Forecasting Armageddon


Sustainability is the buzz word of our generation. With global human population on the rise, food shortages, natural disasters, and conflict are setting in. Oxford University’s Future Of Humanity institute published a study this March, setting out the ‘existential risk’ that may encourage long-term planning and policy implementation while we still have time. After discussing a huge range of possible influential factors, morals, and possible outcomes, the author, Bostrom, concludes:

Finally, it is possible that the cause will at some point receive a boost from the occurrence of a major (non-existential) catastrophe that underscores the precariousness of the present human condition. That would, needless to say, be the worst possible way for our minds to be concentrated—yet one which, in a multidecadal time frame, must be accorded a non-negligible probability of occurrence

This final statement confirms the thoughts of many, whom like me, are expectant of a serious catastrophe that may be the catalyst initiating the first steps to the stabilisation of Earth once more.

By El T [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By El T [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Indeed we are seeing a myriad of problems threatening the human population. There are cries about transmissible disease in China, threats of nuclear war in Korea, significant and noticeable changes in the ambient climates of many countries, most relevantly here in the UK. It is almost as if we are losing control amongst the growing populations, conflicting attitudes, and corrupt governments.

By The picture was taken by Charles Levy from one of the B-29 Superfortresses used in the attack. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By The picture was taken by Charles Levy from one of the B-29 Superfortresses used in the attack. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

An interesting remark made by Bolstrom concerns the rapid development of technology; he contends that experimental biotechnology and biogenetic manipulation may be the most dangerous threat to human existence; coincidentally we have heard outrage at the testing of such pharmaceuticals for the human-transmissible qualities in the avian flu virus.

Another study speaks in a similar tone about the crossing the ‘tipping-point’ through biological changes in global climate, speaking of the need for scientific climate forecasting and demanding global cooperation to tackle the threats.

Perhaps it is time that everyone got involved. For somewhere to start, click here.

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