Max Roser, economist, geoscientist, philosopher, Founder and Program Director, Our World in Data: To see where we are coming from we must go far back in time. When you only consider what the world looked during our life time it is easy to make the mistake of thinking of the world as relatively static – the rich, healthy and educated parts of the world here and the poor, uneducated, sick regions there – and to falsely conclude that it always was like that and that it always will be like that. In 1950 two-thirds of the world were living in extreme poverty; in 1981 it was still 42%. In 2015 – the last year for which we currently have data – the share of the world population in extreme poverty has fallen below 10%. That is a huge achievement, for me as a researcher who focuses on growth and inequality maybe the biggest achievement of all in the last two centuries.
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.
John Shanahan, President of Environmentalists for Nuclear - USA: Modern use of energy, primarily fossil fuels, hydro-electric and nuclear will enable mankind to live better, more peacefully, have quality education, find better jobs, protect the environment and preserve wildlife habitat. This presentation shows a few examples of people in seven countries in Europe and on the Mediterranean working for and enjoying an amazing world.
Willis Eschenbach: The UN Poll of what are the most important things to the public are education, healthcare, jobs, good government, affordable food, control crime, clean water and sanitation, support for people who can't work, good transportation and roads, equality between men and women, reliable energy, political freedom, freedom from discrimination and persecution, protecting the environment, phone and Internet access, action on climate change. Action on climate change is at the very bottom for both men and women.