after the 1970 milestone. Less than a year after peak oil production in the U.S., the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) began to flex its muscles, and two years later, in the fall of 1973, the Arab members of OPEC implemented the first oil embargo. Since those tumultuous years when peak oil was reached in the United States, energy consumption worldwide has doubled, and the growth rates in China and other emerging markets portend further significant increases. Although the use of coal is declining in the U.S., and coal-fired generating plants are being phased out in many other developed countries as well, China’s coal imports have already increased 60-fold over the past decade—and will double again by 2015. The burning of coal in much of the rest of the developing world has also continued to increase significantly. According to the International Energy Agency, developing and emerging markets will account for all of the net global increase in both coal and oil consumption through the next two decades. The prediction of global peak oil is fraught with” 2 likes
“After basic needs are met, higher incomes produce gains in happiness only up to a point, beyond which further increases in consumption do not enhance a sense of well-being. The cumulative impact of surging per capita consumption, rapid population growth, human dominance of every ecological system, and the forcing of pervasive biological changes worldwide has created the very real possibility, according to twenty-two prominent biologists and ecologists in a 2012 study in Nature, that we may soon reach a dangerous “planetary scale ‘tipping point.’ ” According to one of the coauthors, James H. Brown, “We’ve created this enormous bubble of population and economy. If you try to get the good data and do the arithmetic, it’s just unsustainable. It’s either got to be deflated gently, or it’s going to burst.” In the parable of the boy who cried wolf, warnings of danger that turned out to be false bred complacency to the point where a subsequent warning of a danger that was all too real was ignored. Past warnings that humanity was about to encounter harsh limits to its ability to grow much further were often perceived as false: from Thomas Malthus’s warnings about population growth at the end of the eighteenth century to The Limits to Growth, published in 1972 by Donella Meadows, among others. We resist the notion that there might be limits to the rate of growth we are used to—in part because new technologies have so frequently enabled us to become far more efficient in producing more with less and to substitute a new resource for one in short supply. Some of the resources we depend upon the most, including topsoil (and some key elements, like phosphorus for fertilizers), however, have no substitutes and are being depleted.” 1 likes
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