Global Democracy’s Sword of Damocles – The Politics of Science and Survival, or the Dance of the Polichinelles


By Scott Douglas Jacobsen


Values enacted construct societies.

Lenny Bruce once said, “Let me tell you the truth. The truth is what is, and what should be is a fantasy. A terrible, terrible lie that someone gave to the people long ago.”

Before the death of Albert Einstein on April 18, 1955 in Princeton, New Jersey (“New Joi-Zee”), United States of America, he continued to work on the prevention or attenuation of the negative derivative effects of the theories starting 50 years earlier in 1905 with Special Relativity and, in particular, 40 years earlier with General Relativity in 1915 (Nature, 2019). In the former, in Special Relativity, a uniform motion of objects or observers, or non-accelerating objects or observers, means identical referential laws of physics, or “the laws of physics are the same… in all inertial frames of reference” and the speed of light remains the same for all observers or objects in the universe(Tate, 2009; The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2018a).[1] “Observers,” in this context, does not limit to critters like us or even the category of living things. In this sense of observation, the universe “interacts” with itself or observes itself, or objects within the cosmos function as observers, whether subatomic particles, organic creatures, planets and planetary satellites, or galactic filaments. Stuff interacts. It’s the nature of nature. In the latter, in General Relativity, space and time unify as space-time and matter in the universe warps the curvature of space-time while space-time affects matter in a mutual dance with gravity included in the relativistic due to General Relativity’s advancements of Special Relativity (Kaku, 2019; The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2018a; Perkowitz, 2019; Physics of the Universe, 2019).[2] Einstein may not have seen the engineering applications in totality of the twin theories with both positive derivatives, e.g., GPS technologies, and negative derivatives, e.g. nuclear weapons in massive stockpiles and the long run of the Cold War – though he lived to see some of the latter. One of the negative derivative effects found in thermonuclear weapons, i.e., the splitting of the Uranium atom in 1938 changed everything (Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2010; American Museum of Natural History, n.d.).[3] Knowledge of these weapons will haunt the species into the indefinite future as the theoretical foundations for the weapons exist, the engineering knowhow for the weapons exist, the materials for the creation of the weapons exist, and, indeed, the weapons in the current moment exist, and the social and political tensions exist in sufficient spurts, too.


Einstein wrote a letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt (National Geographic, 2017).[4] Grossman (2019) stated, “That letter from Einstein triggered the Manhattan Project, an emergency program by the United States to build atomic weaponry — to construct atom bombs before Nazi Germany. And it led to a widening of nuclear technology and ushered in what has been called the ‘Atomic Age.’” Words hold power. Einstein’s letters become multi-million-dollar objects (Jacobsen, 2018b). Einstein’s August 2nd letter to Roosevelt alongside U.S. intelligence operatives’ reports about Adolf Hitler’s scientists working on atomic weapons set forth the nationalist security imperative to construct a massive initiative to race into first place to build a workable thermonuclear weapon called the Manhattan Project (History.Com, 2019). To Einstein’s credit, the Manhattan Project began in late 1941, where Einstein “was not involved in it” based on the denial of a security clearance in July of 1940 because of “pacifist tendencies” (Green, 2015; Atomic Heritage Foundation, 2019a). Prior generations made mistakes; we live with them. Mistakes do not mean evil, necessarily, but show the limits in human beings with restraints in context. Although, Margaret Atwood said, “Stupidity is the same as evil if you judge by the results.” This seems correct. As in the other cases, there is simple intent to murder. Grossman (2019) explains Einstein provided robust qualification about the entrance into war effort involvement with the Americans against the Germans regarding the atom bomb.

Even though, anthropogenic climate change remains an enormous problem, looming, as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change continues onward with its Sixth Assessment Cycle – in progress (IPCC, 2019).[5] In addition, global population continues well beyond reasonable numbers with current technologies and the birthrates needing lowering, on average, with an increasing required in some areas, e.g., some of East Asia, Western Europe, Oceania, and North America, and decreasing in other areas, the Middle East and Africa, for stability of the global population to maintenance levels at 2.1 children for an average woman (World Population Review, 2019; The World Bank, 2017; Searchinger, T., et al, 2013).[6] Even with these other associated and large problems, nuclear proliferation continues to threaten several nations and, in turn, the world, including potential lethality internal to the state, e.g., the recent explosion, killing several, in Russia, or internationally, e.g., claims of a Russian “Intercontinental Nuclear-Powered Nuclear-Armed Autonomous Torpedo by the U.S. government” in development in 2014 with projected deployment (not launching, readiness capacity) by 2020, or simply the 6,490 nuclear warheads of Russia, 6,185 of the United States of America, 300 of France, 290 of China, 200 of the United Kingdom, 160 of Pakistan, 140 of India, 90 of Israel, and 30 of North Korea as of June, 2019 (Reuters, 2019; Sutton, 2019; Davenport, 2019).[7] Nearly 14,000 nuclear warheads, in other words, with 90% in either Russia or the United States, who remain the worst offenders in the over-stocking of nuclear weapons (Davenport, 2019). The Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation confirmed the recent explosion and deaths (Roth, 2019a; Roth, 2019b). Iran, correctly, notes the United States as the first and only nation to use nuclear weapons (O’Connor, 2019) while India remains committed to not using them based on some reportage (Miglani, 2019). The Russian Tupolev Tu-154M spotted over the American Midwest, recently, poses no threat as this functioned and functions as part of the Treaty on Open Skies (Law, 2019). This and other documents represent national efforts decrease fear and increase trust; these remain only some of the news notes, too.


The Treaty on Open Skies, according to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, “established a regime of unarmed observation flights over the territories of State Parties. It specifies, inter alia, quotas for observation flights, the notification of points of entry, the technical details and inspection for sensors” (1992).[8] “States Parties” applies to the states of the United States and Russia here. However, the U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin pulling out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) signed by then-President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987 remains an enormous concern in the escalation of the possibilities of nuclear war and, thus, nuclear catastrophe. Where climate change is alarming and “looming” and overpopulation is concerning, nuclear catastrophe is regularly and increasingly hair-raising in the reinvigorated Strongmen Era.[9]

Many around the world see a strongman in Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi (Siddiqui et al, 2019; Chaudhary & Dilawar, 2019; Mukherjee, 2019; Asghar, 2019; Crabtree, 2019; Marlow & Chaudhary, 2019). Others see President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping as another one (Branigan, 2017; Tisdall, 2019; Roxburgh, 2019; Hemmings, 2019; Hartcher, 2019; Seidel, 2019). President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, gets the same wrap (Carroll, 2019; Roxburgh, 2019; The Editorial Board, 2019). President Trump of the United States garners the same reputation (Kroll, 2019; Walter, 2019; Walker, 2018). The Supreme Leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-Un, earned the same status (Watson, 2019; Nueman, 2019; Saunders, 2019). President of Egypt Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi got the same moniker (DW, 2019; CNN, 2019). President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan lives in this coterie of titles as well (Ahval, 2019; Sonmez, 2019; Washington Examiner, 2019). President of Hungary Viktor Mihály Orbán operates within the same name (Whitman, 2019; Than & Szakacs, 2018; Hirsch, 2019; Liptak, 2019). Those who influenced Orban functioned on a platform of myths, of long-time tales, rather trivial and shallow (Robinson, 2018a; Robinson, 2018b). Stories matter; but why not make new ones? President of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, got himself the same old title (Rachman, 2018; van Wagtendonk, 2019; Trinkunas; Royden, 2018). Philippines Rodrigo Duterte earned the label to some (Roughneen, 2019a; Todd, 2019; Roughneen, 2019b). Imran Khan, Prime Minister of Pakistan, did too (Waraich, 2018; Bukhari, 2018). Same with the Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu (Judah, 2018; Zeveloff, 2019). Identical for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson (Plummer, 2019; Plummer, 2019). These strongmen associate with one another too (Montanaro, 2017). Taking the populations of these countries, more than half of the world’s populations remain under the thumb of strongman politics. Not original now, not original in history, even with the United States, not unique in the 21st or in the 20th century.

At the outset of this current crisis, the United States wanted to retain its absolute control of nuclear armaments at the beginning of the nuclear era. Despite this nationalist imperative, the science and technology of massively destructive weapons took a turn in July, 1945 with the first nuclear test explosion and then the dropping of two atomic bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima in August, 1945 (Davenport, 2019). The Soviet Union conducted its first nuclear test in 1949; the United Kingdom conducted its first in 1952; France conducted its first in 1960; and China conducted its first in 1964 (Ibid.). The threat levels of possible nuclear war increasing and, possibly, with the continued problem of rising competition in the nuclear domain set the United States and “other like-minded states” to negotiate for the creation of the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) and the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) (Ibid.).

The NPT went into force in March, 1970 with the classification of the world’s states-parties, 191 countries, to the NPT placed into one of two categories: nuclear weapon states (NWS) or non-nuclear-weapon states (NNWS), where North Korea announced withdrawal from the NPT on January 10, 2003 with the reneging effective January 11, 2003 (Kimball, 2012). Of those NWS labelled within the NPT, i.e., China, France, Russia, the United States, and the United Kingdom, they agreed to “commit to pursue general and complete disarmament, while the NNWS agree to forgo developing or acquiring nuclear weapons” (Ibid.). The NPT maintains a near universal membership and, thus, one of the broadest adherences of any arms control treaties (Ibid.).[10] The NPT developed an interesting history too (Kimball, 2018).

The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) was the other treaty founded as a complement to the NPT signed on September 10, 1996 with China, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Egypt, India, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Israel, Pakistan, and United States of America having failed to ratify the CTBT to this date – noting France, the Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland ratified it (Kimball, 2019a; Collina & Kimball, 2010).[11] Besides the NPT and the CTBT, there have been several concerns over the years (Davenport, 2019).[12] The successes outweigh the failures in spite of the difficulties, according to Davenport (2019). The United Nations with several conferences continues to work to expedite the facilitation of bringing into force the CTBT (United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs, 2019).

The NPT worked. When it concluded, the nuclear stockpiles of the United States and the Soviet Union/Russia were counted in the tens of thousands compared to the only, relatively speaking, about 14,000 present in all nuclear states mentioned earlier (Ibid.). The United States and Russia, rather than the world multilateral treaties, worked on several bilateral arms control agreements and initiatives with limitations on and reduction of the scale of their mutual nuclear arsenals, including SALT I, SALT II, START I, START II, START III Framework, SORT (Moscow Treaty), New START, and Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty (Kimball, 2019b).[13] As Davenport (2019) states, “Today, the United States and Russia each deploy roughly 1,400 strategic warheads on several hundred bombers and missiles, and are modernizing their nuclear delivery systems… Scholars globally are feeling the heat from politicians. They should take inspiration from scientists in the 1950s who raised the alarm over nuclear weapons.” Scientists and public citizenry can, and should, raise alarms in all known nuclear states at this time. These following from nuclear proliferation and the threat, ongoing, of nuclear war and, thus, nuclear catastrophe, the Manhattan Project, the letter to Roosevelt with additional warnings of U.S. army personnel, and the original discovery-invention of Special Relativity and General Relativity making this a possibility as a concern in the first place.


Also prior to Einstein’s death, and closer to it, he co-authored a report on avoiding nuclear war (Nature, 2019). Einstein wrote an article in November of 1947 emphasizing several important points in the avoidance of nuclear war as well. He opened, “Since the completion of the first atomic bomb nothing has been accomplished to make the world more safe from war, while much has been done to increase the destructiveness of war. I am not able to speak from any firsthand knowledge about the development of the atomic bomb, since I do not work in this field” (Einstein, 1947). He goes on to note the ways in which the nuclear bombs could become larger, more destructive with the resultant catastrophic effect of radioactive gases, even with a note, to a more modern issue, of the possibility of bacteriological warfare with bacteriological warfare taking the same position as digital warfare as a fifth dimension in war in the present moment as bacteriological warfare took in Einstein’s moment (CIA, 2007; Lockheed Martin, 2019; Ratheon, 2019; The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2017b). Einstein spoke to the concerns of bombs of a larger size, of the importance of a supranational governing body for control of atomic weaponry or for the mediation of said nuclear armaments, of the lack of initiative of the United States and of the Soviet Union in working towards these aims of mutual benefit, and more.

He affirmed the moral position, “In refusing to outlaw the bomb while having the monopoly of it, this country suffers in another respect, in that it fails to return publicly to the ethical standards of warfare formally accepted previous to the last war. It should not be forgotten that the atomic bomb was made in this country as a preventive measure; it was to head off its use by the Germans, if they discovered it. The bombing of civilian centers was initiated by the Germans and adopted by the Japanese. To it the Allies responded in kind—as it turned out, with greater effectiveness—and they were morally justified in doing so. But now, without any provocation, and without the justification of reprisal or retaliation, a refusal to outlaw the use of the bomb save in reprisal is making a political purpose of its possession; this is hardly pardonable” (Ibid.).

Einstein believed the Americas should “manufacture and stockpile the bomb” in order to deter other nation-states from making an offensive maneuver, an attack, with an atomic weapon. The nuclear armaments, suggested at the time, for development in the United States for this to comprise a deterrence capacity. He affirmed deterrence and diplomatically working on a multilateral level to create a supranational entity for the coaxing of the Soviet Union into working within the international community instead of utilizing fear and war rhetoric because this “only heightens antagonism and increases the danger of war” (Ibid.). He described the emergence from war as an, in a manner of speaking, acceptance of degrading low moral bars with “starting toward another war degraded by our own choice” (Ibid.).

The improved capacity and know-how in the construction of the weapons of mass destruction formed a basis for strategic concern or worry for Einstein as these mean cheap nuclear weapons and widely available, and thus more easily accessible, nuclear weapons. Democracy lies in the hands of the governed. Citizens can demand higher ethical standards of behaviour of the government’s representatives of them as far as the state retains some semblance of representativeness. Einstein stated, “Unless there is a determination not to use them that is stronger than can be noted today among American political and military leaders, and on the part the public itself, atomic warfare will be hard to avoid. Unless Americans come to recognize that they are not stronger in the world because they have the bomb, but weaker because of their vulnerability to atomic attack, they are not likely to conduct their policy at Lake Success or in their relations with Russia in a spirit that furthers the arrival at an understanding” (Ibid.).

