01 February 2008

We Were Warned

"I have always thought that the reason we're called humanists is that we are involved with human beings as opposed to the supernatural -- the existence of which is dubious at best." - Isaac Asimov, speech to the The Humanist Institute, 14 January 1989.

I found two Asimov videos that were recently uploaded (within the past month). Dr. Asimov was asked to speak on the most important scientific issue of 1988. He chose the growing greenhouse effect -- global warming. This reminds of me of a 1988 interview between Ted Turner and Carl Sagan that I've linked to on this blog in the past -- humanity's ignorance of and indifference to its mortality is staggering. The speech is titled "Threats to Humanity".

"I'm not anymore idealistic than anyone else. I don't go around saying that human beings are going to love each other so much that they're going to set up a utopia, no. What I say is, that if human beings have any sanity, enough sanity to fear the consequences of not [coming together to stop global warming], and enough sanity to hope for the consequences of doing it, they will do it. But I can't guarantee that the human species will be sane. And if they are not, then we will probably destroy ourselves. We will certainly destroy civilization; we may destroy ourselves as a species. And...who is going to fight that? Who is going to lead in the direction? Well, I hope lots of people -- but I'm sure that among them will be the humanists. Because by their very name, they celebrate humanity. They want humanity to survive. And, they recognize that if they do survive, it will be by its own efforts. never can we sit back and wait for miracles to save us! Miracles don't happen. Sweat happens. Efforts happen. Thoughts happen. And it's us to help to have all that happen."

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