John Eidson, writer, analyst for energy, climate change, government policies, retired electrical engineer, independent voter: Using and managing nuclear power requires sound national and nuclear industry leadership. Adversity comes in different grades. Coping with a serious cancer, for example, is light years more difficult than coping with a sprained ankle. The same kind of adversity gap exists when comparing the sudden loss of a loved one to having a flat tire. What I’ll touch on here is coping with extreme adversity. The challenge of extreme adversity is to find a way to cope when it seems our world is crashing in around us. Like the tree pictured above, we must somehow summon the tenacity to hang in there when things seem hopeless.
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.
Petr Beckmann, Professor of Electrical Engineering: This energy book is still the most concise comparison of health hazards across multiple electrical generating technologies of which I am aware. He makes clear that no technique for generating electricity is absolutely safe. Each has its risks. However some are much more dangerous to human safety and health than others. His energy book carefully makes comparisons and shows that our failure to use nuclear as the primary heat source for electrical power generation has sentenced many people to premature death. Nuclear power generation using U.S. technology is not only safer in some aspects, but in all significant aspects.
Washington Post, Ashley Halsey: As the U.S. goes through a nasty flu season in 2017-18, the 1918 nightmare serves as a reminder that a century of modern medicine might not save millions from dying.