This section covers historical highlights of people in general. It exams what can be done to make the future better than the past, including how plentiful, reliable energy can help. Contributions are from people in all walks of life.
John Shanahan, President of Environmentalists for Nuclear - USA: As far as we know, Earth is the only place in the universe with the right climate, atmosphere, water, land, plants, animals, birds and creatures in the oceans to sustain life in all its beauty. People think that Paradise is peaceful and harmonious. But frequently humans are at serious odds with each other. There are people in many walks of life working for peace, strong economies and human dignity. That has never been enough. Many parts of the world are under the influence of leaders or whole governments scheming how to put down other peoples and countries. Some countries are under the influence of people who predict that the world is coming to an end. They want to impose their solutions on everyone. This essay highlights a few scientists and engineers working for a better world overall using science not beliefs or ideologies.
Charles Mackay, author, journalist: Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds is an early study of crowd psychology by Scottish journalist Charles Mackay, first published in 1841. The book was published in three volumes: "National Delusions", (Economic Bubbles), "Peculiar Follies", (Crusades, Witch mania), and "Philosophical Delusions" (Alchemists).
Ray DiLorenzo, Editor, Stand Up America: Slaves from Africa bore most of the burden, but slaves from countries like Ireland were also used. Irish slaves came to America as early as 1625 when James II sold 30,000 Irish prisoners as slaves to the New World. It is estimated that approximately 100,000 Irish men, women, and children were transported to the colonies as slaves. Not to be called racist, Britain, in the 17th and 18th centuries, was an equal opportunity exploiter of human flesh, having sold over 600,000 Irish, Scottish, and Catholics into slavery. In early America, slavery was not a race issue, it was primarily a financial one.
Skip Hobbs, geologist: The Future of Planet Earth: A Changing Biosphere, Humans, and Global Stewardship. Since its creation 4.5 billion years ago, the earth has experienced constant change. Geologic change takes time. Human civilization has made, and continues to make, profound changes to the earth, both to the benefit and detriment of mankind and all other inhabitants of earth's biosphere.
Albert Einstein is one of the most widely publicly recognized scientists ever. His humor in statements and photos as well as wonderful quotes about life are nearly equally well known.
Ben Johnson, Historic UK: By the late 1800s, large cities all around the world were “drowning in horse manure”. In order for these cities to function, they were dependent on thousands of horses for the transport of both people and goods. The manure on London’s streets also attracted huge numbers of ﬂies which then spread typhoid fever and other diseases. Similar issues of waste from low energy density energy sources like wind and solar apply, without the stench and disease spreading flies.
Paul 't Hart, Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences Research Fellow: Irving Janis' study of Groupthink has had a major influence on students of group processes, decision-making, and management. It has influenced international-relations analysts in their efforts to understand the dynamics of the occurrence and resolution of international crises (including regional wars on up to world wars).
Bret Stephens, New York Times: People like Bill McKibben and Naomi Klein have made careers saying more or less the same thing - that affluence is not our greatest achievement but our biggest problem. This is a world where the clock is permanently set at two minutes to midnight, and where only a radical transformation of modern society (usually combining dramatic changes in personal behavior along with a heavy dose of state intervention) can save us. Above all, the Vogtians say, we need less: less consumption, less stuff, fewer people, and so on.
The Y nutrition guide: Following these diet recommendations, plus being physically active and maintaining a healthy weight, can go far in helping prevent cancer. For a simpler rule of thumb, you can also follow the advice of Michael Pollan, author of In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto: "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." According to the American Cancer Society, almost 1.7 million new cancer cases and more than 600,000 cancer-related deaths are projected to occur in the United States this year, 2017.
Paul Driessen, senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow: It seems nearly everyone wants to advance sustainability principles. The problem is, no one really knows what they are. Real sustainability means responsible conservation and stewardship of natural resources. The public relations variety is mostly image-enhancing fluff.