Journal of Futures Studies

Responding to the Millennium Project’s Energy Challenge: A Futurist’s Perspective

by Joshua Floyd

ABSTRACT

The Millennium Project poses the question “How can growing energy demand be met safely and efficiently?” From a perspective grounded in critical and epistemological futures inquiry, this subsumes three further questions: 1) what is the nature of our changing energy demand; 2) what might it mean to meet this ‘safely’; and 3) what might it mean to meet our demand ‘efficiently’? These issues must be grappled with if we wish to address the framing question comprehensively. This leads beyond an instrumental approach to our energetic challenges focused on energy sources and conversion technologies, by sweeping these within a higher-order approach based on developing the institutions through which we mediate between human aspirations and energy use. From this institutional viewpoint, we may well serve our collective interests better by making the design principles of safety and efficiency subsidiary to those of resilience and sufficiency.

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Journal of Futures Studies

Tamkang University, Tamsui Campus
Taipei, Taiwan 251
Tel: 886 2-2621-5656 ext. 3001
Fax: 886 2-2629-6440

ISSN 1027-6084