The unrelenting pressures of a modern society are evident to most people on the planet. Traffic jams, nonstop ads, endless text messages and emails, the debate over global warming, concerns about the availability of water. Navigating these pressures will be a critical challenge for the foreseeable future.


Insightful Articles


Since the end of WW II, the American lifestyle has been distinguished by the idea that more is better.  Families are smaller, but houses are twice as big.  The road system is vastly improved, but consumers are driving off road vehicles with the capability of crossing the outback.

The average human needs about 2000 calories per day, but a single Whopper Value Meal with large fries and a large drink has 1375 calories.  And Costco is now selling 80-inch televisions.

For seventy years, the mantra for Americans has been that more is better. More space, more things, more horsepower, more calories, more choices and more debt.  The consequence of three generations of increased accumulation and consumption is a federal debt approaching $16 trillion, 25 million diabetics, student loans topping $1 trillion, a decaying infrastructure, lengthier commutes and a widespread fear that America's best days are behind her.

As depressing as all of this sounds, all hope is not lost.  At their core, Americans are incredibly resilient and uniquely inventive. The yearning for a richer life isn't about to end, but the definition of "rich" is undergoing a dramatic makeover. The push for less personal and government debt is an encouraging sign.  Automobiles are becoming amazingly efficient, and a generation from now 50+ MPG vehicles will be common.  Digital technology is transforming the workplace by making it possible for many employees to work from home or at remote offices where traffic is less of a problem.  And there are signs that the diabetes/obesity tsunami may have crested.

The "Age of More" may not be over yet, but it is fading fast.  And a new "Age of Balance" is emerging.



As more and more people move into areas teeming with wildlife, interactions are bound to occur.  For some people, these encounters can be threatening as bears in Florida have taken to entering human areas as they search for food.  This CNN report notes that the woman is recovering, but more bears are continuing to search for food following their winter hibernation.
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Recently the UN panel charged with studying climate science issued a new and dire report.  Although there have already been measureable effects from greenhouse gases, the panel reports that there is worse to come, unless those gases can be reduced. This could lead to further ice melts, rising seas, and most worrisome, a decreased food supply. The NY Times has more.
Long considered impassable, warming seas are beginning to melt the Arctic ice cap, creating a new area for transportation, commerce, and competition. Consequently, the US Navy has ramped up operations in the region to prepare for new challenges. More at the NY Times.