Ronald Bailey is reason's award-winning science correspondent. In "The End of Doom" (page 20), an excerpt from his recently released The End of Doom: Environmental Renewal in the 21st Century (Thomas Dunne Books), Bailey, 61, explains that fears about cancer rates, overpopulation, biotech crops, global warming, and mass animal extinctions are all wildly overblown. "Back in the 1970s, I believed the prophecies of doom made by the founders of ideological environmentalism," he says. But by the early 1990s, it was clear those predictions had "utterly failed." Yet decades later, "doom continues to be preached." Thus his decision to write this book. "The doomsters are still wrong," he says. "Why? Human ingenuity."
"Two Liberalisms" on page 60 is Roderick T. Long's review of Rationalism, Pluralism, and Freedom (Oxford University Press). Long, 51, is a professor of philosophy at Auburn University; the president of an anarchist think tank, the Molinari Institute; and a senior fellow at the Center for a Stateless Society. He has a particular interest in Greek philosophy, which he says was triggered by reading Ayn Rand as a teenager. "Rand was my gateway drug to philosophy generally, and to both Aristotle and libertarianism specifically, though she doubtless wouldn't approve of the specific forms my interests have taken."
Burton C. Gray Memorial Intern C.R. Denning writes about a new generation of self-driving vehicles in "Robot Trucks Hit the Road" (page 72). A philosophy of law student at North Carolina State, Denning, 28, has served as a columnist and the assistant opinion editor at his school's student newspaper, the Technician. Intellectually, Denning says, his biggest influence on the road to libertarianism was Milton Friedman. "He had a great ability to communicate, and the things he said just made sense to me."