It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. Humanity stands at a crossroads. The mighty forces of progress have lifted billions out of poverty. Energy has lit and warmed (or cooled) our homes and powered us overland, sea and into the air. We grow enough food to feed 10 billion people. And for the first time ever in history the internet is poised to connect every single person on the planet. Together. As one. What could possibly go wrong?
If only it were that simple. Unfortunately there is also a lot to be very worried about. Our engine of progress is out of control. We’re destroying beautiful wild and natural habitat at a rate of knots. Humankind has kick-started the sixth mass extinction of biodiversity. Burning billions of years of fossilised sunshine as coal, oil and gas is overheating the planet. Industrial agriculture is destroying our soils, with less than a hundred harvests left. Nationalism, populism and factionalism bubble up from a toxic online culture swimming in ‘fake news’. Has it all gone irrecoverably wrong?
Comedian Jon Richardson – the ‘Ultimate Worrier’ – is going to try and find out.
Jon doesn’t sleep much at night. The questions he is asking himself in the small, dark hours see to that. Are we going to run out of food? Is it already too late to stop climate change? Should I start learning Mandarin? Are killer death robots from the future already among us? Will my kids grow up to see a real tiger or giraffe? Could Trump become ‘President for Life?’ Why hasn’t anyone yet made an intelligent hairbrush? Oh they have? As you were…
Playing on his own paranoia Jon will discuss his fears with guarded optimists Ed Gillespie and Mark Stevenson aka ‘The Futurenauts’. Authors, futurists and provocateurs, to ease Jon’s angst Ed and Mark take him on adventures through the futures we need that already exist today.
Listen below, or catch up with all episodes on Apple Podcasts here.