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Retro: Winning the Great Wager
Jamais Cascio, 23 Aug 05

Although WorldChanging is sometimes labeled an "optimistic" site, it's not, really; optimism, these days at least, implies an almost Panglossian willingness to ignore problems. Instead of optimistic, I'd argue that WorldChanging is a resolute site. We recognize the scale of the danger that the planet faces, and have focused on seeking out the ways in which that danger can be faced and beaten. Alex's essay from February of 2005, Winning the Great Wager, is an attempt to lay out in clear, unflinching terms precisely why the situation we're in is so dire -- and why hope is still not just possible, but required.

We don't say it in public, but we've placed a giant wager here on the future of the human race. The terms of the bet are this: we can move to a new model, a model based on a standard of sustainability higher even than that which we'd need today to fit within our 1.9 hectares per person, but which provides prosperity to billions more, a prosperity equal to or greater than what today costs 10 hectares per person. And we need to do it in 25 years. And we need to get it right the first time. And the cost of failure is the planet.
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"We recognize the scale of the danger that the planet faces, and have focused on seeking out the ways in which that danger can be faced and beaten."

Resolute -- yes
Realistic -- yes
"we are doomed no matter what we do, we are all gonna die!" -- no

Therefore you qualify as one of the most optimistic sites dealing with potentially catastrophic probllems like Peak Oil, pandemics and Global Warming I have ever encountered!

Keep up the great work!


Posted by: Euthydemos in Athens on 25 Aug 05



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