Food For Thought: Techno-Optimists and Pessimists

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“Based on first-hand evidence of your own senses – the improved health and later ages at which acquaintances die nowadays as compared with the past; the material goods that we now possess; the speed at which information, entertainment, and we ourselves move freely throughout the world – it seems to me that a person must be literally deaf and blind not to perceive that humanity is in a much better state than ever before.”
–Julian Simon, author of The Ultimate Resource

“Today’s world is one in which the age-old risks of humankind – the drought, floods, communicable diseases- are less of a problem than ever before.  They have been replaced by the risks of humanity’s own making – the unintended side-effects of beneficial technologies and the intended effects of the technologies of war.  Society must hope that the world’s ability to assess and manage risks will keep pace with its ability to create them.”– J. Clarence Davies, quoted in Conservation Foundation: State of the Environment, An Assessment at Mid-Decade, 1984

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