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Natural History, Not Technology, Will Dictate Our Destiny

        Humans • convinced of our own power and control •           tend to ignore the laws of nature. That is a mistake.

        This story is adapted from A Natural History of the Future: What the Laws

        of Biology Tell Us About the Destiny of the Human Species, by Rob Dunn.

        WHEN WE HUMANS imagine the future, it is common to picture ourselves  

        nested within an ecosystem populated by robots, devices, and virtual

        realities. The future is shining and technological. The future is digital,

        ones and zeros, electricity and invisible connections. The dangers of the

        future—automation and artificial intelligence—are of our own invention.

        Nature is an afterthought in our contemplation of what comes next, a

        transgenic potted plant behind a window that does not open. Most

        depictions of the future do not even include nonhuman life, except on

        distant farms (tended by robots) or in indoor gardens. We put up a levee

        between our civilizations and the rest of life, and that’s a mistake—both

        because it is not possible to hold life at bay and because in trying to

        achieve such a scenario, we do so at our own expense. Not only does this

        defy our place in nature, but also what we know about the rules of nature.

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Comment by Michael Grove on January 18, 2022 at 13:33

The Six Americas Over Time

There has been a significant change in the distribution of the Six Americas over the past five years. The Alarmed segment has grown by more than 50% (from 17% to 26% of the U.S. adult population) between 2015 and 2020, while the Dismissive segment has trended downward (from 10% to 8%). Overall, Americans are becoming more worried about global warming, more engaged with the issue, and more supportive of climate solutions. 

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