2045 A Story of Our Future

2045big Where to Buy

prometheus

amazon

By projecting what is happening today 35 years into the future and by turning this into a good story, 2045 brings to life the world we are now making for ourselves. Fiction can give us a better picture of this world than straight facts can, by putting us in it. 2045 depicts where environmental degradation, globalization, the concentration of power and wealth, corporate control of the press, and the ascent of ignorance and superstition are taking us. It shows us what it will be like to live in an overcrowded, overheated, polluted world controlled by a few, that is all too possible.

Forty-year-old Carl Lauer, a goodhearted conservative businessman from Appleton, Wisconsin, awakes, unchanged, out of a 35-year coma in 2045, into a world he does not like. Global warming is a pervasive/throat-parching reality, water is in short supply and polluted, and massive migration is filling the cities of the Midwest with people fleeing the parched Southwest and Mexico. As only the ultra rich can afford fuel for automobiles, most suburbs have been abandoned and attempts are being made to convert them into desperately needed farmland. Those who can afford it, live in guarded walled compounds. Few universities teach science because religious fanatics bomb those that teach evolution, and kill professors. Eight giant global corporations own almost everything and control the world. Agribusiness has replaced remaining family farms and milk is produced in multistory factories housing 40,000 cows, permanently attached to milking machines.

Carl’s fame as the man who “rose from the dead” lands him a job on a seemingly idyllic tropical island with one of the eight global corporations. His job is to help promote a soft drink called Popzi. He is stunned by the unbounded luxury he finds on the island. He gradually learns that the ethical standards in this strange place are only a front. During a business trip, he discovers something that horrifies him and turns him in a new direction, a mission beset with life-threatening dangers.
By projecting what is happening today 35 years into the future and by turning this into a good story, 2045 brings to life the world we are now making for ourselves. Fiction can give us a better picture of this world than straight facts can, by putting us in it. 2045 depicts where environmental degradation, globalization, the concentration of power and wealth, corporate control of the press, and the ascent of ignorance and superstition are taking us. It shows us what it will be like to live in an overcrowded, overheated, polluted world controlled by a few, that is all too possible.

Forty-year-old Carl Lauer, a goodhearted conservative businessman from Appleton, Wisconsin, awakes, unchanged, out of a 35-year coma in 2045, into a world he does not like. Global warming is a pervasive/throat-parching reality, water is in short supply and polluted, and massive migration is filling the cities of the Midwest with people fleeing the parched Southwest and Mexico. As only the ultra rich can afford fuel for automobiles, most suburbs have been abandoned and attempts are being made to convert them into desperately needed farmland. Those who can afford it, live in guarded walled compounds. Few universities teach science because religious fanatics bomb those that teach evolution, and kill professors. Eight giant global corporations own almost everything and control the world. Agribusiness has replaced remaining family farms and milk is produced in multistory factories housing 40,000 cows, permanently attached to milking machines.

Carl’s fame as the man who “rose from the dead” lands him a job on a seemingly idyllic tropical island with one of the eight global corporations. His job is to help promote a soft drink called Popzi. He is stunned by the unbounded luxury he finds on the island. He gradually learns that the ethical standards in this strange place are only a front. During a business trip, he discovers something that horrifies him and turns him in a new direction, a mission beset with life-threatening dangers.

What Others Say

“2045 is the most important book I have ever read, for two reasons. Seidel has an astonishing ability to make an exhaustive survey of the modern world and identify all those forces that work in the system which will have a huge effect when projected ahead three or more decades. Second, he has an extraordinary ability to forecast how different kinds of forces will interact with each other. Like Tolstoy’s War and Peace, 2045 paints a very ‘big picture.’ This is a highly engaging and entertaining novel. However, you gradually come to notice that up to three new ideas or facts are being revealed to you per page you read.”

Kenneth E. F. Watt, Author of The Titanic Effect and Understanding the Environment

“Peter Seidel’s novel gives us a sense of what life will be like in the future if we stay with our business-as-usual policies. It is a revealing read to say the least.”

Lester Brown, President, Earth Policy Institute and author of Plan B 4.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization

“Corporate unethical and illegal behavior is common today but partially kept in check by government intervention. In 2045 the world is controlled by 8 giant corporations through mergers and acquisitions. They control nearly all countries, democratic or autocratic. The environment, consumers and workers are now utterly at the mercy of the corporations. Seidel vividly describes the resulting situation in a gripping novel.”

Marshall B. Clinard, Author of four major books on corporate ethics and crime

“Peter Seidel’s new novel, 2045, offers a bold, imaginative exploration of what our world will look like thirty-five years in the future if current trends, including the depletion of natural resources, continue for a while un-checked. Seidel conjures for us a world in which large swathes of the western United States are a desert, cars are a luxury only the very wealthy can afford, and government and the press are in the thrall of a small number of multinational corporations. Seidel’s characters are finely-etched, the dynamics among them rich and persuasive. This novel offers a brilliant opportunity for all of us to envision the possible outcomes of our current levels of resource use, and to effect positive change before it is too late.”

