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Arithmetic, Population, and Energy: A Tribute to Dr. Albert A. “Al” Bartlett, Professor Emeritus, University of Colorado at Boulder

As Al Bartlett nears the end of his life, I wish to honor him with this posting.

Albert_A_BartlettIf you have not already encountered the indomitable teachings of physics professor Bartlett on the arithmetic of human population, or in his classes, below are some quotes from his work, a link to his first and most important contribution, and a few additional links.

I encourage you to share this posting and his teachings with anyone you think might be receptive and who might not already know of his work.

Link: His challenge question for you…. and for all of  humanity

Text: Can you think of any problem in any area of human endeavor on any scale, from microscopic to global, whose long-term solution is in any demonstrable way aided, assisted, or advanced by further increases in population, locally, nationally, or globally?

The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function.

BartlettLectureAl’s most famous work is a lecture titled “Arithmetic, Population and Energy.” It is found on YouTube in an 8 part series At this link. The lecture was a little over an hour long. The YouTube version is split into 8 short segments, each linked to the next one to make for quick download and ease of watching and listening.

A more recent contribution is posted on this web site. Click on “Educational Materials” in the menu bar to the left and then on “The Meaning of Sustainability.” Or just click on this link.

You can find more about Al at his web site: http://www.albartlett.org/ including links to his many writings.

Al’s email address:  albert.bartlett@colorado.edu

In 1981 Dr. Bartlett received the Robert A. Millikan Award from the American Association of Physics Teachers for his outstanding scholarly contributions to physics education. He has given his celebrated lecture, “Arithmetic, Population and Energy” over 1,600 times. His collected writings on this subject have been published in the book, “The Essential Exponential! For the Future of Our Planet“.

Two recent messages from Al:

July 16, 2013

On June 26 Jane, Lois, Scott, Nancy and I started our annual two-week camping trip at the Rosy Lane Campground on the Taylor River near Gunnison. Scott and the girls set up the tents and we prepared for another wonderful camping vacation.

Our favorite recreation is walking around the paved campground drive. It’s about a third of a mile. I would do it with a rollator walker and everyone else (including two little dogs) would walk.

About a week into the vacation I noticed one day that I was noticeably weaker than I had been the day before. Within a couple of days I could not do the loop. I bailed out early, came home and visited the Emergency Room of the hospital. They could find nothing wrong. We visited the oncologist and he outlined some frightening possibilities, including that my lymphoma might be returning. He ordered a group of diagnostic tests which are now underway. I had a PET scan yesterday and we are awaiting the results.

In the meantime, here at home under the loving care of Lois and Scott I am so weak that I can hardly shuffle from the bedroom to the bathroom and getting upstairs requires help.

That’s where we are today.

July 19, 2013

Yesterday, July 18 we saw the oncologist. The news from the PET Scan is all bad! The lymphoma that we had treated in 2008 was back with a vengeance. It has spread through my abdomen and lymph nodes. There is nothing that can be done to treat it. So he gave me approximately 30 days, plus or minus.

We had a Hospice care person over today to make arrangements for Home Hospice care during the coming weeks. She remembered taking care of Eleanor in 2008.

So that’s it.

My apologies for not personalizing this message so I am sending out this very impersonal Greeting.

Love,

AL

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