It was quite a year for visions of a possible future.
January 15 – Thomas Paine publishes Common Sense justifying dissent and popular rule.Nowadays, in our globalized world dominated by US corporations, we are asking who is in charge of what's been created, is it sustainable and what can we do about it?
February 17 – Edward Gibbon publishes the first volume of The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.
March 9 – Adam Smith publishes The Wealth of Nations laying out an economic theory of capitalism.
March -- James Watt completes construction of the first steam engine, signalling the coming Industrial Age
May 1 – Adam Weishaupt founds the Bavarian Illuminati marking the beginning of one of the world's most persistent banker conspiracy theories.
July 4 – United States Declaration of Independence formally starts the revolution against British rule and leads to the founding of the world's first democracy and eventual world power.
Recently, Rex Tillerson, CEO of ExxonMobil -- the world's biggest company -- said of global warming, "it's manageable" and "we'll adjust".
I imagine that Tom Paine, Edward Gibbon, Adam Smith, James Watt and Adam Weishaupt might all be watching with great interest.