Monday, 3 May 2010

No future for the futurist

Imagine my surprise to read Re David Dale’s rave (Sun Herald May 2) where he postulated a Malcolm Turnbull switch to Labor. By the way, I agree labor is Cousin Mal's spiritual tribe.

In one scenario he had Turnbull retiring as Labor leader, having replaced Rudd after his loss to Lib Joe Hockey in 2013 and handing it to Peter Garrett in 2018!

I almost had a seizure reading that. Way back in 1990, I wrote a musical play for schools called '20-20 Vision', about climate change. The setting for the play was the Peter Garrett Environmental Awards when people (current students playing themselves as adults in 2020) who had engineered the turn around to a nil-carbon economy in the thirty years between 1990 and 2020, were being honoured. In the play, Peter Garrett was Prime Minister!

I think the chances of PG becoming PM by 20-20 are about as good as humanity achieving carbon neutrality in the ten years left of the thirty then available! Incidentally very few schools bought that play. Most rejected it as ‘too political’.

To carry you back to public attitude then, I remember in the same year receiving a reply to my suggestion that our school start a recycling program. Inspector Ray Bird (Central Coast NSW) replied: “I don’t regard recycling as an appropriate activity for school children.”

Reading it now, my play is middle of the road but I have moved on. My current serious writing is about the next thirty years. Unfortunately, despite some success as a futurist, (well, maybe Garrett excepted, ha ha!) my latest book has as much chance of success as that play did twenty years ago. Pity really, it will be middle of the road by 2040!


  1. Many concepts, including those conjured up and polished by futurists, compete on the sporting field (what is it in OZ -- 'the tilt'?) of ideas. Individuals form their opinions during the never ending back and forth of the event. Opinions gather together in political groups of various strengths at given moments. Humankind would be ill served if the majority avoided the tussle.

    Currently recycling is embraced. Manmade climate change, not so much. The good fight continues. Just pray that by 2040 the powerful debtor nations haven't nuked a single large loaner nation


  2. You've been reading my book! :-)

  3. At least you're still ahead of the game, Stafford. In 20 years my novel, set in the present, will be so hopelessly outdated it will read like poorly composed Dickens.

  4. You're ahead of the pack Stafford. My son Michael had a bin obsession for a few years and he decided (in grade 2) to bring in his own mini wheely bin (plastered all over with recycling signs)to start a recycling program. It made the local papers (well I admit I wrote the story -ha,ha) and now the school has proper recycling bins.

  5. With Stafford's very obvious ' Literary Skills', slowly weaving their way into our collective psyche , surely we can expect to read his 'Novel ' very soon..

    It's hard to imagine why it's not already ' On The Shelf'..

    Fingers crossed for a speedy publication ..

  6. Thanks Butterfly. Comments like yours keep us bloggers blogging!


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