John L. Petersen, the well regarded futurist and head of The Arlington Institute, has written A Vision for 2012, a must read timely essay-length call to action for citizens and governments. In Petersen's view, global warming, fossil fuel depletion, recent economic market disruptions and more, portend massive societal and planetary disruption in the next decade. For some, the year 2012 is a year of foretold doom. 2012 is Petersen's symbolic way of saying "Stop thinking about tomorrow" as the song goes, and start thinking about today. A self-proclaimed optimist, Petersen balances one set of trend lines with another that point to scientific and technological breakthroughs, from new medicines, to the Internet, as holding out the possibility for resolving the challenges we face. But there is no way around the need for government planning and action, and here Petersen is flying on a wing and a prayer. As the book also concedes, governments and society in general usually act conservatively and plan and deal in the less painful policy world of incremental, short term advance until the crisis occurs (think about our failure to address the ticking time bomb of entitlement obligations). We have a lot of political talk about Manhattan projects to develop alternatives to oil or reduce greenhouse emissions (called for in the book) but we know that governments and the citizenry usually act after the fact (e.g. Katrina). Global cooperation is even more difficult and the United States, which the author calls on to lead, has not exactly led over the last decade (think Kyoto) Petersen hopes it can be different if we work together---using technologies like the collaborative Internet---to think, plan, and advocate for change together. Read the book.