American reluctance to outlaw the atomic bomb, in his view, was the reason for a lack of Soviet agreement on nuclear arms control. As one may tell from the CTBT, in the current era, the United States did not ratify the treaty while the Russian Federation has ratified it (Kimball, 2019a; Collina & Kimball, 2010). This reasoning may echo here and remain valid. Einstein (1947) continued, “That the Russians are striving to prevent the formation of a supranational security system is no reason why the rest of the world should not work to create one. It has been pointed out that the Russians have a way of resisting with all their arts what they do not wish to have happen; but once it happens, they can be flexible and accommodate themselves to it.” This becomes the basis for diplomacy at the time. Einstein felt comfortable with the creation of a supranational authority with or without the Russians in 1947.

Although, he noted, “These are abstractions, and it is not easy to outline the specific lines a partial world government must follow to induce the Russians to join. But two conditions are clear to me: the new organization must have no military secrets; and the Russians must be free to have observers at every session of the organization, where its new laws are drafted, discussed, and adopted, and where its policies are decided. That would destroy the great factory of secrecy where so many of the world’s suspicions are manufactured” (Einstein, 1947).

He believed in a requirement of the supranational security system involving the assembly and council including election by the people rather than the government to “enhance the pacific nature of the organization” (Ibid.). He believed democratic institutions are not appreciated by the lands in which they have taken root and harboured the collective will of the people (more or less). Einstein, in admission of the practical limit of the ideals stipulated in the statements, said, “I do not hide from myself the great difficulties of establishing a world government, either a beginning without Russia or one with Russia. I am aware of the risks. Since I should not wish it to be permissible for any country that has joined the supranational organization to secede, one of these risks is possible civil war. But I also believe that world government is certain to come in time, and that the question is how much it is to be permitted to cost. It will come, I believe, even if there is another world war, though after such a war, if it is won, it would be world government established by the victor, resting on the victor’s military power, and thus to be maintained permanently only through the permanent militarization of the human race” (Ibid.).[14]

The catastrophe of the result of nuclear arms stockpiling can come from accidents with apparent miraculous saving of the human species from rapid extinction due to said nuclear obliteration of, likely, all mammalian life of the planet. Einstein did not believe in the power of prayer, rejected a personal God, and, in essence, agreed with the God of Spinoza with a belief in human affairs left to human beings to solve or not; hence, the proposal of a “supranational” entity, not a corporation, rather than the transcendent (Jacobsen, 2018c; Letters of Note, 2009).[15] The word God becomes a product of human weakness rather than a stipulation of faith about the penultimate source of being. Something akin to an ill-defined concept and ill-conceived word where human frailties leave one to mutter, not incoherently but, in one’s inability to coherently explain, “God did it. It was God.” Failures, directly or indirectly, committed by human oversight, ignorance, or general stupidity.


These exist in the record of the Nuclear Era too. One came from the NORAD computer chip malfunction(s) between November 1979 and June 1980 (Wright, 2015; Wright, 2016). Here, during the 1945 to 1990 Cold War, and in this malfunction, period mentioned, there were several false alarms of Soviet Union nuclear attacks on the United States (Wright, 2016). June 3, 1980 some consider “by far” the worst of the false flags when the “main US warning centers” were notified of a “large incoming nuclear strike” in which the National Security Advisor, Zbigniew Brezezinski, to the American President awoke at 3 am with a phone call stating the urgent need to deal with a large nuclear attack on the United States and the, apparent, urgent need to prepare a call to the President of the United States (Ibid.). Brezezinski did not awaken his wife because he assumed everyone would be dead within 30 minutes (Ibid.). Failure in automated and human-designed equipment with the possibility for the annihilation of humanity if not for human intervention.[16],[17]

The SAC-NORAD communications error was another big issue (Floss Books, n.d.).[18] One means by which to determine if a missile attack will head towards one’s own countries comes from the advanced warning systems built to show this or not. Other ways include proxies of this. The probability of a complete warning systems and communications system shutdown seems low. In this latter case, one may assume aggressive intent from an enemy state. On November 24, 1961, this happened with the U.S. Strategic Air Command (SAC) and NORAD systems (Ibid.). The systems went silent, dead (Ibid.). This cut the SAC system off from the Alaska, England, and Greenland early warning systems with a widespread communications breakdown considered impossible at the time (Ibid.). There were several fail-safes in place and, therefore, the conclusion: Soviet nuclear strike immanent (Ibid.). Subsequently, all SAC bases were placed on alert with B-52 bombers ordered into readiness with planes warmed and on the runways with a final order required for a nuclear strike on the Soviet Union (Ibid.).

Another instance came with a face (Aksenov, 2013). A single individual, Stanislav Petrov, saved the world from nuclear annihilation after midnight on September 26, 1983 with sole control left to Petrov in Moscow, at a command center, in which systems warned of five intercontinental ballistic missiles incoming from the United States, and fast, which implied a standard protocol (Ibid.). The standard protocol stated Petrov should inform higher authorities of an incoming attack from the United States against the USSR with such an action leading to a possible nuclear confrontation and war (Ibid.). Petrov decided to disobey; the original virtue of the species, to disobey (Ibid). As we remain alive here, obviously, we can appreciate the decision of Petrov to disobey because the system malfunction resulted from a solar alignment, which scrambled some of the Soviet radar satellite systems creating a false alarm (Ibid.).

The Cuban Missile Crisis represented another stark moment in the history of the Cold War and of the Nuclear Age in which the world could abruptly come to a halt for the human species (Office of the Historian, n.d.). Many commentators consider this the single most important 13 days of the Cold War because of the possibility for nuclear obliteration, mutually assured destruction, with a single misstep (Ibid.). The Cuban Missile Crisis followed the Bay of Pigs failed invasion with the discovery of Soviet-sanctioned missiles in Cuba 90 miles from the state of Florida (Ibid.; The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2019c).[19] This violated a nuclear superpower bilateral agreement with a rapid escalation over the next couple of days in which the United States deliberated on whether or not to send an air raid or an invasion to Cuba in order to wipe out the missiles (Office of the Historian, n.d.). This may have resulted in war (Ibid.). With the tense negotiations ongoing at the time, several dangerous moments almost led to an all-out conflict with the implication of death for both superpowers, but President John Kennedy and Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev agreed on a deal, last minute, for removal of WMDs by the Soviet Union and for the United States to halt possible invasion of Cuba (Ibid.).

Another potential global catastrophe was averted with the training tape accident on November 9, 1979 (Wright, 2016). The U.S. Missile Warning Command Center received warning of an incoming attack from the USSR with an immediate high alert warning placed for the entire country (Ibid.). NORAD, the Strategic Air Command, and other organizations went into ready-mode for this incoming nuclear attack from the USSR, and 10 fighter-interceptor planes were launched (Ibid.). President Carter’s plane left the ground as well, and, humorously enough – probably in a panic, without Carter (Ibid.). All this instigated from a training tape placed into the NORAD mainframe, which then broadcast to the command center in North America – distinct error (Ibid.).

Amongst the closest, according to Boris Yeltsin, times the Russians came to a full attack on the United States came from the Norwegian rocket accident where an accident with a missile detected by the Russians along their northern border (Atomic Heritage Foundation, 2018; History.Com, 2009). In 1995, the Russians prepared for high alert, and a nuclear world war, presumably (Ibid.). The missile plunged harmlessly into the Arctic Ocean with the stray missile as part of a Norwegian and American experiment involving the Northern Lights (Ibid.).

Noting the remarkable fact, this began with the theorizing of a young patent clerk who created the theoretical foundations for the weaponry and, in a fit of pressure and a modicum of coercion, fell into writing a letter to Roosevelt to set forth the Manhattan Project and the events such as these. Einstein does not seem responsible here. He invented the theory or discovered the descriptive principles of existence of the universe – some of them, but he did not push for the aggressive use of the atom bomb or its creation except as a deterrent in order for the creation of a “supranational” entity to regulate the production of thermonuclear weapons and control its use if constructed and stored in weapons stockpiles once more as a deterrence strategy in a supranational monopoly or collective nuclear polyopoly as deterrent.

Einstein did not foresee, or more properly expect, the development of the bomb in his lifetime and considered the bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima the result of U.S.-Soviet politicking (Green, 2015). He considered the militarism and nationalism as the main issues superseding nuclear weaponry, or superordinate to nuclear weapons (Ibid.). As Green stated, “Einstein hoped that the added threat of atomic weapons might facilitate his broader objective of establishing a supranational authority, and he wanted the ‘secret’ of the atomic bomb to be monopolised by such an authority. He wanted the US to renounce the use of atomic weapons pending the creation of a supranational authority or if supranational control was not achieved” (Ibid.).[20]

Einstein appeared on the NBC News program and spoke of the “mechanistic, technical-military psychological attitude” producing inevitable and, thus, predictable consequences within societies and between them (A. & N., 1950). Einstein cautioned, explained, and judged, “The idea of achieving security through national armament is, at the present state of military technique, a disastrous illusion. On the part of the U.S.A. this illusion has been particularly fostered by the fact that this country succeeded first in producing an atomic bomb. The belief seemed to prevail that in the end it would be possible to achieve decisive military superiority. In this way, any potential opponent would be intimidated, and security, so ardently desired by all of us, brought to us and all of humanity. The maxim which we have been following during these last five years has been, in short: security through superior military power, whatever the cost” (Ibid.). In many ways, this attitude continues into the present. The illusion amongst major nuclear players needs disabusing in order to realize this critique aimed solely at the United States in 1950 – 5 years before the death of Einstein – and more applicable to the whole set of the nuclear armed Member States of the United Nations.

On the internal dynamics of a nation, Einstein commented, “Within the country: concentration of tremendous financial power in the hands of the military; militarization of the youth; close supervision of the loyalty of the citizens, in particular, of the civil servants, by a police force growing more conspicuous every day. Intimidation of people of independent political thinking. Subtle indoctrination of the public by radio, press, and schools. Growing restriction of the range of public information under the pressure of military secrecy.” He saw the tit-for-tat between the “U.S.A. and the U.S.S.R.” as assuming a “hysterical character” (Ibid.). “Every step appears as the unavoidable consequence of the preceding one. In the end, there beckons more and more clearly general annihilation,” Einstein said, “…All of us, and particularly those who are responsible for the attitude of the U.S.A. and the U.S.S.R., should realize that we may have vanquished an external enemy, but have been incapable of getting rid of the mentality created by the war” (Ibid.).

He strongly emphasized the need for ridding ourselves of the problems of mutual distrust and fear – there referencing the United States and the then-Soviet Union – connected to a “solemn renunciation of violence,” where this should be applied to the global nuclear players now – more than ever (Ibid.). The risks and threats to human life seem too great, especially with the concomitant problem of anthropogenic climate change exacerbated by excessive human population size and human population growth on the Earth.[21],[22]

Green (2015) concluded on some words in print by Einstein from 1945, 5 years earlier, in which he states, “To give any estimate when atomic energy can be applied to constructive purposes is impossible. … Since I do not foresee that atomic energy is to be a great boon for a long time, I have to say that for the present it is a menace.” Einstein, a devout pacifist forced by international prominence and bi-national circumstance (“U.S.A. and the U.S.S.R”) into writing a letter to the most powerful man in the world at the time, Roosevelt, leading to the development of a program, the Manhattan Project, and nuclear weaponry and arsenal proliferation, and stockpiling, with severely negative possible implications with the consistent attitude of distrust, fear, and commitment to violence as a universal value and salve. He was a dismayed pacifist (Ito, 2005; American Museum of Natural History, 2019).


Einstein did not live an entire life fighting against the possibility of nuclear catastrophe befalling the human race or species alone, but, rather, worked with some of the most distinguished minds in history and of the time where this included names beyond the bounded geography of the United States with another widely respected, deceased person, a philosopher, Bertrand Russell (Monk, 2019; The Nobel Prize, 2019; Irvine, 2019). An immensely prominent and respected figure in 20th-century history, Bertrand Russell, joined with Einstein in order to produce the Russell-Einstein Manifesto with other prominent signatories including Max Born, Percy W. Bridgman, Leopold Infeld, Frederic Joliot-Curie, Herman J. Muller, Linus Pauling, Cecil F. Powell, Joseph Rotblat, and Hideki Yukawa (Atomic Heritage Foundation, 2019b). The manifesto issued on July 5, 1955 was released months after Einstein’s death (Ibid.).

Einstein thought highly of Russell’s A History of Western Philosophy (1945) saying, “Bertrand Russell’s History of Philosophy [sic] is a precious book. I don’t know whether one should more admire the delightful freshness and originality or the sensitivity of the sympathy with distant times and remote mentalities on the part of this great thinker. I regard it as fortunate that our so dry and also brutal generation can point to such a wise, honourable, bold and at the same time humorous man. It is a work that is in the highest degree pedagogical which stands above the conflicts of parties and opinions” – love at first book, how fitting, or love at Bert sight (Wikiquote, 2019).

An amicable mutual perception of one another with the possibility for cooperation on this basis, where a coordinated effort worked between the two of them to create The Russell-Einstein Manifesto leading to the Pugwash Conferences (Nature, 2019; Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, 2019). Einstein died before the release of the manifesto and, by implication, the founding of the Pugwash Conferences. The Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs began with Bertrand Russell, Einstein, Frédéric Joliot-Curie, and others of similar stature making urgent appeals for a meeting of scientists to “discuss problems” of “nuclear weapons and world security” in the midst of the “arms race” and the “Cold War” (The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2019b; Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, 2019).[23] These Pugwash Conferences “helped create non-proliferation agreements” (Nature, 2019).[24] Einstein and Russell set forth the Pugwash movement, in other words (Ibid.).


Societies construct values worth enactment.

