Sunday, July 21, 2013


The purpose of this blog is generation of an exchange of views on the fundamental role of human values, attitudes, and behavior to achieve an attractive prospect for humankind by reconciling a continually expanding human activity with planet Earth’s finite capacity to support this accelerating development. The exchange of views might be the basis for a proposal to the National Academy of Science to convene a breakout session on this topic at the Annual Meeting of the Academy. Such a proposal would follow an informal suggestion by Academy President Cicerone to Tom Malone at the meeting of Academy Members at Yale University in February 2006.

The considerations presented below are intended as a point of departure for discussion on this blog.

Read complete "Overview" . . .

Saturday, July 20, 2013


Dr. Malone's video-taped remarks from September 2009 can be viewed at

Transcript of Video:

A Societal Response to Three Overarching Global Challenges

The 21st Century looms is emerging as a “tipping point” for human life on planet Earth. Whether our future is bright and sunny, or cloudy and forbidding, will depend ultimately on the collective impact of decisions made by individual members of our global society . . .

Today, humanity faces three overarching challenges: (1) sustainability (or survivability) – reconciling exponential growth in the global economy with the finite capacity of our planet to provide the goods and services necessary to meet expanding basic human needs and legitimate aspirations, (2) equity – achieving fairness in sharing our planet’s resources among all people, (3) nuclear catastrophe - the stark possibility that conflict among nations could escalate into a globally disastrous nuclear war. In the final analysis, the most effective response to these three challenges will be the universal adoption of a set of the human values that will guide decisions by individuals as they pursue sustainability, equity, and peace . . .

Read complete remarks . . .

Friday, March 05, 2010

Letter To The Editor

Ways to Respond to Climate Change

Published: March 1, 2010

To the Editor:

Al Gore’s Op-Ed article was a thoughtful contribution to the frenzied discussion under way on climate change. He went right to the heart of the matter with his comment: “Though there have been impressive efforts by many business leaders, hundreds of millions of individuals and families throughout the world and many national, regional and local governments, our civilization is still failing miserably to slow the rate at which these emissions are increasing — much less reduce them.”

Future generations may well be less kind in their assessment of our failure to act.

Thomas F. Malone
West Hartford, Conn., Feb. 28, 2010

The writer is former president of the American Meteorological Society and former foreign secretary of the National Academy of Sciences.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

A Suggestion for a New York Times OP-ED


By Thomas F. Malone

More than seventy years as a scientist, educator, and business executive, and   -- most important  -- as a global citizen have lead me to be prudently optimistic about the outcome of the public dialogue now underway on global warming. Of particular interest, this dialogue contains fertile seeds for further discussion and substantive action on the broader challenges within which it is enmeshed.

Recent developments in the public discourse on global warming have propelled the issue to a prominent place on the world’s agenda.  This topic is now the leading edge of the overarching challenge of the 21st Century -- to reconcile a continually expanding civilization with the finite capacity of planet Earth’s natural resources to support humanity . . . 

Read complete article . . .

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Reflections on the Human Prospect

World population and the global economy are expanding in a manner that is propelling civilization along a path that is unsustainable, inequitable, and unstable. A concerted, global effort to discover, integrate, disseminate, and apply knowledge about the natural world and human behavior would change this trajectory to a path of sustainable human development. This path would point toward the vision of a society in which the basic human needs and an equitable share of life’s amenities could be met by successive generations while maintaining in perpetuity a healthy, physically attractive, and biologi­cally productive environment. The scholarly community is urged to provide impetus for the pursuit of this vision. An unprecedented degree of collaboration among the disciplines will be necessary. New modes of communication and cooperation among the major sectors of society will have to be fashioned. Knowledge will become an organizing principle for society in the twenty-first century.

Read complete "Reflections . . ."

Monday, June 05, 2006

"Knowledge Partnerships for a Sustainable, Equitable and Stable Society" by: Thomas F. Malone, Gary W. Yohe

As the twentieth century drew to a close, scholars reflected on the problems and possible responses in an increasingly interdependent world society as it embarked on the first century of the Third Millennium. Economic historian David Landes for example, summarized his view of the central problems in The Wealth and Poverty of Nations: “… the greatest single problem and danger facing the world of the Third Millennium … is the gap in wealth and health that separates rich and poor… The only other worry that comes close is environmental deterioration, and the two are intimately connected, indeed are one” (Landes, 1998).

Read complete "Knowledge Partnerships . . . "