All that to say, I continue to be amazed, two years after basically immersing myself in Tom's thinking, a year after interacting with his ideas literally every day, I still remain interested and just basically think he's right. Today's post that prompted this reflection is entitled Earth is doomed! Doomed I tell you!
Thumbnail version: we have a long and glorious history of worrying about changes (eg nukes, disease, bugs, pollution, the ozone hole, global warming) that do not turn out to be catastrophic. Amazingly, human ingenuity adapts.
All sorts of dramatic changes are proposed at huge costs, when, of course, for pennies a year we could save the same numbers from all sorts of early childhood diseases or make all sorts of advances in combating this or that affliction right here and now.
Then the close:
So don't surrender the future just yet (always tempting as these end of the year recollections remind you of all the tragedies that beset us over the past twelve month; why? because they're news man!).
We've never had a smaller percentage of humanity involved in organized violence than we do today.
We've never had a more robust or deeply integrated global economy than we do today, nor one growing so steadily and broadly.
We've never had more new scientific knowledge accumulating or smart people being put against tough tasks.
And we've never been more spiritual (outside of Europe, of course).
Humanity will top out at 50% more people than we have today within the next four decades. How we treat these four decades will determine much about the future of our species, but I see that challenge as our best one yet.
Not to be feared but to be relished. Not used to inspire fear but to build confidence. Not avoided but created.