Globalization and technology have changed the world.
Routine labor will be replaced by robots and algorithms. We can expect 25% of our white-collar jobs will be replaced by machines in the next 10 years. In isolated locations where jobs are scarce, only people who can develop a work-from-anywhere Internet business will have a secure financial future.
Creative people will always be in demand.
It is important to plan for the future. When I talk about planning for the future, I’m not just talking about investing in a 401(k). We have to plan for the big changes brought on by technology, globalization and the changing environment.
In planning your future think about various scenarios that could happen. How likely is that scenario to a happen and when it does occur how will it impact your life. How secure is your job? Is the business you work for growing? Or, is it subject to the ups and downs in the economy? More and more the unskilled and routine jobs are temporary and only last until a project is completed. Then you have to look for the next gig.
Creative people will develop multiple sources of residual income that will keep coming whether they work or not.
In Hawaii, we’re going to have to deal with extended drought punctuated by intense storms. We must prepare for the resulting disruptions. We need to have food, water and medicine to enable us to survive for at least three months. We need to have enough cash on hand to carry us through until power is restored and the ATM machines are working. Tropical storms will become more frequent and more intense. Think about how you and your family will survive while you rebuild.
Governments at state and county level need to pull development back from the coast. We can expect Waikiki to be flooded by the end of the century. The conservative estimate is we can expect a 3 foot rise in the ocean within the next 50 to 100 years. That means the rail system we are building will have its feet in the water before it’s paid off.
The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the earth.
Sea ice in the Arctic Ocean will be substantially gone this year. Countries bordering the Arctic sea are staking their claims to the Arctic’s vast resources. Ships will transiting ice-free Arctic sea lanes starting this summer. Ice fields in Greenland and in the Antarctic are melting far faster than was forecast. There is enough ice in Greenland to raise our ocean levels by 20 feet and when the Western Antarctic ice pack melts, it could add another 30 feet to the ocean level. These things can happen within the lifetime of my great-grandchildren.
We do not know how extreme the changes wrought by global warming will be nor do we know how fast those changes will come at us. We do know we will have to adapt and deal with a much harsher environment. Some scientists are forecasting their large areas of the earth will become uninhabitable.
We can anticipate global chaos will accelerate as people are displaced from low-lying areas and fight over scarce resources such as water. There is hope. The same technology and communications that caused so many problems can help us work together to solve those problems and create a better life for all.
It is up to us to take the responsibility for our own resilience and our own security.
We also must find ways to work together to solve regional and global problems and bring pressure on governments to do what is necessary to create a better world.
Plan to respond to probable scenarios that can affect your life. Develop the resilience you need to deal with whatever may happen. The quality of your life and indeed your very survival depends on how well you are able to deal with the inevitable chaos in your life.