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* Africa Needs to Face AIDS

While political corruption and economic incompetence are identified as the two biggest problems facing Africa in Cynthia G. Wagner's piece "Brighter Visions for Africa" (March-April 2002), there is no mention of AIDS. A SWOT analysis that does not identify HIV/AIDS as a major threat is not worth the paper it is printed on.

Available data indicate that some 33.6 million people are infected with HIV worldwide, and 23.5 million (or about 70%) are in sub-Saharan Africa. The region has already lost 13.8 million people to AIDS, and nearly 10,500 new cases are diagnosed each day.

If African policy analysts and futurists cannot summon the courage to even identify AIDS as one of the biggest problems the continent faces, they are failing to see the big green elephant sitting in the middle of the room.

Dawit Teklu

Arnold, Maryland

dteklu@mail.aacc.cc.md.us

Editor's note: December 2001 figures from the World Health Organization show that 28.1 million people in subSaharan Africa are living with HIV/AIDS. This region accounted for 77% of AIDS deaths (2.3 million people) in 2001.

* Wherefore Utopia?

I certainly applaud the good folks who are truly altruistic and seek social betterment as a natural extension of their characters ("Utopia Revisited: New Thinking on Social Betterment," March-April 2002). But does utopia, as an objective topic, really have a place in any foreseeable future? Perhaps in a virtual reality simulator, but not in the real world. The consilience required of people and resources would be a thousand times greater than can be realistically achieved.

It is human nature that should change, and then perhaps the environment would be less hostile. The current evolution of Homo sapiens into, say, Homo augmentus does not indicate even a slight movement toward an objective utopia. Rather, utopia will remain--if it exists at all--within the individual.

As stated in the About this Issue essay, "Utopia has a bad reputation."

Steve A. Kornegay

Canton, Georgia

sak3@alltel.net

* Eco-Economy: Not-So-Trivial Pursuit

Lester R. Brown's article "The EcoEconomic Revolution: Getting the Market in Sync with Nature" (March-April 2002) was the most relevant I've read in all the years since I joined the World Future Society in the late 1970s because of its focus on what's really important in futurism. The earth has already suffered what is probably irreversible damage, and that further damage will be much more severe before world leaders take decisive action.

Harold E. Rohlik

Brunswick Hills, Ohio

HalRohlik@aol. …

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