The Future in Plain Sight

The Future in Plain Sight

A Look at Our Planet in the Year 2050

  • Paperback
  • ISBN 9780452282995
  • 304 Pages
  • Plume
  • Adult


For more than half a century, our planet has enjoyed a prolonged period of privilege and stability. Recent decades have seen some of the most extraordinary prosperity in all of human history, and we have come to view this as the norm.

But what if instability returned?

And what can we do to prevent that from happening?

In The Future in Plain Sight, author Eugene Linden lays out the nine factors that are symptomatic of instability in today’s world. They include overpopulation, the widening gap between rich and poor, the resurgence of infectious disease, and the effects of a changing global climate. Linden explores these and other destabilizing forces and tells us what we can do to plan and prepare for life in an unsettled and unsettling universe.

From crises in the world’s financial markets to the breakdown of natural systems that support human life, The Future in Plain Sight is a powerful look at what lies in store for us in the coming decades.
The Future in Plain Sight

The Future in Plain Sight

Eugene Linden


“A very important book…provocative…A lucidly written guide to the near future.”
—Edward O. Wilson, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Consilience

“May be the most important book of the decade.”
—Denver Rocky Mountain News

“A highly interesting look at things, not so much as they will be, but as they might become.”
—The Orlando Sentinel

“A novel and interesting way of looking at world events.”
—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

“Linden brings wide learning, acute judgement, and great imagination to his evaluation of destabilizing forces. His close-grained, evocative descriptions of possible futures in specific places suggest more about where we may actually be headed than any other book I know.”
William Finnegan, author of Cold New World: Growing Up in a Harder Country

Table of Contents

Part I: Nine Clues to the Future
1. Hot-Tempered Markets
2. Karachi and Curitiba
3. No “Vent for Surplus”
4. The Ubiquitous Wage Gap
5. A Warning from the Ice
6. A Biosphere in Disarray
7. Living with Limits: A Preview
8. Infectious Disease Resurgent
9. The Rise of the True Believers
10. Looking Forward
Part II: Scenes from 2050
11. London: The Vicars of Finance
12. The Philippines: Ruin, Rice, and Rebirth
13. California: The Fog Lifts
14. Oaxaca, Mexico: The Poorest Find a Way
15. New York City: Advertising Adapts
16. Central Africa: Nature Out of Balance
17. Kansas: Trouble on the Farm
18. Antarctica Stirs
Part III: The Case for Instability
The Case for Instability
Afterword to the Plume Edition
PRH Book Clubs Survey


Craig Johnson
Keith McCafferty
Michael McGarrity


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Elizabeth Gilbert
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Elvis Presley is born in 1935 and, a little over 20 years later, he would have his first #1 single on the US charts, forever changing the landscape of popular culture and ushering in a new age of celebrity superstardom.

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