Solar Storms, Climate, Consciousness and Transition

ATCA Briefings

London, UK - 4 July 2007, 22:05 GMT - We are grateful to John Petersen, based in Washington, DC, and Arlington, Virginia, for "Solar Storms, Climate, Consciousness and Transition"; The Lord Howell of Guildford, based at The Palace of Westminster, London, for "Out of the Energy Labyrinth;" John Elkington based in London, UK, and presently visiting Sao Paulo, Brazil, for "Diamonds, Clubs, Spades and Hearts"; Dr Thierry Malleret based in Geneva, Switzerland, for "The Lesson of Humility in dealing with Black Swans"; Andrew Leung based in London, UK, and frequent visitor to China, for "The China Black Swans"; and Prof Jean-Pierre Lehmann based in Ouchy and IMD Lausanne, Switzerland, for "Integrating The Black Swan in Corporate Global Trends Analysis"; in response to the ATCA presentation, "Low Probability High Impact and Black Swan Events -- Considerations for Future Scenarios -- The Opportunity and Risk of Asymmetric Globalisation."

Dear ATCA Colleagues

[Please note that the views presented by individual contributors are not necessarily representative of the views of ATCA, which is neutral. ATCA conducts collective Socratic dialogue on global opportunities and threats.]

Re: Solar Storms, Climate, Consciousness & Transition

Having read your think-piece "Low Probability High Impact and Black Swan Events" based on your recent speech in Geneva there is also a set of possibilities in this era of uncertainty that appear to be from other dimensions, as it were. One is that the sun is getting warmer and (relatively) unstable, generating sunspot storms in patterns that are unfamiliar in their timing and magnitude. A major cycle of storms seems destined for about 2011-12 with some scientists suggesting that the resultant solar energies could cause the large-scale failure of satellites and the terrestrial electrical grid system (as huge surges of current caused by the passing solar pulses overloads grid systems).

[CONTINUES] [ATCA Membership]

Einstein's oft quoted admonition that problems cannot be solved by approaching them from the same level that they were produced seems to be true here in spades. Effective responses to the complex global issues -- of the magnitude and scope appearing on our horizon -- will necessarily be quite unusual and incompatible with conventional thinking. We must get out of the box.

John L Petersen

John L Petersen is President and Founder of The Arlington Institute near Washington, DC, in Arlington, Virginia, USA. Petersen is considered by many to be one of the most informed futurists in the world. He is best-known for writing and thinking about high impact surprises - wild cards - and the process of surprise anticipation. His current professional involvements include the development of sophisticated tools for anticipatory analysis and surprise anticipation, long-range strategic planning and helping leadership design new approaches for dealing with the future. Mr Petersen's government and political experience include stints at the National War College, the Institute for National Security Studies, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and the National Security Council staff at the White House. He was a naval flight officer in the US Navy and Navy Reserve and is a decorated veteran of both the Vietnam and Persian Gulf wars. He has served in senior positions for a number of presidential political campaigns and was an elected delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1984. In 1989 Petersen founded The Arlington Institute (TAI), a non-profit, future-oriented research institute. TAI operates on the premise that effective thinking about the future is impossible without casting a very wide net. The "think tank" serves as a global agent for change by developing new concepts, processes and tools for anticipating the future and translating that knowledge into better present-day decisions. Using advanced information technology, a core group of bright thinkers and an international network of exceptionally curious people along with simulations, modelling, scenario building, polling and analysis, Arlington helps equip leaders and organizations from many disciplines with tools and actionable perspectives for dealing with uncertain times.

An award-winning writer, Petersen's first book, The Road to 2015: Profiles of the Future was awarded Outstanding Academic Book of 1995 by CHOICE Academic Review, and remained on The World Future Society's best-seller list for more than a year. His latest book, Out of the Blue: How to Anticipate Wild Cards and Big Future Surprises, was also a WFS best-seller. His co-authored article, "The Year 2000: Social Chaos or Social Transformation?" was one of the most highly acclaimed writings on Y2K. His 1988 book-length report "The Diffusion of Power: An Era of Realignment" was used at the highest levels of American government as a basis for strategic planning. He has also written papers on the future of national security and the military, the future of energy and the future of the media. Petersen is a past board member of the World Future Society, writes on the future of aviation for Professional Pilot magazine and is a member of the board of directors of the Charles A and Anne Morrow Lindbergh Foundation. He is a network member of the Global Business Network and a fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science. A provocative public speaker, he addresses a wide array of audiences around the world on a variety of future subjects. When he is not writing or speaking, theorizing about wild cards, or constructing his own airplane, John leads workshops that help corporate clients build new images of possible futures and visions for reaching their goals. He lives in the Washington, DC, area and the eastern panhandle of West Virginia with his wife, Diane.


We look forward to your further thoughts, observations and views. Thank you.

Best wishes

For and on behalf of DK Matai, Chairman, Asymmetric Threats Contingency Alliance (ATCA)

ATCA: The Asymmetric Threats Contingency Alliance is a philanthropic expert initiative founded in 2001 to resolve complex global challenges through collective Socratic dialogue and joint executive action to build a wisdom based global economy. Adhering to the doctrine of non-violence, ATCA addresses asymmetric threats and social opportunities arising from climate chaos and the environment; radical poverty and microfinance; geo-politics and energy; organised crime & extremism; advanced technologies -- bio, info, nano, robo & AI; demographic skews and resource shortages; pandemics; financial systems and systemic risk; as well as transhumanism and ethics. Present membership of ATCA is by invitation only and has over 5,000 distinguished members from over 100 countries: including several from the House of Lords, House of Commons, EU Parliament, US Congress & Senate, G10's Senior Government officials and over 1,500 CEOs from financial institutions, scientific corporates and voluntary organisations as well as over 750 Professors from academic centres of excellence worldwide.

The views presented by individual contributors are not necessarily representative of the views of ATCA, which is neutral. Please do not forward or use the material circulated without permission and full attribution.

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