Themes Bold Predictions, Stern Warnings

Bold Predictions, Stern Warnings

These passionate, fearless speakers don’t mince words. They identify the most difficult problems and propose bold solutions.

Climatologist David Keith considers the dramatic and even dangerous ways in which global warming might be reversed in a hurry -- and who ought to regulate such action. On the same issue, economist Bjorn Lomborg delivers his controversial but no less important thesis: there are simply bigger problems to worry about. And characteristically acerbic James Howard Kunstler wants to stave off a hypothetical "long emergency" -- by encouraging developers to build public spaces worth caring about.

Other speakers see more reason for optimism. Maverick gerontologist Aubrey de Grey investigates the notion of indefinite life extension, while inventor Ray Kurzweil predicts an accelerated future where technology and humanity advance as one. And Robert Wright’s dry delivery somehow highlights his inspired conviction that human history has a direction -- an "arrow" -- and that, from here, things can only get better.

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