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Global City Review Issue 25: Do We Have a Future?

There are plenty of reasons for the bleakest of outlooks about our future. 

Individual rights and civil liberties continue to be stripped away in nations across the globe. Freedom in the World 2022 marked the 16th consecutive year of decline in freedom worldwide. Global citizens are fighting back, mobilizing for change, but their lives remain at risk. 

Suicide rates steadily increase. Depression, anxiety, and loneliness sweep across our world like a contagion that cannot be contained. The world may go on, but for far too many of us, the world is ending much too soon. 

Sea levels will rise, and catastrophic floods causing sweeping damage could increase exponentially; eventually our biggest coastal cities could disappear underwater completely. Drought led to the fall of ancient civilizations like the Mayan Empire and the Old Kingdom of Egypt, and as drought becomes more prevalent with increased climate change, natural resources may dwindle rapidly, and we could see similar versions of civilization collapse but on a global scale. 

Infectious and respiratory diseases may threaten humanity: the Covid-19 crisis exposed the fragility of an unprepared society; we now see that a deadlier virus could decimate civilization as we know it.

Perhaps it’s an impending nuclear war that will bring on the End Times. The war in Ukraine continues to escalate, and Putin has made it clear that he is willing to use nuclear weapons. If he were to do so, the United States may respond in turn, and before we know it, we could be facing a nuclear winter. President Biden recently said that the world was closer to armageddon than at any time since the Cuban Missile Crisis

The end is inevitable, one way or another. It will eventually end for each of us, and in due time, all life on Earth will become extinct, even if it takes four billion years. The Earth, too, will one day burn to nothing by the Sun as it becomes a red giant. 

However, in the short term, can we still make choices that will avoid the serious consequences of all the current threats facing our world, our communities, and us as individuals? There is no single solution; there are only many small ones. Can they add up to save us from a premature collapse?

One choice we can make, instead of just dwelling on doomsday scenarios, is to adopt more positive outlooks about our future.

Wind and solar energy is proliferating and is becoming cheaper than oil. Automakers are allocating billions toward electric vehicles, which may one day replace the twenty million gas-guzzlers currently in use on the planet. Regenerative agriculture technology is developing quickly which can offset food shortages that will arise from climate change. Gen Z continues to prove its investment in sustainable brands and practices, and these are the leaders of tomorrow. 

Many of us alive today are the beneficiaries of revolution, and as history has proven, we will continue to fight for human rights and liberty. 

And perhaps eons into the future when Earth can no longer sustain life, our evolved species may have already adopted a new home planet somewhere in Alpha Centauri where it has continued to flourish and where everyone is free. 

Maybe it’s all just a matter of perspective. Do we have a future? The storytellers, essayists, poets, and artists in this twenty-fifth issue of Global City Review grapple with this question, and we invite you to explore and continue expanding your own perspective on our shared future. I, for one, can say that from here, on this day, it’s looking pretty bright.

David Puretz

David Puretz, Editorial Director
Amy Veach, Art, Design & Production Director
Brian Brennan, Managing Editor
Michelle Valladares, Poetry Editor
Linsey Abrams, Consulting Editor & Founder

Special thanks to Esther Canata for providing our cover image, “Sunflowers.” Visit Esther at and follow her on Instagram @canatacollect.

Global City Review Issue 25: Do We Have a Future?
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