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.
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.
Washington Post, Ashley Halsey: As the U.S. goes through a nasty flu season in 2017-18, the 1918 nightmare serves as a reminder that a century of modern medicine might not save millions from dying.
William Schopf, paleobiologist, John Valley, geoscientist: As humans, it’s difficult to take the long view of history because we’re the new kids on the block, having only been around 3 million years or so. Although you may feel old by the time you’re an adult, the reality is that people are a recent development. The first life forms existed long before our arrival, now confirmed as some 3.5 billion years ago.
Associated Press: Researchers in South Africa have unveiled what they call "by far the most complete skeleton of a human ancestor older than 1.5 million years ever found." The skeleton dates back 3.6 million years. Its discovery is expected to help researchers better understand the human ancestor's appearance and movement. "Not only is Africa the storehouse of the ancient fossil heritage for people the world over, it was also the wellspring of everything that makes us human, including our technological prowess, our artistic ability and our supreme intellect,"
Caldwell Esselstyn and co-authors, Cleveland Clinic: Though current medical and surgical treatments manage coronary artery disease, CAD, they do little to prevent or stop it. Nutritional intervention, as shown in this study and others, has halted and even reversed CAD. Diagnostic nuclear medicine, PET, positron emission tomography, plays a key role in documenting these facts.
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.