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What are you optimistic about in 2007 ?

John Brockman, Edge
While conventional wisdom tells us that things are bad and getting worse, scientists and the science-minded among us see good news in the coming years. That’s the bottom line of an outburst of high-powered optimism gathered from the world-class scientists and thinkers who frequent the pages of Edge, in an ongoing conversation among third culture thinkers (i.e., those scientists and other thinkers in the empirical world who, through their work and expository writing, are taking the place of the traditional intellectual in rendering visible the deeper meanings of our lives, redefining who and what we are.)

The 2007 Edge Question marks the 10th anniversary of Edge, which began in December, 1996 as an email to about fifty people. In 2006, Edge had more than five million individual user sessions.

I am pleased to present the 2007 Edge Question:

What Are You Optimistic About? Why?

The 160 responses to this year’s Edge Question span topics such as string theory, intelligence, population growth, cancer, climate and much much more. Contributing their optimistic visions are a who’s who of interesting and important world-class thinkers.
(1 Jan 2007)
Big Gav at Peak energy picks out his favorites in the 160 responses (about a page down in his humongous post.

Most widely read at 2006

Here are the best read stories from newsboards throughout 2006. Stories have been arranged according to month, to counterbalance the advantage older stories might have over newer ones. Unfortunately, it should be noted that stories may not always be available at their original sources anymore.

Nevertheless, the list makes for an interesting, let’s say, undulating plateau between hope (biggest ever oil field off US coast), disbelief (CERA: ”Peak Oil” theory is wrong) and despair (Fiscal crisis for Mexico as oil starts to dry up). Stories about environmental/climate change topics are markedly missing, by the way.
(3 Jan 2007)

Top 10 bizarro environmental moments of 2006

Francis Stokes, Gristmill
2006 had its share of environmental Backwards Day moments — some came from nature, some from Washington, and some from ordinary Americans who, for the first time since the era of acid rain and Three Mile Island, seemed to awaken into something resembling a national consciousness about our planet. Here’s a list of highlights:
Michael Crichton Wins “Excellence In Journalism” Award. …
Federal Funding For Climate Research Increased To Stall Climate Action. …
Create Your Own Chevy Attack Ad. …
America Outsourcing Its Pollution To China. …
Hunting Licenses Sold To Protect Wildlife. …
Christian Coalition Calls Out Bush On Global Warming. …
Kennedys Come Out Against Cape Wind Project. …
Utility Companies Ask Congress For Emission Caps. …
Al Gore Turns A Documentary Of A Slide Show Into A Hit Film With His Charisma.
Eskimos Buying Air Conditioners.
(30 Dec 2006)
Creating “Top XX Lists: is a growth industry over at Gristmill. Some others:

The Top [Renewable] Stories of 2006

Renewable Energy Access
From the passage of SB1 in California to a solar cell breaking the 40 percent efficiency barrier to a record year for wind power in the U.S., Canada and UK, renewable energy made tremendous strides over the past 12 months. So, to welcome in the New Year, we’re recapping some of the highlights of 2006.
(1 Jan 2007)

Kunstler’s Forecast For the Year Ahead

Jim Kunstler, Clusterf*ck Nation
…To sum it all up, I believe 2007 will be the year that the US finally feels the pain. More disorder will appear in the system. More cries of anguish will be heard throughout the land. More paralysis will set in. The bid for leadership may not follow the current story line — Barack…Hillary…Edwards…McCain…blah blah blah. Jokers and wild cards could step into the frame. America will be looking for a man on a white horse and instead they’ll get Newt Gingrich on an electric Humvee.
(1 Jan 2007)
Long, comprehensive post, in which Kunstler also reviews his predictions from last year.