Wednesday, April 15, 2015

How does climate stack up against other worst-case scenarios?

Climate change isn’t the only big problem facing society. There are half a dozen other candidates that seem to make it on various lists of the worst of the worst, and it’s tough to come up with a clear order of which most demands our attention and limited resources. In addition to climate change, let’s consider asteroids, biotechnology, nanotechnology, nukes, pandemics, robots and “strangelets,” strange matter with the potential of swallowing the Earth in a fraction of a second. Ideally, society should conduct serious benefit-cost analyses for each worst-case scenario: estimate probabilities and possible impacts, multiply the two, and compare it to the costs of action in each instance. Read more at tp://