“I am not a propagandist, but a prophet. I do not say that what I say should come to pass, but what I think is likely to come to pass, and what is inevitable. While I would not be understood as advocating the desirability of such a result, I would not be understood as deprecating it,” Frederick Douglass said.[25]

The values held by and, therefore, practiced through individual citizens with society form the basis for improvements in quality of life, or not, and guide the trajectory of the society in coordination with international discourse for a mutual feedback between international laws & international human rights, and national values, for different overall outcomes and improved net global results (New World Encyclopedia, 2016; Schroeder, 2016; The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2015; United Nations, 2019a; United Nations, 2019b; United Nations, 2019c; OECD, 2017; Social Progress Initiative, 2019; WHO, 2019; Jenkinson, 2019; Smith, 2016; OHCHR, 2019a; OHCHR, 2019b; The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2018b).[26],[27].[28],[29],[30],[31],[32] Nature and others reported on the continual invisible to the wider public international issue impacting the scientific communities through the imposition of governmental systems to dampen institutions of science or control them in part or whole, which continues to garner expert attention and comprises the fuel of the anger sufficient for popular marches (Tollefson, 2019a; Tollefson, 2019b; Tollefson, 2018; Angelo, 2019; Levin, 2017; Schwagerl, 2016; Andrade, 2019; Mega, 2019). The institutions harbouring the practitioners of the most powerful process, especially if applied with modern tools, in the literal hands of and minds of human beings to the present day, as the late Dr. Carl Sagan, largely and substantially but not entirely[33], correctly observed and commented in his last interview before death on December 20, 1996, due to bone-marrow disease myelodysplasia (Kragh, 2019):

…science is more than a body of knowledge. It’s a way of thinking. A way of skeptically interrogating the universe with a keen understanding of human fallibility. If we are not able to ask skeptical questions, to interrogate those who tell us that something is true, to be skeptical of those in authority, then we’re up for grabs for the next charlatan political or religious who comes ambling along. (Speakola, 1996)

Science as technical, organized processes mediated by human beings – even amplified by computational engines – and subsequent accumulations of probabilistic points of information about the natural world, including a fundamental attitude of skepticism about human authority or rich and robust acknowledgement of the fallibility of human beings (The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2019a; Jacobsen, 2019b).[34] The developments of technology come from the successful application of the discoveries of science. Both exist as human endeavours. The former as means of application and the latter as more means of discovery.[35]


The social and political focus on terms, e.g., “fake news” and “post-truth,” remain rather humorless distractions – not unimportant, but mere symptoms of larger problems in critical thought levels in the general population due to institutional failures over years (Grammarist, 2019; The Learning Portal: College Libraries Ontario, 2019).[36],[37] At the same time, trust in scientists, in the United States, sits at the level of trust in the military while concerns about misconduct and conflicts of interest remain steadfast (Ledford, 2019). The humorless distractions from the real consequences of budget cuts to science around the world, hostile takeover of science by governments, and distrust in science leading to pseudo-religious and dogmatic movements who fill the void of positive popular movements and communicative feedback between the community of the general lay public and the community of expert scientists.

A communicative feedback foundational to an informed populace to decide on important scientific and technological aspects of society in advanced industrial economies and, in many ways, digital pluralistic democracies with some more polyarchies & plutocratic in orientation. As we see in ongoing social and political unrest, governments want to use force, military and police force, to crush autonomy and natural democratic tendencies and thrusts of populations (Post Editorial Board, 2019; Withnall, 2019; Applebaum, 2019).[38] Similarly, governments who observe inconvenient scientific evidences emergent from institutions or whole disciplines work to cut funds or defund them entirely, or, as with Hungary, take them over. As Abbott (2019) notes about the Hungarian government of Prime Minister Viktor Mihály Orbán, international outcries continue in the midst of the (hostile) takeover of the research institutions of the nation by the government with a direct impact on academic freedom and independent intellectual enquiry within Academia and the negative consequences for science and, therefore, for society including its citizens.

In other cases, as in autocratic Russia, new laws impose fines and jail time for acts considered disrespectful, not of individual politicians or public figures but, the state, the government (Van Sant, 2019). In Saudi Arabia, journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered (BBC News, 2019b). UNESCO condemned the killing of journalist in large numbers, in the hundreds since the 1990s and into the 2010s (UNESCO, 2019). The Committee to Protect Journalists tracks individuals murdered or killed as journalists (Committee to Protect Journalists, 2019). Even benign reportage on the environment, journalists get killed with “impunity” and leaders of the world continue to ignore, justify, or command the murders of journalists themselves, as stark attacks on freedom of the press and freedom of expression (or speech if American) through the ending of human life (Garside & Watts, 2019; Mohdin & van der Zee, 2018; Robertson, 2019; The Globe and Mail, 2018; Longman, 2019; Tangen, 2019a).

Journalists expose governmental lies. Government leaders do not like it. Thus, there exists an interest in silencing the journalists, at times in extreme ways. The message: Do not explore this, write about it, or report on it, or else. One could cite hundreds of articles with the headlines and contents covering the murder of journalists. UNESCO (n.d.) views press freedom as a foundation of peace, which seems right. Amnesty International (2019) sees the violent crackdown on mostly peaceful protests as a violation of this principle for citizens’ freedom to express themselves. Article 19 of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in theory or as a principle, should protect the freedom of expression of journalists (United Nations, 2019c; Article 19, 2019; ).[39],[40] One global phenomenon, as noted by Adele M. Stan, editor of Right Wing Watch, comes in the form of the far right (Internationale Politik und Gesellschaft, 2019), and the rise of the strongman (Mayhew, 2018).

In some of North America, to some home turf, human rights experts consider American President Donald Trump’s attacks on the press a significant problem (OHCHR, 2018). Free expression groups in Canada opposed the province of Ontario move by the provincial government planned for universities and colleges (Canadian Journalists for Free Expression, 2018a), as they opposed the conviction and sentencing of Pelin Unker (Canadian Journalists for Free Expression, 2019). Canadians agree with the protections of journalists’ source material from authorities, from police (Canadian Journalists for Free Expression, 2018b). Apparently, Canadians agree with NWA in “Straight Outta Compton” on this issue. Tanzania approved the “Electronic and Postal Communications (Online Content) Regulations 2018” to restrict online freedom of expression (Canadian Journalists for Freedom of Expression, 2018c). Thankfully, online resources for protection of journalists by others or themselves exist (Canadian Journalists for Free Expression, n.d.).[41]

South Sudan sees restriction on the freedom of expression (UN News, 2018). Indonesia’s Papua region experiences restrictions on freedom of expression (Westerman, 2019). Campus journalists in Indonesia are pushing back (Llewellyn, 2019). Vietnam is experiencing freedom of expression problems (HRW, 2019a). Ukraine experiences some of the same problems (HRW, 2019b). Lebanon has issues around freedom of expression but restrictions found in co-existent laws (Majzoub, 2019). Singapore has free expression issues (HRW, 2019c). Russia sees the same crackdown on freedom of speech (Vladimirov, 2018). Nepal sees the same problem (HRW, 2019d). Same with India, Nigeria, Mauritania, Crimea, Thailand, Cambodia, Kuwait, Malaysia, and elsewhere (HRW, 2019e; HRW, 2019f; HRW, 2019g; HRW, 2019h; HRW, 2019i; HRW, 2019j; HRW, 2019k; HRW, 2019l). We can see this same problem in Iraq (Osman, 2019). One could list many, many other countries or the same countries with multiple, ongoing cases of the violation to freedom of expression. Not only in freedom of expression, we can see in the study of the natural world from the strongmen with weakman politics innervation of and restriction of scientific investigation and the dissemination of the findings to the public.

In 2018, Malaysian forces arrested a Danish man, critical of the police, through anti-fake-news laws (Domonoske, 2018). Predatory journals on the periphery of the academic system peddle false science or faux credibility with India working to fight against the “determined and adaptable” foe (Patwardhan, 2019). Other cases come with gender equality initiatives abused to the point of appearance or surface improvements, even intentions, only, as Tzanakou (2019) states, “A department looks at gender-equality data not as an opportunity to gain insight and improve the working environment for all, but to present itself in a certain light in order to secure the award; it must assert that inequality is not really that bad within their unit, but that it can make clear improvements. There is a temptation to think more about what can be demonstrated than about what needs to be done.”

The Union of Concerned Scientists reports (2019a) on “disappearing data, silenced scientists, and other assaults on scientific integrity and science-based policy… many other moves by the president and Congress degrade the environment for science and scientists in this country. For example, the president’s Muslim ban hurts science and scientists, including those working for the federal government and the president’s rescinding transgender protections is damaging to the ability of all young budding scientists to reach their full potential” (Halpern, 2017a; Halpern, 2017b). Brazil’s space director was sacked and spoke out (Daley, 2019). Americans are horrified at the denial of science (Gustafson & Goldberg, 2018). All this in the midst of genetic engineering as a science moving forward (Saey, 2019). Important scientific and borderline previous science fiction questions stand before us in a long queue.

Quality production of data impacts sustainable development, as noted by Espey (2019). Loring (2019) describes the ways in which promising medicines, e.g., stem cell therapies, become occluded to the public in efficacy and obscured in reality via fakes with important work done by Elena Cattaneo and Gilberto Corbellini (2014), as noted by others too (Bianco & Sipp, 2014), especially with the selling of products prior to full efficacy shown as sufficiently evidentiarily backed (Bianco, 2013). Piantadosi (2019) notes universities fail in their institutional upholding of values purported in public if comprised, or axed on the altar, of legal liabilities.

According to Goldman (2019), the curse of budget cuts to advisory panels will outlast the first/last term of the American president, as she emphasizes “scientists must sound the alarm.” Gunsalus states, correctly, the need to make research misconduct public, which should extend to public servants, politicians, and policymakers making ethics breaches public (2019). Brazilian military invaded 20 universities in Brazil to confiscate materials on ideological grounds (The Guardian, 2018). As stated by Freedom House in Attacks on the Record: The State of Global Press Freedom, 2017–2018 (2018), “Today, populist leaders constitute a major threat to free expression in these open societies. Ambitious politicians around the world are increasingly willing to dispense with the norms of behavior that held their predecessors in check, in some cases blatantly undermining press freedom.”

Take, again, the singular issues of nuclear proliferation, and associated risks & anthropogenic climate change/human-induced global warming and excessive levels of the human species on the planet with current technologies, several collectives continue to note the importance of literal survival of the species within the necessary immediate, deep, and comprehensive work on a colossal scale. There are several contraints, including limited time, collective will, general scientific ignorance, financial conflicts of interest, and some who hope for the cleansing of this world for the actualization of a new (hypothetical and highly unlikely) wondrous one – for them and a few co-selected.

Human-induced rapid climate warming or heating becomes a political issue as politics halts, silences, and defunds scientific investigation, findings, and practitioners and academic disciplines posited as epistemologically sound or on a firmer footing than empiricism pervade academic and, eventually, public discourse to attack scientists and scientific validity (Dillen, 2018; Kreighbaum, 2018; One Faculty One Resistannce, 2019; Polansky, 2019; Sabine Center for Climate Change Law, 2019; Showstack, 2019; Stenger, n.d.; Union of Concerned Scientists, 2019b; Webb & Kurts, 2018). Some amusing salvage of the catastrophes in the increase in bird attacks on people (Weston, 2019).

Cultures require a literate public and a press corps open to making the directing attention to governmental failures. Populism and populist leadership can create problems because of the continual charges on the part of the populist of the problem with the media, especially as the media makes factual claims of the failures of the leadership. The people can begin to doubt the media and then resent it, placing full embrace in the statements, lies, exaggerations, and outright buffoonery of the charismatic populist leaders. This becomes an attack on a pillar of democracy in real journalism and, in turn, decreases the possibility of evidence-based and factual decision-making by the public for a real democratic society. A society begins to resemble a polyarchy more and more over time. Targets become the journalists as a first salvo – and their productions found in the news – in the main war against democratic institutions with the second salvo towards the judiciary and other places (Freedom House, 2018).

Sarah Repucci, in 2019, provided a wonderful reportage on freedom of the press/media. Entitled  Freedom and the Media: A Downward Spiral (Repucci, 2019) in which the key findings comprise the deterioration of the media around the world, the populist leaders arising in some of the most influential democracies the world has ever seen, the dangerous restriction and retraction of the right to freedom of expression and freedom of the press throughout the world in spite of the “basic desire for democratic liberties (Ibid.). More fully, Repucci (Ibid.) stated, “Experience has shown, however, that press freedom can rebound from even lengthy stints of repression when given the opportunity. The basic desire for democratic liberties, including access to honest and fact-based journalism, can never be extinguished.”


Positive notes exist with some of the international secular and freethought communities providing some basis for working together as unified social and economic, and technological, oriented community to reduce the problems of anthropogenic climate change. One initiative comes from Humanists International, the European Humanist Federation, and Young Humanists International in the Reykjavik Declaration on the Climate Change Crisis (2019) proposed by the Board of the three aforementioned organizations (Humanists International, 2019; European Humanist Federation, 2019; Young Humanists International, 2019).[42] Humanists International dealt with ecological and environmental issues in other documents in its history, too: in 2015, in 2000, in 1974, and in 1971 (Humanists International, 2015; Humanists International, 2000; Humanists International, 1974; Humanists International, 1971).[43] Important to note, the title of Humanists International (HI) changed from the former title of the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) with an associated change in the youth organization.[44] Humanists seem prone to or to have a penchant for declarations and manifestos: “Humanist Manifesto I (1933), Amsterdam Declaration (1952), Humanist Manifesto II (1973), A Secular Humanist Declaration (1980), A Declaration of Interdependence (1988), Humanism: Why, What, and What For, In 882 Words (1996), IHEU Minimum Statement on Humanism (1996), Humanist Manifesto 2000: A Call For A New Planetary Humanism, The Promise of Manifesto 2000, Amsterdam Declaration (2002), Humanist Manifesto III/Humanism and Its Aspirations (2003), Manifeste pour un humanisme contemporain/Manifesto for a contemporary humanism (2012),” as noted in What is Canadian Humanism? (Jacobsen, 2019g).

