Why the World isn’t Over . . . Yet

There are a number of environemntal, political and financial problems in the world that its most resourceful, patient and intelligent people should address. Luckily, many of these people are on the case, as was evident at the 2008 Pop!Tech conference.

The world is not over yet because:

This might be a much needed wakeup call: "It is only during scarcity that we use human intelligence to the effect that we can use it," Peter Whybrow said. The bad news is that we’re the world’s greatest debtor. The good news is that the current financial crisis might make us stop and think, and encourage scarcity. Saul Griffith similarly said that US energy consumption goes down during crises like the Great Depression, the oil crisis, the recession, and September 11th.

There is such thing as unity against a common enemy: Carl Safina, who is concerned with the destruction of sea life, said that scientists and christian evangelicals were once mortal enemies but are now in the same boat since both want to prevent what’s happening to our oceans.

People are willing to forgive: Laura Waters Hinson shot a documentary about victims of the genocide in Rwanda who were willing to forgive the people that murdered their families, demonstrating that people can heal, even after extreme atrocities.

Necessity breeds innovation: Paul Pollack spoke about the ways in which D-Rev is figuring out ways to meet the survival needs of those living in poverty, with $25 incubators made out of sleeping bags and solar reflectors made out of pop tart wrappers. Dr. Jay Parkinson figured out a way for people to get higher quality health care while still making money as a doctor. Dr. Stephen Badylak might have found an alternative to amputation where, like a lizard, a person can grow his/her entire limb back.

There are still some smart people out there: Juan Enriquez came up with the most intelligent way out of this financial crisis we’ve heard so far.