I recently saw a Hans Rosling video of a TED talk in which he was talking about population dynamics. The essence of his message was that prosperity stabilizes population. He said in regards to controlling population growth, he was not an optimist or a pessimist; he was a possibilist.
Humanity is facing two existential crises; unchecked population growth and global climate change. With present day energy sources, if we use cheap energy, which means coal, to raise the standard of living in the poorest countries, it stabilizes population but exacerbates climate change. If, on the other hand, we use more expensive sources of energy to limit climate change, the standard of living in the poorest countries goes down, exacerbating population growth. I think the solution to this conundrum might be Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors which can produce clean, carbon free energy cheaper than from coal. Yes, America and the world are facing a lot of challenging problems, but solutions are possible. I consider myself a possibilist. With Keys to Our Future I explore some of the possible obstacles as well as approaches to solving seemingly insurmountable problems.