The Man Who Saved Civilization

Just about fifty years ago, civilisation was probably saved by the immensely courageous restraint of one man, a Russian named Vasili Arkhipov, whose refusal to launch a nuclear torpedo at the US fleet almost certainly saved us from all-out nuclear war.
Kennedy had given us some time by being slightly less belligerent than his advisers, but subsequently it was Kruschev who responded civilly to Bertrand Russell's letter reminding him that even the world triumph of capitalism, if it should happen, would be preferable to the desolation of World War Three. He'd sent a similar letter to Kennedy, with the word "communism" instead of "capitalism".

In reading about this time, I was quite alarmed to learn that there were then, fifty years ago, only about 3,250 million humans upon the planet. The figure today is over 7,000 million. According to newspaper reports from around 1900, it was then about 1,500 million.

It now seems that Russia and the USA are unlikely to blunder into quite so wickedly stupid a situation now, although the weapons are still being maintained. There are now two problems facing the world, besides the idiot Tea Baggers.
Overpopulation, and the end of fossil carbon. Whether the end of fossil carbon will be simply exorbitant cost, or a sudden "rush of brains to the head" in the Congress, the media, and the general public, about global warming -- I do not know.

The sad thing is, that the USA has had the answer to both global warming and its own dependence upon foreign fossil carbon, since the 1980's. It is not derived from our Sun, it is energy that was concentrated in massive atomic nuclei, by the stellar catastrophes known as supernovae.