Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Hope, and reason

'Don't tell me things can't change. We need to fight for them.' -- Jeffrey Sachs in question and answer after the first 2007 Reith Lecture.

I like Sach's refusal to give in to pessimism. Under cross examination from gloomsters he pointed out that in the early 1960s, when John F. Kennedy made the speech which Sachs took as the starting point for his lecture, the great majority of U.S. citizens thought a nuclear war with the Soviet Union was inevitable.

[P.S. 11.05pm: and hooray for the redoubtable Yorkshireman Edward Pearce for bringing it home in his comment -- The horror of it, as phrased by a Daily Telegraph reporter, Amy Iggulden, of "a lost generation" of 1.2 million such people "draining £3.65bn a year from the exchequer, enough to fund a 1p cut in income tax," is eloquent in unintended ways.]

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