- On One Planet in Our Universe (Astrophysics)
- The greatest existential threat to our species on a planetary level is from the impact of an asteroid. We must develop means to detect and prevent this from occurring. And since that may fail, we must also develop the means to get off our planet and survive elsewhere.
- From what we know about Earth, life is abundant once it has begun. The enormous number of places in the universe indicates that life elsewhere is probable. The search for extra-terrestrial life is instructive to both know our own place better, and to find other places to live.
- In One Sliver of Suitable Atmosphere on the Planet (Environmentalism)
- We have evolved to live in only a relatively small environment on Earth. We must do what we can to preserve the air, water, and land of that environment. No profits can ever outweigh the cost of the long-term degradation of this impossibly precious commons. We need strong regulation and enforcement of industrial pollutants and a sustainable economy built upon renewable energy.
- Enmeshed in One Ecosystem in the Atmosphere (Ecology, Zoology)
- We have evolved to occupy a niche in a complex ecosystem of animals. Our survival is supported by microbes, insects, fish, birds, mammals, and plants to a degree not yet fully understood. We must tread cautiously on that life so as not to unwittingly step on our own throats. We must preserve wild spaces and wild species, both on land and in the sea.
- Immersed in a Global Human Society (Sociology)
- We have evolved into a tightly knit social species. The more we diversify, specialize, and trade, the happier our lives and the stronger our chances for survival. Society functions best when its individuals emphasize cooperation over competition. Life is not a zero-sum game and the “kill or be killed” mindset no longer applies to modern society. We need to educate citizens about this and help them find a productive place in society. We must recognize that individuals can contribute great talent and ideas, but the formation of society is what allows the production of enormous wealth. We must allow access to information and the means of production to anyone who wants to learn and has a good idea. We must establish good governments whose purpose is to enable all this to occur.
There are some strong recommendations in here for a wide variety of fields: space exploration, environmental regulation, ecological conservation, sociological education, economic policy, even political formation. All of these are tied together though and all of them are the logical result of the answers we find to one simple question. Where am I? Know this about yourself - and I mean know this in totality, not just in some local and temporary way - and the much wider worldview that results will lead to the formation of vital understandings that are consistent with our place in the universe and the way we can survive and thrive here.