In addition, in On Climate Change (Jacobsen, 2018a), NASA including 18 listed major scientific societies (2016), the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2015), The Royal Society (2016), and innumerable others, whether directly or indirectly, agree on anthropogenic climate change, if not simply global warming without human inducement, for the importance of dealing with the issue together (NASA, 2019).[45] Skeptical Science provided a concise and thorough rundown of the idea and facts about anthropogenic climate change and scientific consensus (2017). Also, Watts (2019) provided a nice statement, “Previous studies have shown near unanimity among climate scientists that human factors — car exhausts, factory chimneys, forest clearance, and other sources of greenhouse gases — are responsible for the exceptional level of global warming… The pushback has been political rather than scientific.”

This seems to reflect socio-political, not empirical, controversies between Young Earth Creationism and Evolution Via Natural Selection, as Professor Kenneth Miller notes (Jacobsen, 2019a; Jacobsen, 2014).[46],[47] The controversies do not come from the consensus of the debating experts and practitioners, but, rather, from the socio-political context of the nation. Of course, these issues overlap with one another, e.g., larger populations contribute more, on average, to the net carbon output than smaller ones (Scientific American, 2009). The COP21 and associated conferences become important in collective action against the impacts of human industrial activity on the planet with European, North American, and Asian Member States as more culpable because of the higher per capita contributions to global warming (European Commission, n.d.; The World Bank, n.d.). Important to note, continual reports, even local ones, state the ominous situation, we may live at the end of the human species because of a lack preparedness (The Canadian Press, 2015; Timperley, 2019; Uptime Institute, n.d.; Roston, 2019; Science News, 2019; Parry, 2011; Pyper, 2011; Parry, n.d.; Wherry, 2017; Environmental Defense Fund, n.d.; C40, n.d.). We may not have a frown ever with “Golden Brown,” but we may when the skies turn as such.


All this history and political context can neglect to discuss the effects of nuclear war. As with anthropogenic climate change or human-induced global warming, the problem of nuclear war run amok – basically, any amount – comes from the literal cooking of the environment. The environmental interconnected systems necessary for the maintenance of, at a minimum of individual self-interest, personal survival. If more inclined in a larger perspective, national and species survival even, if more broad minded, much of the biosphere poorly adapted to the rapidity of the warming of the Earth seen in the current moment due, in large part, to human contributions beginning with the first Industrial Revolution (The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2019b; EPA, 2017; Government of Canada, 2019; American Chemical Society, 2019; Committee on Climate Change, n.d.).[48],[49],[50],[51],[52] One of the strong negative effects of the possibility of nuclear war comes from the infusion of radioactivity into the immediate vicinity and then the general “light, heat, blast, and radiation,” which have been known to scientists since the 70s with further predictions of millions of tonnes of dust launched into the stratosphere with the return of dust within 24 hours to the Earth – dust, stones, and pebbles returned as radioactive material (The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2017a; Martin, 1982).[53] One outcome of widespread nuclear war comes in the form of a “nuclear winter” (The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2017a). Nuclear winter results from several nuclear warhead explosions resulting in numerous nuclear fireballs leading to uncontrolled fires or “firestorms” gusted over “any and all cities and forests within the range of them” leading to massive smoke plumes in which soot and dust would launch with their own heating, lifting the irradiated materials into high altitudes drifting for weeks on average before “being washed out of the atmosphere onto the ground” (Ibid.). Nuclear attacks, regardless of the size, come with short-term and long-term impacts (Department of Homeland Security, 2005).[54] According to the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (2018), these come alongside instantaneous and near-immediate effects to the local populations and the local environment.[55] Rather bluntly, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament stated, “There is currently no international plan in place to deliver humanitarian assistance to survivors in the case of a nuclear attack. Most casualties would receive at best minimal, palliative treatment. The best they could hope for would be to die in as little pain as possible” (2019). This reflects similar sentiment with the lack of preparedness of major nuclear states in the world (Jacobsen, 2019c). Fates, before death, exist worse than death.

Nuclear winter, for the human species, would create one such nightmare as daymare. “The extreme cold, high radiation levels, and the widespread destruction of industrial, medical, and transportation infrastructures along with food supplies and crops would trigger a massive death toll from starvation, exposure, and disease,” The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica stated, “A nuclear war could thus reduce the Earth’s human population to a fraction of its previous numbers” (2017). Of course, we have other urgent issues. Our society values these as important endeavours alongside of the international community. One in the form of gender equality, in particular in the labour force of Canada.

According to the Government of Canada (2018), Canadian society’s labour market experienced a rapid surgence of globalization, automation, the gig economy, and economic emergence of trading partners, since the 1950s with massive players in the global market garnering more ground, i.e., India and China.[56] As Url (2018) argued, one should not deploy politics on science, but, rather, inform politics with science and then formulate differences in policy and socioeconomic solutions through the politics informed by science.[57] An international issue given the power, ubiquity, and assumed-credibility given to communications technologies and information received from them (Starbird, 2019).

As globalization, automation, the gig economy, and other trends continue to become entrenched in the international systems, there will be other associated effects of scientific discovery implemented as technology erodes old industries and creates new ones, not all nation-states will make it.

The Canadian environment for the labour force participation rate of women appears better at the lower levels and worse at the higher levels, where “lower” and “higher” represent the relative status of the positions for the jobs in terms of income and prestige.[58] The Canadian Women’s Foundation reported on the low levels of women in the executive positions through the country (Canadian Women’s Foundation, 2019). 27% of the seats of the House of Commons are held by women (House of Commons, 2019). Approximately 20% of the board members of Canada’s top 500 companies are held by women (CBC News, 2013). Also, “8.5% of the highest-paid positions in Canada’s top 100 listed companies are held by women” (CBC News, 2015). According to the Government of Canada (2018), the labour market for Canadian society has seen a surge since the 1950s with automation, globalization, the gig economy, and economic emergence of trading partners, including India and China – holding over 1 billion citizens per country in the present period.[59] Globalization increases cultural diversity, the levels of earnings for different types of workers, increases the need for diversity training, increases the standards of the workforce while on site or on the job, and influences particular types of job losses (Mcfarlin, 2019; Hoffman, 2017).[60] Automation will increase GDP of nation-states open to the market of computers and artificial intelligence connected to robotics in industries linked to Moore’s Law and the decreasing cost with an associated power in complexity and computing power for the industries succumbing, almost inevitably, to the pull of workers who do not unionize or complain, or sleep (McKinsey Global Institute, 2018). The gig economy refers to the temporary and flexible jobs as a commonplace, increasingly common phenomenon throughout the economies of the world including Canadian (Chappelow, 2019; Istrate, 2017).[61] With 2-3 billion global citizens housed in India and China alone, the impacts of the rising economic partners of Canadian businesspeople will impact the future of the economy, the trading relationships, and the workers, including the women at all levels.

These reshape the global economy, the nature of international trade, and the state of life in Canadian society, even amongst the other OECD or the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries. Although, the numbers of workers who have unionized jobs, jobs covered by sponsored pension plans, or manufacturing jobs has fallen while the number of Canadian workers with a formal education has increased since the 1950s. As this continued from the 1950s into the present period, the current era exists with a massive spike in the numbers of educated women compared to the current generation of educated men in entrance into postsecondary institutions, performance in the postsecondary environment with lower GPAs for the men, more extracurriculars for the women, and even with the lower entrance into the university arenas the lower rates of graduation for men. An unprecedented era in formal education and in the women’s movement; as Canadian society – and global civilization – moves into new territory in formal education, this will, undoubtedly, change the nature of the world in which men and women study, work, and partner and mate (if they so choose). A valid problem with a concerted effort is the labour force participation of women.

Simultaneously, if we neglect the fact of three gargantuan issues hovering over this and far above this, we may regret this at the peril of the species. The issues of anthropogenic climate change and overpopulation are two of them. With recent escalations, the immediate concern seems the possible threat of nuclear war or a second cold war, which few want now or ever. Our values in practice will determine the course or directions in which we want to take global society, destruction or survival. Everything else is secondary, even noble initiatives.

We best pick values worthy of our global civilization.


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[1] What is Einstein’s Theory of Relativity? (2009) states:

The special theory of relativity was published in 1905, in Annalen der Physik (“Zur Elektrodynamik bewegter Körper“, in the original German; “On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies” is its English translation), and the general theory of relativity published in 1915, in the Minutes of the Meetings of the Prussian Academy of Sciences (Berlin) (“Die Feldgleichungen der Gravitation” in the original German; “The Field Equations of Gravitation” is its English translation).

In its original form, special relativity is based on just two postulates (or assumptions); namely, that the speed of light (in a vacuum) is constant – no matter who measures it, or when, or where – and that the laws of physics are the same for in all inertial frames of reference (basically, for all observers who are not accelerating) … there are other, logically consistent, ways to construct SR, from different postulates, but they are equivalent to Einstein’s original.

See Tate, J. (2009, November 18). What is Einstein’s Theory of Relativity?. Retrieved from

[2] General Theory of Relativity (2019) states:

As we have seen, matter does not simply pull on other matter across empty space, as Newton had imagined. Rather matter distorts space-time and it is this distorted space-time that in turn affects other matter. Objects (including planets, like the Earth, for instance) fly freely under their own inertia through warped space-time, following curved paths because this is the shortest possible path (or geodesic) in warped space-time.

This, in a nutshell, then, is the General Theory of Relativity, and its central premise is that the curvature of space-time is directly determined by the distribution of matter and energy contained within it. What complicates things, however, is that the distribution of matter and energy is in turn governed by the curvature of space, leading to a feedback loop and a lot of very complex mathematics. Thus, the presence of mass/energy determines the geometry of space, and the geometry of space determines the motion of mass/energy.

See Physics of the Universe. (2019). General Theory of Relativity. Retrieved from

[3] The Manhattan Project (2019) states:

In December 1941, the government launched the Manhattan Project, the scientific and military undertaking to develop the bomb.

A Letter to the President

In August 1939, Einstein wrote to U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt to warn him that the Nazis were working on a new and powerful weapon: an atomic bomb. Fellow physicist Leo Szilard urged Einstein to send the letter and helped him draft it.

Einstein: A Security Risk

In July 1940, the U.S. Army Intelligence office denied Einstein the security clearance needed to work on the Manhattan Project. The hundreds of scientists on the project were forbidden from consulting with Einstein, because the left-leaning political activist was deemed a potential security risk…

… In an interview with Newsweek magazine, he [Einstein] said that “had I known that the Germans would not succeed in developing an atomic bomb, I would have done nothing.”

See American Museum of Natural History. (n.d.). The Manhattan Project. Retrieved from

[4] Einstein’s Letter to President Roosevelt – 1939, in full, states:

Albert Einstein
Old Grove Road
Peconic, Long Island
August 2nd, 1939

F.D. Roosevelt
President of the United States
White House
Washington, D.C.


Some recent work by E. Fermi and L. Szilard, which has been communicated to me in manuscript, leads me to expect that the element uranium may be turned into a new and important source of energy in the immediate future. Certain aspects of the situation which has arisen seem to call for watchfulness and if necessary, quick action on the part of the Administration. I believe therefore that it is my duty to bring to your attention the following facts and recommendations.

In the course of the last four months it has been made probable through the work of Joliot in France as well as Fermi and Szilard in America–that it may be possible to set up a nuclear chain reaction in a large mass of uranium, by which vast amounts of power and large quantities of new radium-like elements would be generated. Now it appears almost certain that this could be achieved in the immediate future.

This new phenomenon would also lead to the construction of bombs, and it is conceivable–though much less certain–that extremely powerful bombs of this type may thus be constructed. A single bomb of this type, carried by boat and exploded in a port, might very well destroy the whole port together with some of the surrounding territory. However, such bombs might very well prove too heavy for transportation by air.

The United States has only very poor ores of uranium in moderate quantities. There is some good ore in Canada and former Czechoslovakia, while the most important source of uranium is in the Belgian Congo.

In view of this situation you may think it desirable to have some permanent contact maintained between the Administration and the group of physicists working on chain reactions in America. One possible way of achieving this might be for you to entrust the task with a person who has your confidence and who could perhaps serve in an unofficial capacity. His task might comprise the following:

a) to approach Government Departments, keep them informed of the further development, and put forward recommendations for Government action, giving particular attention to the problem of securing a supply of uranium ore for the United States.

b) to speed up the experimental work, which is at present being carried on within the limits of the budgets of University laboratories, by providing funds, if such funds be required, through his contacts with private persons who are willing to make contributions for this cause, and perhaps also by obtaining co-operation of industrial laboratories which have necessary equipment.

I understand that Germany has actually stopped the sale of uranium from the Czechoslovakian mines which she has taken over. That she should have taken such early action might perhaps be understood on the ground that the son of the German Under-Secretary of State, von Weizsacker, is attached to the Kaiser-Wilhelm Institute in Berlin, where some of the American work on uranium is now being repeated.

See Einstein, A. (1939, August 2). Einstein’s Letter to President Roosevelt – 1939. Retrieved from

[5] If you put the heater on in the room, and if you go to bed without turning the heater off, then you will likely awaken in a sweat. This amounts to the situation with continual efforts to ignore serious work needing doing on human-induced global warming.

[6] For an introduction to some of the basics of the study of populations or demography, please see some of the currently published “Ask Dr. Weld…” series.

See Jacobsen, S.D. (2018d, October 30). Ask Dr. Weld 1 — Demography 101. Retrieved from

See Jacobsen, S.D. (2018e, November 7). Ask Dr. Weld 2 — These Are That Which Malthusian Dreams, Or Nightmares, Are Made. Retrieved from

See Jacobsen, S.D. (2019d, January 14). Ask Dr. Weld 3 — The Demographic Rap: Terms and Definitions. Retrieved from

See Jacobsen, S.D. (2019e, June 6). Ask Dr. Weld 4 — Malthus King’s Demographic Men (and Some Women). Retrieved from

See Jacobsen, S.D. (2019f, June 6). Ask Dr. Weld 5 — Complete Suite: Patois for the Demographic Categois. Retrieved from

[7] Threats of nuclear war continue in the modern period, cannot stay ignored, and need diplomatic measures for a continual international reduction in their number for the safety of nation-states’ civilian populations and the stability of the international community. Nuclear Weapon: Who Has What at a Glance (2019) states the desired aims of several countries, of their mutually consistent and independent nuclear targeted objectives:

China, India, and Pakistan are all pursuing new ballistic missile, cruise missile, and sea-based nuclear delivery systems. In addition, Pakistan has lowered the threshold for nuclear weapons use by developing tactical nuclear weapons capabilities to counter perceived Indian conventional military threats. North Korea continues its nuclear pursuits in violation of its earlier denuclearization pledges.

