Consider the optimist

Since 2004, I’ve spent a lot of time staring at the ceiling thinking about tsunamis and earthquakes. The monster wave that hit Indonesia that year was caused by a earthquake so violent it shifted the axis of the earth a few centimeters. Now I can’t get this out of my mind: The planet literally shook.

Everyone has one--whether its global warming, phthalates, flu, or junk food--it's that thought that makes them quake. Still, despite the fear, most people do their best to live sustainably, heal naturally, and raise their children right.

But how often is it that one's efforts feel good enough? For the most part, the solutions are inadequate or unachievable or overwhelmingly, confusingly both. If you turn on the air conditioner because you are too warm, you cause global warming. If you vaccinate your children to protect them, you fear the vaccine may hurt them, and yet if you get cancer, it’s your fault for being so angry and fearful all the time. What if you don’t actually want to walk to the local abattoir and slaughter your own pig so you can eat your sausages morally? What does that even mean?

You could consider optimism, for a change. I thought about it a lot when I reviewed Matt Ridley's "The Rational Optimist."

Thank you, Rod Stewart. Seriously.

Earlier this year, Rod Stewart married model Penny Lancaster, promising to love and honor the latest version of his eerily uniform young-blonde-wife prototype. The new Mrs. Stewart is younger than Stewart's own young daughter, and at this rate, it's hard to believe the deeply lined rocker won't end up dating his own distant, blonde descendants. But it turns out, Rod, you are to be thanked. And the pre-menopausal ladies you callously jilted? They should thank you most of all. No, not because they don't have to sleep with you anymore, but for something much more important. Scientists say, in not exactly these words, that it is the old goats who keep the human race alive for longer...  More at The Huffington Post.