Category Archives: Existential Risk

Emergency Alert in Hawaii

Saturday morning at 8:07 a.m. people across the state of Hawaii got the same alert on their cell phones: BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL. My girlfriend and I got dressed in … Continue reading

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Cambridge Conference on Catastrophic Risk

Pessimism, Huw Price says, is a necessary antidote to society’s optimism. Price is the Bertrand Russell Professor of Philosophy at the University of Cambridge and one of the founders of the Cambridge Centre for the Study of Existential Risk (CSER). He was introducing the first ever Cambridge Conference … Continue reading


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What’s at Stake for the World in Ukraine

The US and Russia keep nearly 2000 strategic nuclear weapons deployed and ready to launch. Modern strategic nuclear weapons generally have much larger yields than the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. A single nuclear warhead has easily enough explosive … Continue reading

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Have We Reached the Limits to Growth?

Dire Warnings In 1967, William and Paul Paddock’s best-selling book Famine 1975! argued that stagnant agricultural productivity and growing populations would mean abandoning countries like Egypt and Haiti to starvation by the middle of the next decade. (1) In 1968, Stanford biologist Paul … Continue reading

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The Sentinel Mission

There are no passengers on spaceship Earth. We are all crew.—Marshall McLuhan (1965) Ed Lu wants to save the world. In a talk Thursday at the University of Hawai‘i, the former astronaut recalled looking at the moon while he was … Continue reading

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The Sixth Extinction

Review of Scatter, Adapt, and Remember by Annalee Newitz Life on this earth has often been disturbed by terrible events. Countless living beings have been the victims of these catastrophes. Some inhabitants of dry land saw themselves swallowed up by … Continue reading

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Can the Human Race Survive?

The human race’s prospects of survival were considerably better when we were defenceless against tigers than they are today, when we have become defenceless against ourselves.—Arnold Toynbee (1) The human race probably faces a greater risk of extinction today than at … Continue reading

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