See Davenport, K. (2019, July). Nuclear Weapon: Who Has What at a Glance. Retrieved from

[8] The Open Skies Treaty at a Glance (1992) states:

Signed March 24, 1992, the Open Skies Treaty permits each state-party to conduct short-notice, unarmed, reconnaissance flights over the others’ entire territories to collect data on military forces and activities. Observation aircraft used to fly the missions must be equipped with sensors that enable the observing party to identify significant military equipment, such as artillery, fighter aircraft, and armored combat vehicles. Though satellites can provide the same, and even more detailed, information, not all of the 34 treaty states-parties1 have such capabilities. The treaty is also aimed at building confidence and familiarity among states-parties through their participation in the overflights.

President Dwight Eisenhower first proposed that the United States and the Soviet Union allow aerial reconnaissance flights over each other’s territory in July 1955. Claiming the initiative would be used for extensive spying, Moscow rejected Eisenhower’s proposal. President George H.W. Bush revived the idea in May 1989 and negotiations between NATO and the Warsaw Pact started in February 1990…

Territory: All of a state-party’s territory can be overflown. No territory can be declared off-limits by the host nation.

See Arms Control Association. (2012, October). The Open Skies Treaty at a Glance. Retrieved from

[9] If we look into the definitions of the strongmen provided in ssome standard political orientations, we can see. If we look at the individuals who represent this well, we see . By calculation of the populations of the countries in which these men lead, the total provides some idea of the claim the majority of the world exists under a dangerous and technologically powerful form of strongman and associated politics.

[10] India, Israel, Pakistan, and South Sudan are the only states parties who function outside of the Treaty on Open Skies. Articles I and II of the NPT state NWS will not help NNWS develop or acquire nuclear weapons with the NNWS never, as a national promise or oath based on the NPT, to pursue the acquisition of nuclear armaments or thermonuclear capacity grade weapons technologies. Article III set the International Atomic Energy Agency the task of inspecting the nuclear facilities of the NNWS while providing safeguards for the “transfer of fissionable materials between NWS and NNWS. Article IV “acknowledges the ‘inalienable right’ of states-parties to research, develop, and use nuclear energy for non-weapons purposes. It also supports the ‘fullest possible exchange’ of such nuclear-related information and technology between NWS and NNWS.” Article V is listed as “effectively obsolete.” Article VI states states parties should “pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.” Article VII permits for the establishment of nuclear weapons free zones in regions, which remains an important and intriguing, and extremely useful, article as a tool for peace. Article VIII sets a “complex and legnthy process to amend the treaty, effectively blocking any changes absent clear consensus.” Article X gives the grounds upon which states parties to the NPT may withdraw from the NPT.

[11] Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty at a Glance (2019) states:

The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) prohibits “any nuclear weapon test explosion or any other nuclear explosion” anywhere in the world. The treaty was opened for signature in September 1996, and has been signed by 184 nations and ratified by 168. The treaty cannot enter into force until it is ratified by 44 specific nations, eight of which have yet to do so: China, India, Pakistan, North Korea, Israel, Iran, Egypt, and the United States. The U.S. Senate voted against CTBT ratification in 1999, and though in 2009 President Barack Obama announced his intention to seek Senate reconsideration of the treaty, he did not pursue the initative, though the United States did see through UN Security Council Resolution 2310, which was the first UN Security Council resolution to support the CTBT.

The 2018 Trump administration Nuclear Posture Reviews notes, “Although the United States will not seek ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, it will continue to support the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization Preparatory Committee as well as the International Monitoring System [IMS] and the International Data Center [IDC]. The United States will not resume nuclear explosive testing unless necessary to ensure the safety and effectiveness of the U.S. nuclear arsenal, and calls on all states possessing nuclear weapons to declare or maintain a moratorium on nuclear testing.”

In order to verify compliance with its provisions, the treaty establishes a global network of monitoring facilities and allows for on-site inspections of suspicious events. The overall accord contains a preamble, 17 treaty articles, two treaty annexes, and a protocol with two annexes detailing verification procedures.

See Kimball, D. (2019, February). Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty at a Glance. Retrieved from

[12] Nuclear Weapon: Who Has What at a Glance (2019) states:

India, Israel, and Pakistan never signed the NPT and possess nuclear arsenals. Iraq initiated a secret nuclear program under Saddam Hussein before the 1991 Persian Gulf War. North Korea announced its withdrawal from the NPT in January 2003 and has tested nuclear devices since that time. Iran and Libya have pursued secret nuclear activities in violation of the treaty’s terms, and Syria is suspected of having done the same.

See Davenport, K. (2019, July). Nuclear Weapon: Who Has What at a Glance. Retrieved from

[13] The INF treaty represents the one in the news with Russia and the United States, recently.

[14] Atomic War or Peace (1947) concluded:

But I also believe it can come through agreement and through the force of persuasion alone, hence, low cost. But if it is to come in this way it will not be enough to appeal to reason. One strength of the communist system of the East is that it has some of the character of a religion and inspires the emotions of a religion. Unless the cause of peace based on law gathers behind it the force and zeal of a religion, it hardly can hope to succeed. Those to whom the moral teaching of the human race is entrusted surely have a great duty and a great opportunity. The atomic scientists, I think, have become convinced that they cannot arouse the American people to the truths of the atomic era by logic alone. There must be added that deep power of emotion which is a basic ingredient of religion. It is to be hoped that not only the churches but the schools, the colleges, and the leading organs of opinion will acquit themselves well of their unique responsibility in this regard.

See Einstein, A. (1947, November). Atomic War or Peace. Retrieved from

[15] The famous Einstein letter sold for several million dollars in 2018. It represents the historical significance of the man and the mind within the context of the modern period, in the cascade of events based on the world made by him. The letter amounts to some short correspondence between one man, Mr. Gutkind, and himself, in which Einstein remained rather gentle with Mr. Gutkind while holding to his own comprehension of the physics of the universe and some speculative metaphysical considerations about the universe as well.

[16] How Could a Failed Computer Chip Lead to Nuclear War? (2016) states:

By far the most serious of the computer chip problems occurred on early June 3, when the main US warning centers all received notification of a large incoming nuclear strike. The president’s National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brezezinski woke at 3 am to a phone call telling him a large nuclear attack on the United States was underway and he should prepare to call the president. He later said he had not woken up his wife, assuming they would all be dead in 30 minutes.

Like the November 1979 glitch, this one led NORAD to convene a high-level “Threat Assessment Conference,” which includes the Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and is just below the level that involves the president. Taking this step sets lots of things in motion to increase survivability of U.S. strategic forces and command and control systems. Air Force bomber crews at bases around the US got in their planes and started the engines, ready for take-off. Missile launch offices were notified to standby for launch orders. The Pacific Command’s Airborne Command Post took off from Hawaii. The National Emergency Airborne Command Post at Andrews Air Force Base taxied into position for a rapid takeoff.

The warning centers, by comparing warning signals they were getting from several different sources, were able to determine within a few minutes they were seeing a false alarm—likely due to a computer glitch. The specific cause wasn’t identified until much later. At that point, a Pentagon document matter-of-factly stated that a 46-cent computer chip “simply wore out.”

See Wright, D. (2016, June 6). How Could a Failed Computer Chip Lead to Nuclear War?. Retrieved from

[17] The word God is a product of human weakness (2009), in full, states:

Dear Mr Gutkind,

Inspired by Brouwer’s repeated suggestion, I read a great deal in your book, and thank you very much for lending it to me. What struck me was this: with regard to the factual attitude to life and to the human community we have a great deal in common. Your personal ideal with its striving for freedom from ego-oriented desires, for making life beautiful and noble, with an emphasis on the purely human element. This unites us as having an “unAmerican attitude.”

Still, without Brouwer’s suggestion I would never have gotten myself to engage intensively with your book because it is written in a language inaccessible to me. The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weakness, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still purely primitive, legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation, no matter how subtle, can change this for me. For me the Jewish religion like all other religions is an incarnation of the most childish superstition. And the Jewish people to whom I gladly belong, and whose thinking I have a deep affinity for, have no different quality for me than all other people. As far as my experience goes, they are also no better than other human groups, although they are protected from the worst cancers by a lack of power. Otherwise I cannot see anything “chosen” about them.

In general I find it painful that you claim a privileged position and try to defend it by two walls of pride, an external one as a man and an internal one as a Jew. As a man you claim, so to speak, a dispensation from causality otherwise accepted, as a Jew the privilege of monotheism. But a limited causality is no longer a causality at all, as our wonderful Spinoza recognized with all incision, probably as the first one. And the animistic interpretations of the religions of nature are in principle not annulled by monopolization. With such walls we can only attain a certain self-deception, but our moral efforts are not furthered by them. On the contrary.

Now that I have quite openly stated our differences in intellectual convictions it is still clear to me that we are quite close to each other in essential things, i.e; in our evaluations of human behavior. What separates us are only intellectual “props” and “rationalization” in Freud’s language. Therefore I think that we would understand each other quite well if we talked about concrete things.

With friendly thanks and best wishes,


A. Einstein

See Letters of Note. (2009, September). The word God is a product of human weakness. Retrieved from

[18] 7 close calls in the nuclear age (n.d.) states:

On Nov. 24, 1961, all communication links between the U.S. Strategic Air Command (SAC) and NORAD suddenly went dead, cutting off the SAC from three early warning radar stations in England, Greenland, and Alaska. The communication breakdown made no sense, though. After all, a widespread, total failure of all communication circuits was considered impossible, because the network included so many redundant systems that it should have been failsafe. The only alternative explanation was that a full-scale Soviet nuclear first strike had occurred. As a result, all SAC bases were put on alert, and B-52 bomber crews warmed up their engines and moved their planes onto runways, awaiting orders to counterattack the Soviet Union with nuclear weapons. Luckily, those orders were never given. It was discovered that the circuits were not in fact redundant because they all ran through one relay station in Colorado, where a single motor had overheated and caused the entire system to fail.

See Floss Books. (n.d.). 7 close calls in the nuclear age. Retrieved from

[19] Bay of Pigs Invasion (2019c) states:

Bay of Pigs invasion, (April 17, 1961), abortive invasion of Cuba at the Bahía de Cochinos (Bay of Pigs), or Playa Girón (Girón Beach) to Cubans, on the southwestern coast by some 1,500 Cuban exiles opposed to Fidel Castro. The invasion was financed and directed by the U.S. government…

… An invasion of Cuba had been planned by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) since May 1960. The wisdom of proceeding with the invasion had been debated within the newly inaugurated administration of President John F. Kennedy before it was finally approved and carried out…

…The captured members of the invasion force were imprisoned. From May 1961 the Kennedy administration unofficially backed attempts to ransom the prisoners, but the efforts of the Tractors for Freedom Committee, headed by Eleanor Roosevelt, failed to raise the $28,000,000 needed for heavy-construction equipment demanded by Castro as reparations. The conditions for the ransom changed several times during the next several months; after painstaking negotiations by James B. Donovan, Castro finally agreed to release the prisoners in exchange for $53,000,000 worth of food and medicine. Between December 1962 and July 1965 the survivors were returned to the United States.

Some critics thought that the United States had not been aggressive enough in its support of the Bay of Pigs invasion and had left an impression of irresolution, while others later questioned U.S. misjudgment of the Cubans’ fighting prowess. The incident was crucial to the development of the Cuban missile crisis of October 1962.

See The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. (2019c, April 10). Bay of Pigs Invasion. Retrieved from

[20] This may be a more relevant in the current period with some of the recent developments covered in the next portions of this production

See Green, J. (2015, April 23). Albert Einstein on nuclear weapons. Retrieved from

[21] Often, the media representation comes from climate change or global warming. However, these phrases or stipulations, or framings, of the problem grossly leave out the main actors or species responsible for this problem, the human race. Either should reference anthropogenic or human-induced at some point.

[22] Einstein concluded in Albert Einstein Warns of Dangers in Nuclear Arms Race (1950), “In the last analysis, every kind of peaceful cooperation among men is primarily based on mutual trust and only secondly on institutions such as courts of justice and police. This holds for nations as well as for individuals. And the basis of trust is loyal give and take”

See A., A. (Reporter), & N., N. (Anchor). (1950, February 12). Albert Einstein Warns of Dangers in Nuclear Arms Race. [Television series episode]. NBC News. Retrieved from

[23] Pugwash Conferences: International Meeting of Science (2019b) states:

Pugwash Conferences, in full Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, series of international meetings of scientists to discuss problems of nuclear weapons and world security. The first of the conferences met in July 1957 at the estate of the American philanthropist Cyrus Eaton in the village of Pugwash, Nova Scotia, in response to an appeal by Bertrand RussellAlbert Einstein, Frédéric Joliot-Curie, and other prominent scientific figures. Subsequent conferences were held in many countries, including the Soviet Union, Great Britain, Yugoslavia, India, Czechoslovakia, Romania, Sweden, and the United States.

The chief concern of Pugwash was to bring together leading scholars from many countries to discuss ways of reducing armaments and tempering the arms race. During the Cold War it was one of the few lines of open communication between the United States and the Soviet Union. Another purpose was to examine the social responsibility of scientists toward such world problems as economic development, population growth, and environmental damage.

See The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. (2019b, March 14). Pugwash Conferences: International Meeting of Science. Retrieved from

[24] Scientists must rise above politics — and restate their value to society (2019), in full, states:

Albert Einstein and the philosopher Bertrand Russell created a manifesto warning of the dangers of weapons of mass destruction. This led to the first Pugwash Conference on Science and World Affairs, a meeting of researchers from many countries and political ideologies to discuss the hazards of nuclear weapons.

