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The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  1,738 ratings  ·  271 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
Paperback, 592 pages
Published October 8th 2013 by Random House Trade Paperbacks (first published January 1st 2013)
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3.80  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,738 ratings  ·  271 reviews

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Jan 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, nobels
I wonder if I had felt the impact of this eloquent study in human inventiveness and failure as strongly if I had read it just a few years ago, at the moment when it was first published?

When Al Gore wrote this account of the uncharted waters that humanity is blindly exploring at the moment, he still had hope in a reformed democracy and capitalism under American leadership. Even though he saw that it was deeply flawed, and rotten in its intertwining of ethical decisions and financial benefits for
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 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Oct 21, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
H Wesselius
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
Jul 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Richard Reese
Jul 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Glen Stott
Feb 17, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cmc
I loved the book. I can't be more grateful to the person that recommended it to me.
It is not the first book I am reading on the issue but I definitely liked the way every point was presented and treated. Every driver/issue was presented with the right level of details and the proper framework for anyone to go and study more to complete the picture.
I can't agree more on what he said. We have to change the way we considered the impact of human life and prosperity in planet Earth. It is time we ad
Haydar Almaateeq
Jan 31, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
استشراف المستقبل

قراءة في كتاب (المستقبل، ستة محركات للتغيير العالمي)
لـ آل غور [نائب رئيس الولايات المتحدة سابقاً]
Donnal Walter
Jul 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

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

Mar 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
John Behle
Feb 16, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: skip it
Recommended to John by: the title and back cover notes
It did not work for me. It was like dozens of his political speeches stapled together. I kept thinking "Am I am reading a teleprompter of scanned in speech writer material?" I tried, but did not finish this heavy tome.
Haydar Almaateeq
Jan 31, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
كتاب ثري وممتاز ... نكمل المحركات في الجزء الثاني ثم تكون لي وقفة مع الكتاب بشكل أوسع إن شاء الله
Feb 03, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Put me right to sleep. Zzzzzzzzz
Chris Donnan
Jan 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Neil Fox
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
Jeff Scott
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
I am honestly surprised by this writing of the former vice president of the United States of America. It is an insightful, honest, and passionate essay, with detailed, data-driven analysis on the implication and the impacts of historical events and modern advancements on our present and the future.

The science (especially computer science, life science) and environmental analytical data occupies a non-trivial part of the book, which is refreshing; they are referenced as the main driving forces fo
Jun 12, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 22, 2013 marked it as not-gonna-read  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Kory Klem
Insightful and measured, you finish the book as inspired as you are scared. As Gore continues to lay out and focus on some of the biggest challenges facing us today, it's impossible to not give pause and remember the 2000 election. I really wish this Al Gore would have better shown the electorate at that time who he really was and what he was capable. Say what you will about the appropriate size of government. Policy is so crucial to piloting humanity, and I have no doubt he would have plotted a ...more
Ron Moss
Mar 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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...
Duncan Noble
Just started reading this. So far, it is fascinating and I am learning lots of new things. As other reviewers note, this is definitely a "top-down" approach. Understandable, given the author.

You can see mind maps summarizing the content of the book here:

Mr Shahabi
Aug 22, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nccal
آل غوور عجيب و صريح!

الكتاب فيه الكثير من الرعب و الاخبار الخرة الزفت عن العالم و حكومات العالم الخرة اللي نفسها، بس بعين يرحمنا شوي و يحطلنا اقتراحات و حلول للتعايش بسلام و قوز قزح و حركات

چب چب، لا تضحكون وايد
Oct 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hope more and more people read books that will make the earth a better place to live, like this book. I loved it.
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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
“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
“Bernays’s business partner, Paul Mazur, said, “We must shift America from a needs to a desires culture.… People must be trained to desire, to want new things, even before the old have been entirely consumed. We must shape a new mentality. Man’s desires must overshadow his needs.” As Bernays later wrote, in 1928, the conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government that is the true ruling power of this country. We are governed, our minds molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized.… In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons … who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.” 2 likes
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