Learn about global challenges from the people who spend their time trying to solve them
JAMES B. GLATTFELDER
It is an interesting idiosyncrasy of our times that we have become increasingly accustomed to the ongoing success of the human mind in probing reality and understanding the world we live in. Indeed, the relevance of this ever growing body of knowledge, describing the universe and ourselves in greater and greater detail, cannot be overstated.
Many of us find ourselves charged, either by that little voice inside us or the loud voice of external social and philosophical mandates, to “Save The World”. The concept is inherently futile, given that it’s not clear exactly whose world we’d be saving, and saving my world might infringe on your world, leaving us in the muddle of whose rights are right; whose freedoms take precedent; whose values define the correct path.
During my lifetime we saw many and varying threats to our existence. The cold war being the most prominent for decades. This concern (nuclear annihilation) has not completely dissipated, but instead the bad actors have changed. By the 2000’s we clearly faced climate change with awareness if not action.
This essay is based on a basic premise that one of the ways of saving humanity with even rising societal inequalities is to create the magic of `access equality despite income inequality’. The “Base of the Economic Pyramid” comprises 2.6 billion people worldwide — a majority of whom live in Asia and Africa – subsisting on less than US $ 2 a day (PPP). Everyone needs access to essential services, be they education, health, financial services, communication and so on.
Vitus Bering, the famous explorer, led perhaps the most ambitious scientific expedition ever in the 1730s. Commanding 10,000 people, he was in charge of exploring the vast lands of Siberia and the unknown sea between Siberia and Alaska (Ceballos et al., 2015a). In 1741, he was forced to land on what would be later known as Bering Island, where he would die.
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