More meetings — formal and informal — followed. What became known as the Pugwash movement gave a global voice to researchers working in, or supporting, non-proliferation, and served as a channel of communication between the superpowers. Pugwash eventually contributed to international nuclear non-proliferation agreements, culminating, in 1995, in a Nobel Peace Prize.

The researchers feeling the heat today face different and more varied challenges. That means that any attempt to use a Pugwash-style approach to address today’s pressures should be strengthened by recent understanding of the importance of inclusivity — with a meaningful role for public engagement — and a place at the table for researchers from diverse backgrounds and from across disciplines, not only science and engineering.

But there are key similarities to Pugwash, too, including the need to re-emphasize the value of scholarship in solving society’s problems and for a channel of communication between governments and their research communities.

As with Pugwash, crucial to any effort to give scientists a bigger voice will be the ability of international researchers to stand apart from political arguments, and to assert that support for scholarship is not an issue of left versus right, but of the very survival and prosperity of humanity itself.

See Nature. (2019, August 7). Scientists must rise above politics — and restate their value to society. Retrieved from

[25] Noam Chomsky said, “Prophet just means intellectual. They were people giving geopolitical analysis, moral lessons, that sort of thing. We call them intellectuals today. There were the people we honor as prophets, there were the people we condemn as false prophets. But if you look at the biblical record, at the time, it was the other way around. The flatterers of the Court of King Ahab were the ones who were honored. The ones we call prophets were driven into the desert and imprisoned.”

This applies to the Douglass quote as a prophet, an intellectual. Douglass spoke on race issues, but the principle behind the statement applies here, too.

[26] A field does exist within philosophy – comprised of aesthetics, epistemology, ethics, law, metaphysics, political philosophy, and social philosophy – for the consideration and determination of values called axiology, where axiology exists within aesthetics and ethics as a two-form branch of philosophy by implication with content and style of study dependent on the branch in question. Axiology (2016) states, “Axiology (from Greek ἀξίᾱ (axiā) translated as “value, worth”; and λόγος (logos) translated as “science”) is the philosophical study of value. The term was first used in the early twentieth century by Paul Lapie, in 1902, and E. von Hartmann, in 1908. Axiology is the philosophical study of goodness, or value, in the widest sense of these terms.” In the sense of the possibility of a value set in a society derived from the universal set of societal-cultural values possible, so the overarching ethic of a culture, in theory in other words, of human society, in societies only constructable by human beings, axiological studies becomes a wide-ranging philosophical conceptualization of value with applicability in the sense of the study of the values of a society, of an analysis of a culture’s values. Those values seen as the Good and the Bad in a society or a culture. This applies to individual values too. In this way, Plato’s notion of the society reflective of the individual and the individual reflective of the society as trivially true at the level of values, of an axiological ethical evaluation. When we come to the considerations of societies without values or value, or individuals without values or value, these become nihilistic in some fundamental sense, where the study of values applied to non-value – or the aforementioned nihilism – becomes near-illogical/futile and a one-step domain of study for the budding axiologist as to study the value of that without value becomes near pointless as an endeavour, as if a research project into the Empty Set from this Universal Set with the simple acknowledgement of the Empty Set as the intersect of all subsets, sets, and power sets of the Universal Set. On the other hand, an axiological analysis of societies and then the outcomes of those societies may provide some insight into the values to wellbeing outcome measurements of society. This becomes technical and concrete, empiric in other words, rather than some mystical and emotional examination of values and life outcomes of societies, even civilizations. The commentary in the footnote on standard of living and quality of life provides some more insight into the aspects of outcomes of societies.

See New World Encyclopedia. (2016, May 4). Axiology. Retrieved from

[27] The United Nations in Human Rights (2019a) states:

Human rights are rights inherent to all human beings, regardless of race, sex, nationality, ethnicity, language, religion, or any other status…

International human rights law lays down the obligations of Governments to act in certain ways or to refrain from certain acts, in order to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms of individuals or groups…

… The foundations of this body of law are the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the General Assembly in 1945 and 1948, respectively…

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR)is a milestone document in the history of human rights. Drafted by representatives with different legal and cultural backgrounds from all regions of the world, the Declaration was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on 10 December 1948 by General Assembly resolution 217 A (III) as a common standard of achievements for all peoples and all nations. It sets out, for the first time, fundamental human rights to be universally protected…

… Human rights is a cross-cutting theme in all UN policies and programmes in the key areas of peace and security, development, humanitarian assistance, and economic and social affairs. As a result, virtually every UN body and specialized agency is involved to some degree in the protection of human rights. 

As one may surmise from these straightforward and firm statements as to the nature of human rights and international human rights law, all institutions within the global body known as the United Nations functions within a framework of human rights protection “to some degree.” Any enquiry into human rights begins with the United Nations and then moves into the institutional framework in which the United Nations functions alongside the Charter and the The Universal Declaration of Human Rights for universal human rights and international law, in which consensus orientations and processes within a global context provide a non-absolute and universal outcome of ethics for the naturalized inclusion of multiple valid and non-contradictory frames within a larger edifice made by human beings for human beings. On occasions of contradiction or disagreement, the discourse begins in a collecitve way, ideally; of course, the international scene does not play out this way in every single instance, especially in long-standing human rights violations involved in the Israel-Palestinian issue beginning at the literal foundations of the United Nations in 1948. I suspect, as more of the global population comes online and become empowered to speak their voices into the collective chorus of humanity, the nature of the definition of “rights” to change to some degree to better approximate “universal” in a human sense, in which human nature becomes better approximated and instantiated in international documents and institutions. National power plays will continue to enforce narrow versions of ‘universal’ against the internationally democratic ideal of universal. I see no inevitable trajectory in one direction or the other here as these rely in a fndamental manner on human decisions – to invoke such an explanatory framework, even in a secular context, implies a teleological view of that which must be or inevitably come to be, at some amorphous, unstipulated time in the future. This form of secular teleology exists as a dogma in some secular circles, not necessarily the same as those assumed in the death, burial, and resurrection of and eventual return of Christ for redemption of Mankind in the Rapture or the overthrow of the Bourgeosie by the Proletariat for the creation of a workers’ paradise seen in some interpretations of Marx but similar in a brand of teleology.

See United Nations. (2019a). Human Rights. Retrieved from

[28] Several metrics exist for the measurement of the quality of life and the standard of living of a nation-state. Quality of life and standard of living differ in some fundamental aspects in terms of scope and depth with quality of life as more meaningful in a humanistic sense and standard of living in terms of an economic one. For standard of living, this can mean the goods and services aspirations of an individual or group within a society or the level of consumption of an individual or group within a society. What can an individual or a group purchase, this becomes the basis for the level of living with the desired level of living as the standard of living with an interplay between actuality and aspirations, respectively, for the two and the individuals and groups within a society. One metric for standard of living is the GNI or the Gross National Income, as defined by Chappelow (2019) as the alternative means by which to calculate GNP or the Gross National Product through GDP and net income from overseas. However, either GNI, measuring foreign and domestic incomes, or GNP, measuring domestic income sources, limit to the frame of income, this excludes non-tangible aspects of life, including life expectancy and happiness for a better metric of wellbeing. Standard of living makes sense in a narrow way; quality of life makes sense in a broader manner. Quality of life, according to the World Health Organization (2019), is defined as something “affected in a complex way by the person’s physical health, psychological state, personal beliefs, social relationships and their relationship to salient features of their environment” with the implied “environment” as one’s nation, culture, and local community, even, in an extended sense, one’s internal mental and psychological fitness. This means income as part of it, but not all of it or even most of it. Smith (2016) from the World Economic Forum defines quality of life as akin to this in some ways, but posits a Social Progress Index comprised of three separate parts and measured on a scale of 0 to 100. Jenkinson (2019) noted, “Examples of quality-of-life measures include the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), the Sickness Impact Profile (SIP), and the 36-item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36)…Disease-specific measures, such as the Arthritis Impact Measurement Scales (AIMS), the 39-item Parkinson’s Disease Questionnaire (PDQ-39), the Endometriosis Health Profile (EHP), and the 40-item Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Assessment Questionnaire (ALSAQ-40), are designed for use with specific patient groups.” Quality of life is subjective and objective, but wide in applicability. In other words, the forms of quality of life metrics focus more on the dimensions relevant to direct human wellbeing rather than economic indicators, e.g., income, for the measurement of the health and wellness of a society, though income matters to some of the human wellbeing outcomes important for measurement of quality of life as opposed to standard of living alone.

See Jenkinson, C. (2019, July 15). Quality of life. Retrieved from

[29] Metrics for measuring human rights came in the form of the UHRI or the Universal Human Rights Index. In other words, the universal human rights of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights do not exist as some abstract notion alone, but come with concrete measurements and outcomes in the real world if applied in a responsible and correct way. Welcome to UHRI (2019a) states:

The Universal Human Rights Index (UHRI) is designed to facilitate access to human rights recommendations issued by three key pillars of the United Nations human rights protection system: the Treaty Bodies established under the international human rights treaties as well as the Special Procedures and the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the Human Rights Council.

The UHRI aims at assisting States in the implementation of these recommendations and at facilitating the work of national stakeholders such as National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs), non-governmental organisations, civil society and academics as well as the United Nations.

See OHCHR. (2019a). Welcome to UHRI. Retrieved from

[30] Human Rights Indicators (2019b) states:

Human rights indicators are essential in the implementation of human rights standards and commitments, to support policy formulation, impact assessment and transparency.
OHCHR has developed a framework of indicators to respond to a longstanding demand to develop and deploy appropriate statistical indicators in furthering the cause of human rights.

One of the recommendations of the World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna was the use and analysis of indicators to help measure progress in human rights.
Several years of research and consultation went into the development of this tool. It was guided by the principles of universality, impartiality, objectivity and cooperation to strengthen the capacity of Member States in meeting their human rights obligations.

See OHCHR. (2019b). Human Rights Indicators. Retrieved from

[31] The World Health Organization (2019) states in full:

The Constitution of the World Health Organization (WHO) defines health as “A state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being not merely the absence of disease . . .”. It follows that the measurement of health and the effects of health care must include not only an indication of changes in the frequency and severity of diseases but also an estimation of well being and this can be assessed by measuring the improvement in the quality of life related to health care. Although there are generally satisfactory ways of measuring the frequency and severity of diseases this is not the case in so far as the measurement of well being and quality of life are concerned. WHO, with the aid of 15 collaborating centres around the world, has therefore developed two instruments for measuring quality of life (the WHOQOL-100 and the WHOQOL-BREF), that can be used in a variety of cultural settings whilst allowing the results from different populations and countries to be compared. These instruments have many uses, including use in medical practice, research, audit, and in policy making.

WHO defines Quality of Life as an individual’s perception of their position in life in the context of the culture and value systems in which they live and in relation to their goals, expectations, standards and concerns. It is a broad ranging concept affected in a complex way by the person’s physical health, psychological state, personal beliefs, social relationships and their relationship to salient features of their environment.

See WHO. (2019). WHOQOL: Measuring Quality of Life, Introducing the WHOQOL instruments. Retrieved from

[32] Smith in These countries have the highest quality of life (2016), in full, states:

Scandinavian nations scored highly in the “Social Progress Index,” but more surprising are the very large countries which came lower down the list — suggesting that a strong GDP per capita is not the only gauge for a high standard of living.

Despite this, all of the top 10 countries are developed nations — so having a strong economy clear has an impact.

The “Social Progress Index” collates the scores of three main indexes:

  • Basic Human Needs, which includes medical care, sanitation, and shelter.
  • Foundations of Wellbeing, which covers education, access to technology, and life expectancy.
  • Opportunity, which looks at personal rights, freedom of choice, and general tolerance.

The index then adds the three different factors together, before giving each nation a score out of 100.

See Smith, M.N. (2016, July 1). These countries have the highest quality of life. Retrieved from

[33] A live interview format creates problems for the comprehensive statement about most things, not a critique on this level given the nature of a live interview format for Dr. Sagan at the time. At the same time, one distinction may be between general authority and authoritative authority in which questioning authoritative authority, e.g., evolutionary biologists speaking on evolutionary theory, becomes less reasonable most of the time compared to questioning general authority, e.g., a politician known to not listen to science or scientific bodies’ leaders on relevant, appropriate, and important scientific questions impacting the lives of citizens with import to public policy, political platforms, and the engineering of society based on the common interest of the pubic as decided, hopefully, democratically by the general polis. Other breakdowns can ensue here, which will not be the focus of the article and, therefore, I will stop here.

[34] Ask Dr. Silverman 5 — Limits of Mind: Possible Human Science (2019b) in full states:

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: In one view, the limitations of the human mind set boundaries on possible human science. Human empirical methods with the inclusion of artificially constructed structures can extend the reach of the human mind, whether computational constructs, e.g., algorithms or data collection systems, or tools to manifest the world with greater precision to the senses, e.g., telescopes and microscopes. However, these translate the information back into the range of experience and processing of human beings.

In another perspective, the discoveries about the world reflect the tendencies in thought, and so the limitations, of the human mind, whether individuals or groups. What we know to various degrees, seem to know, and think we know, these reflect the form of information processing of human beings at large. Hills and valleys of fidelity and complexity reflecting the internal mechanics of the mind.

Pure mathematics seems to reflect this the most exquisitely. Some discoveries would, probably, remain impossible without the aid of technology. In particular, the world of large data sets, powerful computational systems, and to-the-task algorithms to help teams of professional mathematicians.

As technology advances, and as a practical philosophical inquiry, how will science advance? Where will possible human science hit a wall? Will machines launch independent scientific enquiries in the future to make discoveries barely comprehensible to most human beings?

Professor Herb Silverman: Aristotle pioneered the scientific method in ancient Greece alongside his empirical biology and work on logic, rejecting a purely deductive framework in favor of generalizations made from observations of nature. Modern science began to develop in the scientific revolution of 16th- and 17th-century Europe when the scientific method was formalized.

At this point in 2019, I’m not too worried about the possibility of human scientific discoveries hitting a wall. Based on the progress of the history of science and technology, it is not unreasonable to expect that means will be found to circumvent what appear to us now to be absolute limitations.

