Fried Light: The future in a nutshell

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By Roger Snodgrass

“A mind is a terrible thing to waste,” as the campaign slogan for the United Negro College has pressed into our heads for over thirty-five years, while raising $2.2 billion for its cause.

And what about a country? What about a world?

The Center for Naval Analyses says 46 countries with a combined population of 2.7 billion people are at a high risk of armed conflict. Another 1.2 billion people live in 56 countries facing political instabilities.

Half the world sits on a precipice staring at a nightmare of uncertain energy and food prices while failed governments and global greed shove them from behind.

Water shortages, drug-resistant diseases, hyper-weather disasters and criminal proliferation: there are new horsemen of the apocalypse every time we take the roll.

Three billion people in the world make less than $2 a day, as Rajan Gupta of Los Alamos National Laboratory, urgently reminds people in his analysis of the planet’s energy dilemmas. That’s twice the population of a hundred years ago and half the number who are living now.

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