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The scientists with reasons to be cheerful

Stashed in: Optimism, Science!, Awesome, The Future, Climate Change!

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In some ways we're living in a golden age of statistics -- there is more statistical information easily available on the internet than anyone could have dreamt of 20 years ago, and the visualization of that data is the obsession of many exceptionally talented people -- and yet it's a subject that is rarely taught in schools until the elite college level. Here are some scientists who are trying to use data to tell a fairly optimistic story of human progress.

This is some astounding optimism about finding a climate change solution.

“We’re in a moment where we have had a big ratchet over the past 50 years,” DeFries says. “We’re now seeing the hatchets fall: environmental problems, climate change, nitrogen run-off, inequitable distribution. Hopefully we’re in the pivot part of the cycle.” Greater efficiency in fertiliser and water use, and possibly shifts in our diet, will help us continue to stave off the long-heralded Malthusian catastrophe.

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