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Friday, January 2, 2015


My whole professional life has been focused on pondering over Humanity's most important problems and determining the simplest solutions.  Incredibly enough, I actually have made valiant attempts at just about all the important ones.  The operative term, unfortunately, is valiant, for nothing much has worked so far, but I dream and deal with the next billion years, so it remains possible that I've planted potentially fruitful seeds here and there.  Last I heard, Planet Earth had at least 1.75 billion years left to be functional.  The book to the left is a compilation of some of my Huffington Post articles on these topics.

There must be hundreds of lists derived by visionaries and responsible groups of what these problems are, and here is just one, from the National Secular Society, a British organization that rejects the supernatural, but does not campaign to eradicate or prohibit religion:

   #10  Species Extinction
  #9    Radical Islam/Terrorism
   #8   War
   #7   Nuclear Proliferation
   #6   Malnutrition and Hunger
   #5   Global Water Crisis
   #4   Global Population Growth
   #3   Peak Oil/Energy Consumption
   #2   Global Economic Collapse
   #1   Global Warming

The World Economic Forum released their ninth insight Report on Global Risks 2014 to improve the State of the World:

   #10   Profound political and social instability
  #9   Failure of a major financial mechanism/institution
     #8   Food crisis
     #7   Global governance failure
     #6   Greater incidence of extreme weather events
     #5   Failure of climate change mitigation and adaption
     #4   Severe income disparity
     #3   Water crisis
     #2   Structurally high unemployment
     #1   Fiscal crises in key economies

As an economic organization, of course it is concerned mostly about the economy.  Environmental associations similarly harp on what ails Planet Earth and gloss over societal systems.  The book to the left selects six survival topics related to Planet Earth.  Others have suggested peak phosphate, decimation of bees, asteroids gamma-ray bursts from a supernova, and THE VENUS SYNDROME, plus many more threats to our existence.

I would like to take all the above, plus the many dozens of others I've seen over the past half century, and crystallize the essence into what  are, truly, Humanity's most critical issues, touched on in my book to the right.   I add another dimension of consideration by plugging into the analysis not only problems, but opportunities.  Through amalgamation, synthesis and simplification, I have arrived at a shorter fundamental list, and over the next few postings, will elaborate on the challenges and provide simple solutions:

   #7   The ultimate energy system
   #6   The Blue Revolution
   #5   Remediation of global warming
   #4   Control of population
   #3   Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence 
   #2   Peace
   #1   What happens when you die?  I might even create a more upbeat title.

The first few concepts can be solved technologically, but there are economic-socio-political constraints that get in the way, becoming fuzzier to #1, which can only be rationalized philosophically.  Concerns about water, food and poverty are linked to population and energy.  The world economy will cycle through  prosperity and depression, but there will ultimately be recovery, again and again.  There is nothing terminal about our economy.  Terrorism, war, and nuclear proliferation are all linked to the attainment of peace.

The B612 Foundation and its successors will handle asteroids and gamma-ray bursts, I hope.  I can't single-handedly solve all the problems of our universe.
I will begin with #7 on the ultimate energy system, maybe tomorrow, but certainly by early next week.  I tend to dabble in lighter fare on weekends.


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