When the evidence clearly suggests that we’re heading toward a catastrophe, scientists shouldn’t hesitate to make their feelings known to the public. So, at what point should scientists begin to publicly worry about the environment? Scientists are trained to report their findings in a disinterested manner. The aim is to be as objective as possible, […]
About Phil Torres
Phil Torres is an author, Affiliate Scholar at the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, and founder of the X-Risks Institute. He has published widely on emerging technologies, terrorism, and existential risks, with articles appearing in Skeptic, Free Inquiry, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Salon, Truthout, Erkenntnis, Metaphilosophy, Foresight, Journal of Future Studies, and the Journal of Evolution and Technology. Follow him at @xriskology.
Climate change and biodiversity loss may pose the most immediate and important threat to human survival given their indirect effects on other risk scenarios. Humanity faces a number of formidable challenges this century. Threats to our collective survival stem from asteroids and comets, supervolcanoes, global pandemics, climate change, biodiversity loss, nuclear weapons, biotechnology, synthetic biology, nanotechnology, […]
People tend to worry about the wrong things. According to a 2015 Gallup Poll, 51% of Americans are “very worried” or “somewhat worried” that a family member will be killed by terrorists. Another Gallup Poll found that 11% of Americans are afraid of “thunder and lightning.” Yet the average person is at least four times […]
Neil deGrasse Tyson was once asked about his thoughts on the cosmos. In a slow, gloomy voice, he intoned, “The universe is a deadly place. At every opportunity, it’s trying to kill us. And so is Earth. From sinkholes to tornadoes, hurricanes, volcanoes, tsunamis.” Tyson humorously described a very real problem: the universe is a […]
The following article was originally posted in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. According to the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, the two greatest existential threats to human civilization stem from climate change and nuclear weapons. Both pose clear and present dangers to the perpetuation of our species, and the increasingly dire climate situation and nuclear arsenal […]