By Howard J. Grossman, AICP

Al Gore, the former Vice President of the United States has written a 374 page book titled “The Future.”

The book features six drivers of global change including ever increasing globalization, world wide digital communications, balance of global political, economic and military power is shifting, an economic compass is leading us to unsustainable growth in consumption, pollution flows, depletion of topsoil, freshwater, and living species, genomic, biotechnology , and other factors are radically transforming the fields of medicine, agriculture, and molecular science, and a radical disruption of the relationship between human beings and the Earth’s ecosystem and a transformation of energy, agriculture, transportation, and construction worldwide. These six drivers are all essential to the long range future of the Pocono-Northeast- some more important than others such as biotechnology digitalcommunication, the ecosystem and energy, pollution flows and others.

Gore makes a serious statement regarding climate control, a topic he has consistently talked about for decades.

For example, he notes that “ we have been slow to recognize the extreme danger we are creating, in part, because of the suddenness with which the underlying relationship between humankind and the ecological system of the Earth has been radically transformed by the relatively recent confluence of these basic factors.” The factors are identified as rapid growth of destructive resource-consumptive patterns, absence of global leadership, and dysfunctional governance in the community of nations, among others. He further notes the rising tide of waters as the melting of glaciers occurs, this endangering coast lines of this country and elsewhere.

The need exists to prepare this region for the outcomes likely in the remainder of this century and beyond. We are or should be engaged in the greatest battle that lies ahead as more and more problems will cause more analysis of the future of the Pocono-Northeast . It suggests that the following ideas need to be debated and evaluated in coming months and years.

All of the wonderful colleges and universities should join together in the region and lend their expertise to the topics written by Gore and develop techniques, suggestions, and plans that can be implemented for the protection and betterment of the one plus million people who live within the region.

A series of forums should be held on the various topics outlined in the book, and lead to the creation of task forces that can add value to what the book references.

In the American scheme of life, we have the best possible motivation to evaluate the different outcomes that are likely if nothing is done, if efforts are undertaken to control the environment and match successfully economics with environmental protection, and the region can offer a laboratory of modeling that can enhance solutions to these difficult situations.

Global leadership can only be advanced by the use of regional ingenuity through the tapping of our talent and resources that can better lead to positive examples that can be helpful tools for resolving larger issues as typified by what the book references.

Special studies can be accomplished within the region that can provide research and development steps that will help alleviate what can turn out to be the most serious obstacles to the quality of life sought by regional citizens.

These, and other factors are crucial to creating standards that are beneficial to regional life of the 21st Century.