Mathis Wachernagel, Executive Dir. of Global Footprint Network and co creator of term “ecological footprint”

“Given the accelerating volatility of today’s economic and environmental trends, it’s hard to imagine life more than three decades out. Peter Seidel has constructed a plausible near future that combines aspects of both a techno-wonderworld and a collapsing civilization. 2045 is a timely reminder that today’s ongoing population growth and environmental degradation carry a high risk, the real possibility of a global descent into human hell. It’s not a pretty picture, but it makes for a provocative novel with a clear message: Don’t go there. We still have time to head toward a better, more egalitarian future. But probably not a lot of time.”

Robert Engelman, Author of More: Population, Nature, and What Women Want

“There is a lot to learn from comparing 1984 and 2045. In both visions, surveillance, censorship, and propaganda to promote the aims of the regime are assisted by screens in every home. Orwell did not foresee the internet, or anything comparable with netizen power. But in Seide’s 2045, the internet has been tamed to prevent it becoming a tool of protest against the eight dominant mega-companies. The most significant difference is that Orwell’s vision was of political totalitarianism. In 2045, the authoritarian elite is commercial.”

Chris Williams, The Korea Herald

From Section entitled, “May 19, 2045”

Sam Rattner hardly slept in the small, seedy cubicle called a hotel room in Madison, Wisconsin, where he had spent the night. The room was hot, insufferably hot, and the fan had gone off at three in the morning. It was probably a brownout. His mouth was parched, so he pushed back the damp sheets and headed for the sink in the dimly lit room, then crash! The pitcher that held the drinking water lay broken at his feet. Now he wanted a drink more than ever.
In 2010, May 19th would have been a cool, comfortable day. The Chicago Inquirer, for which he was then a celebrated columnist, would have put him in Madison’s finest hotel. They valued his objective, penetrating news analyses, and the well-educated readers he attracted to their paper. This was 2045. Global warming had set in with a vengeance, tap water was no longer safe to drink, and all the News Scoop, his present employer, wanted was something exciting, on the cheap.

Sam washed and dressed as quickly as he could, grabbed a glass, and headed for the men’s room on his floor where there was a drinking water dispenser. There, Sam, sixty-seven, looked in the mirror and saw what looked like a tired seventy-five-year-old staring back at him. He shook his head and thought, “I’m too old for this.” Nevertheless, he was glad he was chosen for this assignment. No one really knew what was coming, but it was going to be something special, very special.

Sam headed for the grubby coffee shop on the first floor. It was already crowded with sweating reporters. Some had come by train from as far as the east and west coasts. Years ago, he would have known a lot of them. But the familiar faces of outstanding journalists were gone. As he ate his cereal he could hear excited murmurs and speculation amongst them. A reporter at the next table said he had heard a rumor that someone had been brought back to life.

Sam would like to have headed for the hospital right away, however he knew it would be foolish to stand in the sun too long on what was predicted to be the hottest May 19th ever recorded in Madison, 98 degrees Fahrenheit. By the time he finished breakfast, his clothes were already sticking to him.

Still hoping to find a place not far from the front, he calculated that if he left the hotel at 11:30 a.m. and took a streetcar to the hospital, that he might be able to survive the heat until 2:30 p.m. when the event should be over.

A raised platform sheltered by a white canvas roof had been built off to the side of the main entrance of the University of Wisconsin Merck Hospital. The words “Old Faithful” ran across the front of the canopy, and a large video screen had been erected above it. Hoping to get a close-up view, a few reporters who had the stamina to endure the beating sun had been there for hours when Sam arrived.

Everyone wore wide-brimmed straw hats, or carried sun umbrellas. Around noon, one of the reporters keeled over and was rushed into the hospital on a stretcher. By 1:30 p.m. several hundred reporters representing media around the world filled the cordoned-off area in front of the platform. They still had a half an hour to wait, then finally they would find out what had been proclaimed to be the news event of the decade.

Suddenly the video screen lit up, displaying an elderly couple on walkers looking at a steaming hole some distance away in the rock outcropping they were standing on. Then a rumble came from the speakers and a small jet of steaming water burst out of the hole, and was gone. The rumble returned, and a larger jet burst forth, and disappeared. Then a huge jet surrounded by steam appeared and kept reaching higher and higher-Yellowstone Park’s Old Faithful geyser in all its grandeur. Now with broad smiles across their faces, the couple turned to the camera. The woman spoke, “Our life was empty and boring, until Herb discovered ‘Old Faithful.’ It has brought fun and excitement back into our lives.” Herb looked embarrassed as she looked into the camera and winked. However, the reporters’ eyes were already turned toward something else, the hospital entrance.