What does inaction about existential threats tell us about....

  • #1
Posty McPostface
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What does inaction about existential threats tell us about ourselves?

Take for example climate change or the lack of any action to mitigate potentially civilization ending asteroid impacts?

Is this simply an issue related to our very way of being? And, if so what can be done about it?
 

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  • #2
.Scott
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What does inaction about existential threats tell us about ourselves?

Take for example climate change or the lack of any action to mitigate potentially civilization ending asteroid impacts?

Is this simply an issue related to our very way of being? And, if so what can be done about it?
I believe there is action on both.

On the first topic, in the case of climate change, although the evidence that global warming in created from human activity is very convincing (at least to me), the models are very poor at predicting exactly what activity creates what long-term quantitative effects - and what mitigation efforts would result in what improvements over what time period. If your only objective is to try to put things back as they were, then you can claim inaction. If your objective is to save mankind, the path is less clear.
So I would say that we urgently need to improve the models so we know where we're headed and how to steer a path that is most productive.

On the second topic, we are certainly developing the technologies we would need to find, deflect, and mine asteroids. We could advance the time line - but our pace is pretty good. Given that this is a problem that extends over hundreds of thousands of years - look how much progress we've made in that time frame.
 
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  • #3
berkeman
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Thread closed temporarily for Moderation...
 
  • #4
fresh_42
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I suppose there are many studies to which extend humans can make decisions and take action beyond their usual horizon of a lifetime. Thus the subject may be regarded under philosophical, political, social as well as under psychological aspects. But as a discussion out of the blue, it will probably lead nowhere, and none of these fields is really within our range of competence.

As the subject is mostly of philosophical nature, this thread will remain closed.
 

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