Physics Today 69, 4, 24 (2016); https://doi.org/10.1063/PT.3.3133Thirty years ago this month, on 26 April 1986, Reactor 4 at the Soviet-run Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant exploded when operators undertook a safety experiment. The nuclear accident remains the worst to date, although debate and controversy surround the extent and types of damage incurred—from cancers to ecological impact to the effects of mass evacuations on communities and individuals.
The population problem has no technical solution; it requires a fundamental extension in morality.
What Shall We Maximize?We want the maximum good per person; but what is good? To one person it is wilderness, to another it is ski lodges for thousands. To one it is estuaries to nourish ducks for hunters to shoot; to another it is factory land. Comparing one good with another is, we usually say, impossible because goods are incommensurable. Incommensurables cannot be compared.
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