case for a new category of risks 63 3.1 Current risks CLIMATE CHANGE Climate research Pre-warming mitigation efforts Pre-warming collapse countermeasures Climate warfare Collapse of geoengineering projects New, polluting, uses for carbon products Low-carbon economies Geoengineering Technological innovations Research in emmision-reducing technologies Global coordination Economic transformations Research in mitigation and adaptation Moderate climate change Global poverty Extreme climate change Feedback loops Carbon emissions Climate change mitigation and adaptation Direct casualties Political instability in vulnerable nations Agriculture disruption Disruption to world politics and economy Ecosystem damage (e.g. ocean acidification) Post warming politics Long-term climate effects Forced migration Total short-term casualties Meta-uncertainty on how to predict the international political process Meta-uncertainty on the true uncertainty in climate change models Increased storms, flooding and natural disaters Civilization collapse Easily visible effects of climate change Extinction Uncertain events Key Meta-uncertainties Risk events Direct impacts Indirect impacts Current intervention areas Bad decisions Accidents Severe impacts GOVERNANCE DISASTERS Global povety Global instability New system of governance Smart sensors Global coordination Improvements to global governance Deliberate attempts to construct world dictatorship Technological innovations Enduring poverty Not achieving important ethical goals Climate change Lack of human flourishing Undesirable world system (e.g. global dictatorship) Global pollution Disruption to world politics and economy Total short-term casualties Collapse of world system Post-disaster politics General mitigation effort Long-term negative effects Civilisation collapse Extinction Failing to solve important problems Making things worse Uncertain events Key Meta-uncertainties Risk events Direct impacts Indirect impacts Current intervention areas Bad decisions Accidents Severe impacts Meta-uncertainty on tradeoffs between e.g. poverty, survival, freedom 64 Global Challenges – Twelve risks that threaten human civilisation – The case for a new category of risks 3.1 Current risks 1. Research which further refines our understanding of climate change and geo-engineering ideas will be essential in predicting change, preparing for it, and potentially reversing it. On the negative side, climate science research may allow the possibility of climate change tools being used for warfare. 2. Global poverty will affect both the vulnerability of many nations to the effects of climate change, and the likelihood of achieving global coordination earlier rather than later. 3. Pre-extreme warming mitigation efforts will affect the level of impact from climate change. 4. Pre-warming collapse countermeasures will affect the likelihood of civilisation collapse.
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- Winter '07
- Probability distribution, global challenges