FROM THE ARCHIVES: World Future Society predicts Tucson issues

Editor’s note: This regular feature examines topics explored in past issues of Aztec Press.


Tucson’s chapter of the World Future Society hosted its first meeting at Pima Community College 33 years ago.

WFS is a non-profit organization that was founded in Bethesda, Maryland, in 1966. The society examines how social and economic developments will affect the future.

At the PCC meeting in 1981, panelists discussed practical land, energy and water usage and efficient transportation.

One guest speaker was Andrew Laurie, a local Realtor.

“Water is the main issue for the growth of Tucson,” Laurie said. “The water deficit in the valley is due to agriculture and the mines.”

Panelists discussed the benefits and drawbacks of relying exclusively on the Central Arizona Project for water. CAP is a system of pipes, pumping plants and tunnels that spans more than 300 miles to provide water for the majority of the southwest.

Laurie predicted that CAP would not be sufficient to meet the growing needs of Pima County

“We will get less than what we need,” he said. “It will be expensive and will be so greasy that it will need to be treated first.”

The topic of transportation was less of a pressing issue at the time. However, the panel noted that as Tucson continued to grow, so would the need for public transportation.

Another speaker at the meeting was Roger L. Caldwell, director of the Council for Environmental Studies at the University of Arizona.

“It is urgent that we recognize energy and energy shortages as a social economic and political problem,” Caldwell said.

He predicted there would be confusion and uncertainty in the following decades regarding energy usage and a considerable reduction of gasoline and oil supplies.

Laurence J. Victor, then a PCC instructor and psychologist, stressed the importance of communication and education.

“Tucson has the potential for the people, for the learners, for quality education movement,” Victor said.

He predicted that education would experience a form of metamorphosis and said it is crucial that students and teachers work together as the process unfolds.

The WFS is still working today toward enhancing the world for future generations.

More information about upcoming events, conservation efforts and technological innovations can be found on their website.

The group is also on Facebook, click here to visit their page.

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