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Asteroids! Solar Storms! Nukes! Climate Calamity! Killer Robots!

Washington Post: “A guide to contemporary doomsday scenarios — from the threats you know about to the ones you never think of…There are just so many things we don’t want to happen. There are so many potential doomsdays. This is not the cheeriest topic, to be sure, but it’s endlessly fascinating if you can stomach it. What are our biggest existential risks? Should we feel more threatened by low-probability but high-consequence risks, such as asteroid impacts and runaway artificial intelligence (robot overlords and whatnot), or should we focus on less exotic, here-and-now threats such as climate change, viral pandemics and weapons of mass destruction? And should we even worry about low-probability risks when hundreds of millions of people right now lack adequate food, water, and shelter and are living off less than $2 a day? We are not being paranoid when we recognize that human civilization has become increasingly complex and simultaneously armed with techniques for self-destruction. There are bad omens everywhere, and not just the melting glaciers and dying polar bears. We’re all still unnerved by the pandemic. Meanwhile, there’s this ancient threat called war. Vladimir Putin and his advisers keep rattling the nuclear saber. A nuclear holocaust is the classic apocalyptic scenario that never went away…”

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