Look at all the scientific progress we’ve made in just the last century. People once said that we would never fly, before the Wright brothers did. People said we would never make it into space, until we did. And then that we would never make it to the moon, but we did.

Interstellar travel is one of those future innovations that many people believe will never happen. It won’t happen tomorrow or in the next year, but eventually, if we last long enough, I think we will get to Alpha Centauri, the closest star and closest planetary system to our solar system. It is 4.37 light-years from the sun. Using current spacecraft technologies, crossing the distance between our Sun and Alpha Centauri would take several millennia, which would require generations of people in spaceships. But scientists are now investigating nuclear pulse propulsion and laser light sail technology, which might reduce the journey time between our sun and Alpha Centauri to decades.

Some scientists think there will be an end to physics if a “Theory of Everything” (TOE) is discovered. This would entail an all-encompassing, coherent theoretical framework that fully explains and links all physical aspects of the universe. In particular, such a theory would reconcile general relativity and quantum field theory. General relativity only focuses on gravity for understanding the universe in regions of both large scale and high mass: stars, galaxies, clusters of galaxies, etc. Quantum field theory only focuses on three non-gravitational forces, (strong, weak, and electromagnetic force) for understanding the universe in regions of both small scale and low mass: sub-atomic particles, atoms, molecules, etc. At present, there is no candidate for a TOE that includes the standard model of particle physics and general relativity.

A number of scholars claim that Gödel’s incompleteness theorem suggests that any attempt to construct a TOE is bound to fail. Gödel’s theorem, informally stated, asserts that any formal theory sufficient to express elementary arithmetical facts and strong enough for them to be proved is either inconsistent or incomplete. Stephen Hawking, originally a believer in a TOE, after investigating Gödel’s theorem, concluded that a TOE was not attainable.

In fact, Gödel’s theorem seems to imply that pure mathematics is inexhaustible. No matter how many problems we solve, there will always be other problems that cannot be solved within the existing rules. So, because of Gödel’s theorem, physics is inexhaustible too. The laws of physics are a finite set of rules, and include the rules for doing mathematics, so that Gödel’s theorem applies to them.

Also, just about any problem solved in mathematics or science seems to raise additional questions that we would like to solve. So I expect there are infinitely many questions that we would like answers to, which won’t be found in a finite amount of time. There might even be infinitely many possible theories, not all of which humans can ponder. With or without machines, even now the majority of scientific discoveries are barely comprehensible (or incomprehensible) to most human beings.

The limitations on human scientific and mathematical discoveries, I expect, will be based on the limits to human life — which might end from climate change, an asteroid, nuclear war, or for some reason we don’t yet know about. Now that’s what should probably be a priority for us to address.

See Jacobsen, S.D. (2019b, June 16). Ask Dr. Silverman 5 — Limits of Mind: Possible Human Science. Retrieved from

[35] Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson reflects an amusing point of view. In an old lecture, he spoke about the philosophy of discovery and the philosophy of ignorance with science as reflective of the philosophy of discovery and religion as the philosophy of ignorance. With some further thought, this seems wrong. Some, including the Sufis and meditative branches of, religions orient with something akin to systematic introspection.

See [MrBrittish]. (2011, September 13). Neil deGrasse Tyson: The Perimeter of Ignorance. Retrieved from

[36] Fake News?: What is Fake News? (2019) states:

Fake news is made-up, false information packaged and shared as real news. Fake news:

  • Presents ‘facts’ that can not be verified, and may be hard to find anywhere else
  • Is usually created to advance a political agenda, for profit, mischief, or attention-seeking
  • Appeals to emotions, hoping you’ll be scared or angry enough to share without checking
  • Is usually created by people who are not experts on the topic or even journalists

See The Learning Portal: College Libraries Ontario. (2019). Fake News?: What is Fake News?. Retrieved from

[37] Post-truth (2019) states:

Post-truth describes a situation in which the importance of actual facts is supplanted by appeals to emotion and personal prejudices in influencing public opinion.

See Grammarist. (2019). Post-truth. Retrieved from

[38] Beijing is prepping for a massacre in Hong Kong: time for the West to put human rights ahead of free trade (2019), in full, states:

A quarter-century ago, the West wagered that welcoming China into the world economy would seduce the Communist Party into allowing ever-more freedom. That bet’s been lost.

There’s precious little ideology to China’s “communism” anymore and no hint of seeking economic justice. But the party will allow no challenge to its rule. Since Xi Jinping took over as president in 2013, he’s rolled back freedom after freedom.

Christian churches are smashed and worshippers jailed; Xi has even bullied Rome into letting him choose Catholic bishops in China. Re-education camps house 1 million Uighers in a province teeming with hi-tech surveillance. Twelve million other Muslims suffer stepped-up repression and systematic abuses, notes Human Rights Watch. Buddhists deemed members of the Falun Gong movement pack prisons that provide involuntary “organ donors.”

And Hong Kong’s promised “high degree of autonomy” has become a joke. The mainland has even begun to databank its residents’ biometrics (DNA, fingerprints, voice samples, etc.), the obvious basis for eventual Big Brother surveillance.

See Post Editorial Board. (2019, August 3). Beijing is prepping for a massacre in Hong Kong: time for the West to put human rights ahead of free trade. Retrieved from

[39] The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (2019c) states:

Article 19.

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

See United Nations. (2019c). The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Retrieved from

[40] Safety of journalists and human rights defenders (2019) states:

Journalists and human rights defenders around the world face major risks as a result of their work. Governments and other powerful actors, seeking to escape scrutiny and stifle dissent, often respond to critical reporting or activism with attempts to silence them.

Threats, surveillance, attacks, arbitrary arrest and detention, and, in the most grave cases, enforced disappearance or killings, are too often the cost of reporting the truth. The protection of journalists and human rights defenders, and ending impunity for attacks against them, is a global priority for safeguarding freedom of expression.

States are under an obligation to prevent, protect against, and prosecute attacks against journalists and human rights defenders. Creating a safe and enabling environment for their work necessitates legal reform, the creation of special protection mechanisms, and protocols to guide effective investigations and prosecutions where attacks occur. A free press and active civil society are essential to ensure the public’s right to know, so that governments and institutions can be held accountable.

See Article 19. (2019). Safety of journalists and human rights defenders. Retrieved from

[41] Journalists in Distress: Securing Your Digital Life (n.d.) states:

Digital technologies have become extremely important to journalism work, but this also means there is a growing number of tools and platforms that can be used against journalists as means of surveillance, identification and harassment by States and non-State actors alike. Protecting yourself can no longer mean just securing your physical safety; it must also include securing your digital safety. Any breaches to your online life also put your physical life at risk.

When journalists are persecuted for their work, they often seek help from organizations around the world that operate emergency assistance programs specifically for them. If you find yourself in this precarious situation, it is important to be aware of the digital security risks that you face even when contacting these programs. Taking steps to eliminate or mitigate these risks will not only protect yourself during your search for help; it will also improve your digital security overall.

See Canadian Journalists for Free Expression. (n.d.). Journalists in Distress: Securing Your Digital Life. Retrieved from

[42] Humanists International (2019) in the Reykjavik Declaration on the Climate Change Crisis, in full, states:

Proposed by the Boards of the European Humanist Federation, Humanists International, and Young Humanists International

Human beings are part of the natural world, but have a disproportionate effect on the global environment and biodiversity. Throughout history, our species has used the natural world to increase individual and collective wellbeing, and the impact we have is no longer sustainable. Policies adopted by governments should be informed by scientific findings. Governments need to respect the overwhelming conclusions reached by the international scientific community, including that the overuse of natural resources and the increase in greenhouse gas emissions is driving catastrophic climate change, threatening the diversity of life on Earth and the sustainability of human societies. Indeed, extreme scenarios pose an existential risk to humanity. The world must act with urgency and in a globally coordinated way to reduce and prevent human contributions to climate change, to mitigate climate impacts and adapt to them.

We recognise:

  • The overwhelming scientific consensus that human beings are contributing to the climate change trend of global warming;
  • That climate change will adversely affect human communities, non-human animals and natural ecosystems;
  • The threat to ecosystems caused by land-use and resource extraction, including commercial deforestation and unsustainable farming;
  • That investment in new renewable energy technology must happen alongside a massive reduction in the use of carbon-intensive fuels, such as coal, oil and gas;
  • That all countries need to work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to preserve habitats and species.
  • That economic development resulting from industrialisation has historically advantaged countries as they develop, and that wealthier countries should assist developing countries in meeting environmental obligations.

We support:

  • The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and the resulting work of the 2017 Paris Agreement, and the 2017 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP23);
  • The urgent work of the scientific, engineering and activist communities to research and deploy new technologies and strategies to mitigate the risks to civilisation and biodiversity;
  • The need for a global transition to new ways of using resources and new means of generating energy that will be socially and environmentally sustainable.

We call upon all humanist organizations, civil society in general, and all individuals around the world to:

  1. Highlight to their governments and regional bodies the need for urgent action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and make land-use and resource extraction sustainable, and to protect and conserve wild habitats;
  2. Foster a social and political commitment to urgent action and long-term policymaking to mitigate and prevent climate change.

This policy supersedes the following Humanists International policy statements, and they will therefore be archived:

  1. ‘Ecology’, Humanists International, Regional Congress, Australia, 2000
  2. ‘The extermination of birds of passage’, Humanists International, World Humanist Congress, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 1974
  3. ‘Ecology’, Humanists International, Executive Committee, 1971

See Humanists International. (2019). Reykjavik Declaration on the Climate Change Crisis. Retrieved from

[43] General Statement of Policy: 4. Human development and the environment (2015) states:

We realise that we are all totally dependent on the natural world for our life and well-being. Furthermore we acknowledge an obligation to bequeath to our descendants an earth that offers as good or better an environment for living as we enjoy. But unless we learn to take better care of the Earth’s environment we will put at risk the health and well-being of many living today, and the very survival of those who come after us. Caring for the environment requires attention to the advice of scientists who have studied the ecology of the planet and is likely to include control of the size of the population and reduction of the emission of “greenhouse gasses” and management of resource extraction and use, with a view to the long-term survivability of life on Earth.

See Humanists International. (2015, May). General Statement of Policy: 4. Human development and the environment. Retrieved from

[44] Proper spelling of “Organisation” in “International Humanist and Ethical Youth Organisation” rather than “Organization” – easy mistake to make but, also, easily rectifiable, in the past and in historical statements. IHEYO, short for International Humanist and Ethical Youth Organisation,” changed to YHI for Young Humanists International. The proper titles for the organizations are Humanists International and Young Humanists International with a strong preference, in terms of outreach, for full spelling of the names instead of simple initialisms in HI and YHI.

[45] NASA (2016) in Scientific Consensus: Earth’s Climate is Warming, in full, states:


Statement on Climate Change from 18 Scientific Associations

“Observations throughout the world make it clear that climate change is occurring, and rigorous scientific research demonstrates that the greenhouse gases emitted by human activities are the primary driver.” (2009)

American Association for the Advancement of Science

“The scientific evidence is clear: global climate change caused by human activities is occurring now, and it is a growing threat to society.” (2006)

American Chemical Society

“Comprehensive scientific assessments of our current and potential future climates clearly indicate that climate change is real, largely attributable to emissions from human activities, and potentially a very serious problem.” (2004)

American Geophysical Union

“Human‐induced climate change requires urgent action. Humanity is the major influence on the global climate change observed over the past 50 years. Rapid societal responses can significantly lessen negative outcomes.” (Adopted 2003, revised and reaffirmed 2007, 2012, 2013)

American Medical Association

“Our AMA … supports the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s fourth assessment report and concurs with the scientific consensus that the Earth is undergoing adverse global climate change and that anthropogenic contributions are significant.” (2013)

American Meteorological Society

“It is clear from extensive scientific evidence that the dominant cause of the rapid change in climate of the past half century is human-induced increases in the amount of atmospheric greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide (CO2), chlorofluorocarbons, methane, and nitrous oxide.” (2012)

American Physical Society

“The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring. If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions in the Earth’s physical and ecological systems, social systems, security and human health are likely to occur. We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now.” (2007)

The Geological Society of America

“The Geological Society of America (GSA) concurs with assessments by the National Academies of Science (2005), the National Research Council (2006), and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 2007) that global climate has warmed and that human activities (mainly greenhouse‐gas emissions) account for most of the warming since the middle 1900s.” (2006; revised 2010)


International Academies: Joint Statement

“Climate change is real. There will always be uncertainty in understanding a system as complex as the world’s climate. However there is now strong evidence that significant global warming is occurring. The evidence comes from direct measurements of rising surface air temperatures and subsurface ocean temperatures and from phenomena such as increases in average global sea levels, retreating glaciers, and changes to many physical and biological systems. It is likely that most of the warming in recent decades can be attributed to human activities (IPCC 2001).” (2005, 11 international science academies)10

U.S. National Academy of Sciences

“The scientific understanding of climate change is now sufficiently clear to justify taking steps to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.” (2005)


U.S. Global Change Research Program

“The global warming of the past 50 years is due primarily to human-induced increases in heat-trapping gases. Human ‘fingerprints’ also have been identified in many other aspects of the climate system, including changes in ocean heat content, precipitation, atmospheric moisture, and Arctic sea ice.” (2009, 13 U.S. government departments and agencies)


Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

“Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and since the 1950s, many of the observed changes are unprecedented over decades to millennia. The atmosphere and ocean have warmed, the amounts of snow and ice have diminished, and sea level has risen.”

“Human influence on the climate system is clear, and recent anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases are the highest in history. Recent climate changes have had widespread impacts on human and natural systems.”

See NASA. (2016). Scientific Consensus: Earth’s Climate is Warming. Retrieved from

[46] Interview with Professor Kenneth Miller – Professor, Brown University (2019a) states:

JacobsenIn terms of the opposition to the teaching of evolution by natural selection, broadly speaking, what has been their efforts to distort the reality of evolution by natural selection, miseducate the young, or simply lie for socio-political points?

