Date: January, 1998

An open letter to future generations

by Jim Bell


I hope this letter finds you in good health and spirits. If you are, it probably means that the generation I'm part of got it's act together soon enough to keep the life support system you now enjoy healthy and productive.

I shudder to think of what your world is like, if we who live today don't get our act together in the not too distant future. Why? Because, in our present, our economy is rapidly using up your ecological future.

As I'm writing this I cannot see into the future in any specific sense, but I do see two general directions it can take.

On the positive side, and what I work for and hope for, I see the strengthening of democracy, and the protection and expansion of the basic human right to be free. Free to do anything we want as long as it doesn't hurt anyone else or restrict their freedom. The only exception to this are minors, whose freedom must be restricted to some degree for their own well being until they reach adulthood.

I see the creation of a strong, vibrant, completely sustainable economy, rich in meaningful business and employment opportunities and rich in goods and services at affordable prices. An economy that doesn't deplete our planet's ecological capital; doesn't deplete the fertility of our soils, contaminate our air, water, or land; and that treats everyone fairly and kindly.

I see the percentage of CO2, methane, and other green houses gasses in our atmosphere being the same as they were at the turn of the 20th Century. I see our planet's ozone layer being completely restored and weather phenomena like tornados and hurricanes, on average, being less sever.

I see a renaissance in all sciences. I see a rapid increase in space exploration and commerce, including a space debris defense system to detect large space objects on a collision course with earth and to deflect these objects or bring them into earth or moon orbit for mining.

I see people living increasingly longer, healthier, more meaningful lives through a combination of preventive measures like good nutrition and training doctors to utilize and build on the best of all the medical knowledge available world wide.

I see a renaissance of consciousness and the blossoming of fairer and kinder ways of enjoying and benefiting from each other's gifts, and the bounty that our planet's life support system can sustainably provide us. I see ourselves, as individuals and as a species, ever increasing our understanding of existence and our place in it, and our capacity to use this knowledge wisely.

On the negative side, I see disaster and even the potential extinction of the human species.

Short of extinction, I see our species declining rapidly both in population, cultural sophistication, and knowledge in a descending spiral of social, political, and ecological chaos and a world filled with pain, suffering, sadness and regret.

As I said in the beginning, I hope this letter finds you in good health and spirits. If this is not the case, at least you will know that some of us, in our time, devoted our working lives to creating a future in which you would flourish. For your sake and ours, I hope we succeed.

Peace and love,

Jim Bell

P.S. I invite you to read my book, Achieving Eco-nomic Security On Spaceship Earth, subtitled, Using Free-Market-Forces To Save Our Life Support System. Quite simply, the book is about how to gracefully make non-sustainable economies sustainable in ways that are a win-win for everyone. You can download this book from the web at, free of charge, or you can order a paperback copy by calling (619) 281-1447.

If you think the book makes sense, let's work together to create a future, our descendants will thank us for.

Jim Bell is a internationally recognized expert on how to gracefully transform non-sustainable economies into economies that are completely ecologically sustainable. His radio show, "Jim Bell & Common Sense," airs weekly on KFMB, 760 on the AM radio dial, Sunday evenings from 10 to 11 PM, California time. The show's signal reaches listeners as far north as Sacramento, as far east as Phoenix, and deep into Mexico. The show can also be heard world wide, by logging into KFMB's web page via Jim is also available for lectures, workshops, and design and consultation services