Yeh, the End of All Thing IS at hand. File yer tax return first, okay? The government needs the money.
Robinson Meyer at the Atlantic channels the best of science:
Nuclear war. Climate change. Pandemics that kill tens of millions.
These are the most viable threats to globally organized civilization. They’re the stuff of nightmares and blockbusters—but unlike sea monsters or zombie viruses, they’re real, part of the calculus that political leaders consider everyday. And according to a new report from the U.K.-based Global Challenges Foundation, they’re much more likely than we might think.
In its annual report on “global catastrophic risk,” the nonprofit debuted a startling statistic: Across the span of their lives, the average American is more than five times likelier to die during a human-extinction event than in a car crash. More.
The hat tipper writes to complain that he thinks “a fatal car crash qualifies as a human extinction event.” He needs to apply for a grant to analyze his idea from a more academic angle.
Incidentally, Meyer sniffs, regarding some global monitoring proposal to prevent the putative disaster:
He also thought many problems could be helped if democratic institutions had some kind of ombudsman or committee to represent the interests of future generations. (This strikes me as a distinctly European proposal—in the United States, the national politics of a “representative of future generations” would be thrown off by the abortion debate and unborn personhood, I think.)
Yes indeed. When the future is lying in bags destined for the incinerator, it seems fruitless to worry about apocalypses. That’s true in Europe too but they are too cool to notice.
Update!!: Laszlo Bencze writes in haste to say, Here’s the grant proposal I just submitted. I’m expecting between $450K and $600K:
A Bayesian Analysis of the Correlation between Vehicular Micro Extinction Events and the Consequences of Climatic Hyperentropic Events within the Evolutionary Paradigm
Wow. Make that pink champagne for everyone associated with UD, including long-banished trolls.
See also: If math is not real, BS stats are okay. Right? Generally speaking, naturalism is bad for science, and that conundrum demonstrates the fact.
Follow UD News at Twitter!