Miller: These efforts have taken many forms, some of them attracting very little public notice. Teachers everywhere report informal pressure from parents and occasionally from students to skip or water down their treatment of evolution, despite state standards requiring it to be taught. Anti-evolution organizations like the Discovery Institute and Answers in Genesis churn out a steady stream of anti-evolution talking points, which are occasionally picked up by state and local groups hoping to challenge the teaching of evolution in their local schools. And I have already mentioned the “academic freedom” bills that regularly appear in state legislatures.

Very few of these efforts are overtly religious. Rather, they do their best to sound scientific by arguing that evolution is disproven on the basis of thermodynamics, information theory, the complexity of the genome, or by gaps and inconsistencies in the fossil record. Then, while they provide absolutely no evidence supporting special creation or intelligent design, they argue that these “theories” must be considered since they are the only possible alternatives to the theory of evolution. In effect, they have placed their ideas, without any scientific support, as the default explanation in the event evolution is rejected.

See Jacobsen, S.D. (2019a, March 25). Interview with Professor Kenneth Miller – Professor, Brown University. Retrieved from

[47] Dr. Kenneth Raymond Miller: Professor of Biology, Brown University (Part One) (2014) states:

7. Have intelligent design theories made any predictions? Have any intelligent design theories yielded experimental results? What falsifies intelligent design?

First, it’s worth noting that the arguments advanced by ID are entirely negative. Think about the claims made by Behe and Dembski. They point to a characteristic of living systems (biochemical complexity or specified information) and then argue that evolution could not have produced these characteristics. They are wrong in their arguments, of course, but the remarkable thing is that neither of these arguments actually produce anything in the way of positive evidence for ID. They simply argue that evolution couldn’t do it.

“Design,” therefore, is assumed to be the default explanation in the absence of an adequate evolutionary mechanism. But that is a very weak argument, even if their critiques of evolutionary mechanisms were correct. By assuming a priori that the only mechanism for living things is special creation by a “designer,” they are ruling out, for no reason, a host of other possibilities. These possibilities include, incidentally, as yet undiscovered genetic mechanisms. Since the last two decades have seen several such discoveries, including RNA interference, epigenetic modification, and RNA editing, it would be foolhardy to assume that we have run the table in that respect.

Not surprisingly, a negative critique of evolution, like ID, makes no predictions of its own except that living things will have some characteristics that we cannot yet explain. If that were not true, of course, there would be no need to do research, because we would understand everything. And the “design hypothesis” has proved to be almost completely unproductive in the scientific sense.

It is also worth noting that almost nothing can falsify every claim made for “design” in the strict sense. But that’s actually ID’s greatest weakness. You can invoke “design” to explain anything, from the structure of the ribosome to the winner of last year’s World Series, but that proves absolutely nothing. Whenever we lack a detailed explanation of a biological structure, pathway, or process, you can always throw up your hands and say “it must have been designed,” and that’s that. But that’s not an explanation. It’s really an appeal to ignorance. And my greatest problem with ID is that it proposes that we be satisfied with ignorance rather than continuing to search for answers.

See Jacobsen, S.D. (2014, July 1). Dr. Kenneth Raymond Miller: Professor of Biology, Brown University (Part One). Retrieved from

[48] The Causes of Climate Change (2019) states:

Carbon dioxide (CO2). A minor but very important component of the atmosphere, carbon dioxide is released through natural processes such as respiration and volcano eruptions and through human activities such as deforestation, land use changes, and burning fossil fuels. Humans have increased atmospheric CO2 concentration by more than a third since the Industrial Revolution began. This is the most important long-lived “forcing” of climate change.

See NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. (2019). The Causes of Climate Change. Retrieved from

[49] Causes of Climate Change (2017) state:

This record shows that the climate system varies naturally over a wide range of time scales. In general, climate changes prior to the Industrial Revolution in the 1700s can be explained by natural causes, such as changes in solar energy, volcanic eruptions, and natural changes in greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations…

… Since the Industrial Revolution began around 1750, human activities have contributed substantially to climate change by adding CO2 and other heat-trapping gases to the atmosphere. These greenhouse gas emissionshave increased the greenhouse effect and caused Earth’s surface temperature to rise. The primary human activity affecting the amount and rate of climate change is greenhouse gas emissions from the burning of fossil fuels…

… Nitrous oxide is produced through natural and human activities, mainly through agricultural activities and natural biological processes. Fuel burning and some other processes also create N2O. Concentrations of N2O have risen approximately 20% since the start of the Industrial Revolution, with a relatively rapid increase toward the end of the 20th century.

See EPA. (2017, January 19). Causes of Climate Change. Retrieved from

[50] Causes of climate change: What is the most important cause of climate change? (2019) states:

Human activity is the main cause of climate change. People burn fossil fuels and convert land from forests to agriculture. Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, people have burned more and more fossil fuels and changed vast areas of land from forests to farmland…

… Small changes in the sun’s energy that reaches the earth can cause some climate change. But since the Industrial Revolution, adding greenhouse gases has been over 50 times more powerful than changes in the Sun’s radiance. The additional greenhouse gases in earth’s atmosphere have had a strong warming effect on earth’s climate…

… Changes in solar irradiance have contributed to climate trends over the past century but since the Industrial Revolution, the effect of additions of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere has been over 50 times that of changes in the Sun’s output…

… Climate change can also be caused by human activities, such as the burning of fossil fuels and the conversion of land for forestry and agriculture. Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, these human influences on the climate system have increased substantially. In addition to other environmental impacts, these activities change the land surface and emit various substances to the atmosphere. These in turn can influence both the amount of incoming energy and the amount of outgoing energy and can have both warming and cooling effects on the climate. The dominant product of fossil fuel combustion is carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas. The overall effect of human activities since the Industrial Revolution has been a warming effect, driven primarily by emissions of carbon dioxide and enhanced by emissions of other greenhouse gases.

See Government of Canada. (2019, March 28). Causes of climate change: What is the most important cause of climate change?. Retrieved from

[51] What are the greenhouse gas changes since the Industrial Revolution? (2019) states:

These increases in greenhouse gas concentrations and their marked rate of change are largely attributable to human activities since the Industrial Revolution (1800). The increases and current atmospheric levels are the result of the competition between sources (the emissions of these gases from human activities and natural systems) and sinks (their removal from the atmosphere by conversion to different chemical compounds–for example, CO2 is removed by photosynthesis and conversion to carbonates).

See American Chemical Society. (2019). What are the greenhouse gas changes since the Industrial Revolution?. Retrieved from

[52] What is causing climate change? (n.d.). states:

Evidence that CO2 emissions are the cause of global warming is very robust. Scientists have known since the early 1800s that greenhouse gases in the atmosphere trap heat.

Global CO2 emissions from human activity have increased by over 400% since 1950. As a result, the concentration of CO2 in the air has reached more than 400 parts per million by volume (ppm), compared to about 280ppm in 1750 (around the start of the Industrial Revolution).

See Committee on Climate Change. (n.d.). What is causing climate change?. Retrieved from

[53] The global health effects of nuclear war (1982) stated:

If the bomb is exploded at or near the surface of the earth, a large amount of dust, dirt and other surface materials will also be lifted with the updraft. Some of the fission products will adhere to these particles, or onto the material used to construct the bomb. The very largest particles – stones and pebbles – will fall back to earth in a matter of minutes or hours. Lighter material – ash or dust – will fall to earth within a few days, or perhaps be incorporated in raindrops. The radioactive material which returns to earth within 24 hours is called early or local fallout. It is the most dangerous.

See Martin, B. (1982, December). The global health effects of nuclear war. Retrieved from

[54] Nuclear Attack (2005) states:

Short-term Effects

Acute Radiation Syndrome (ARS) may develop in those who are exposed to radiation levels of 50- 100 rad, depending on the type of radiation and the individual. Symptoms of ARS include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and reduced blood cell counts. Radiation, especially beta radiation, can also cause skin burns and localized injury. Fatalities begin to appear at exposures of 125 rad, and at doses between 300-400 rad, about half of those exposed will die without supportive treatment.2 At very high doses, greater than 1000 rad, people can die within hours or days due to effects on the central nervous system. Radiation exposure inhibits stem-cell growth; for those who die within weeks to months, death is usually caused by damage to the gastrointestinal lining and to bone marrow where stem cell growth is crucial. Fetuses are more sensitive to radiation; effects may include growth retardation, malformations, or impaired brain function.

Long-term Effects

Radiation exposure increases the risk of developing cancer, including leukemia, later in life. The increased cancer risk is proportional to radiation dose. The survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombs have about a 10% increased risk of developing cancers over normal age-specific rates, some occurring more than 50 years following the exposure. A long-term medical surveillance program would likely be established to monitor potential health effects of survivors of a nuclear attack. There is no evidence of genetic changes in survivors’ children who were conceived and born after the bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

See Department of Homeland Security. (2005). Nuclear Attack. Retrieved from

[55] The Effects of Nuclear Weapons (2018) stated:


The heart of a nuclear explosion reaches a temperature of several million degrees centigrade. Over a wide area the resulting heat flash literally vaporises all human tissue. At Hiroshima, within a radius of half a mile, the only remains of most of the people caught in the open were their shadows burnt into stone.


People inside buildings or otherwise shielded will be indirectly killed by the blast and heat effects as buildings collapse and all inflammable materials burst into flames. The immediate death rate will be over 90%. Various individual fires will combine to produce a fire storm as all the oxygen is consumed. As the heat rises, air is drawn in from the periphery at or near ground level. This results in lethal, hurricane force winds as well as perpetuating the fire as the fresh oxygen is burnt. Such fire storms have also been produced by intense, large scale conventional bombing in cities such as Hamburg and Tokyo.

People in underground shelters who survive the initial heat flash will die as all the oxygen is sucked out of the atmosphere.

Outside the area of total destruction there will be a gradually increasing percentage of immediate survivors. However most of these will suffer from fatal burns, will be blinded, bleeding from glass splinters and will have suffered massive internal injuries. Many will be trapped in collapsed and burning buildings. The death rate will be higher than in a normal disaster since most emergency services will be incapable of responding due to their equipment being destroyed and staff killed. The sheer scale of the casualties would overwhelm any country’s medical resources. The International Red Cross has concluded that the use of a single nuclear weapon in or near a populated area is likely to result in a humanitarian disaster that will be “difficult to address”. 

See Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. (2018, April 3). The Effects of Nuclear Weapons. Retrieved from

[56] According to Trading Economics in “India Population,” the population circa 2017 was 1,283,600,000, approximately. The Word Bank reports the total population for China, in 2018, at about 1,393,000,000. Both over 1 billion by probably 2 to 4 hundred million citizens at this time.

See Trading Economics. (2019). India Population. Retrieved from

See World Bank. (2019). Population, total; China. Retrieved from

[57] Url (2018) in Don’t attack science agencies for political gain stated:

Three changes would help elected officials and regulatory agencies to do their separate jobs. First, questions about societal values should be framed ahead of and outside scientific work. The EU must equip itself with a legal and regulatory framework for food production that accounts for citizens’ opinions on intensive agriculture, pesticide use, GM organisms and other biotechnology, and the importance of biodiversity. This will provide a forum for open, honest debate.

Second, regulatory and legal guidelines should be drawn up to govern how regulatory bodies interact with industry and handle transparency of the data that they use.

Finally, politicians need to decide whether they are willing to allow risk assessment of regulated products, such as glyphosate and food additives, to continue to be based on safety studies commissioned and paid for by the industry, as has been the case for decades. If so, politicians must have the courage to support the regulatory bodies charged with implementing these rules. If not, they must find funding for these studies elsewhere. Only once these steps have been taken will regulatory agencies be free from allegations of bias when their scientific conclusions are at odds with the political agenda of one interest group or another.

In the end analysis, these public officials harbour the title “public” because of the need to function on behalf of the public.

See Url, B. (2018, January 24). Don’t attack science agencies for political gain. Retrieved from

[58] Labour Force Participation Rate defined by the Government of Canada (2018) as the following:

Labour force participation rate: Total labour force expressed as a percentage of the population aged 15 and over. The participation rate for a particular group (age, sex, marital status, geographic area, etc.) is the total labour force in that group expressed as a percentage of the population 15 years of age and over in that group.

See Government of Canada. (2018, May 17). The surge of women in the workforce. Retrieved from

Also, occupational prestige defined by the Oxford Reference as the following:

Occupational prestige refers primarily to the differential social evaluation which is ascribed to jobs or occupations. What people know about jobs, or how people view occupations, is to a greater extent a given; much more variation exists in the value that they ascribe to them.

To ask how people rate the ‘general standing’ of an occupation (the most common question) is taken to be a measure of occupational prestige and hence of the social status of occupations, though many other criteria have been proposed, including ‘social usefulness’ as well as ‘prestige’ and ‘status’ themselves.

See Oxford Reference. (2019). occupational prestige. Retrieved from

[59] According to Trading Economics in “India Population,” the population circa 2017 was 1,283,600,000, approximately. The Word Bank reports the total population for China, in 2018, at about 1,393,000,000. Both over 1 billion by probably 2 to 4 hundred million citizens at this time.

See Trading Economics. (2019). India Population. Retrieved from

See World Bank. (2019). Population, total; China. Retrieved from

[60] The Effects of Globalization in the Workplace states:

The full impact of globalization in the workplace has yet to be realized, but as more companies embrace this trend and become more diverse, certain changes are emerging. While many of these changes are good, others may not be as positive. Small business owners are learning that they have to adopt new policies and new guidelines to keep up with these changes.

See McFarlin, K. (2019, March 12). The Effects of Globalization in the Workplace. Retrieved from

[61] Gig Economy (2018) states:


  • The gig economy is based on flexible, temporary, or freelance jobs, often involving connecting with clients or customers through an online platform.
  • The gig economy can benefit workers, businesses, and consumers by making work more adaptable to the needs of the moment and demand for flexible lifestyles.
  • At the same time, the gig economy can have downsides due to the erosion of traditional economic relationships between workers, businesses, and clients.

See Chappelow, J. (2019, June 25). Gig Economy. Retrieved from

Photo by NOAA on Unsplash

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