Friday, November 12, 2010

The likelihood of various threats to the planet.

In yesterday's post I said that we can do serious damage to planet even if we can't literally destroy it. Lee passed on to me this post from Byron Smith in which he lists various threats to the planet and his estimation of their likelihood.
  1. Destruction of the planet itself: Well-nigh impossible.
  2. Destruction of all terrestrial life: Very difficult.
  3. Destruction of all human life: Difficult.
  4. Destruction of our civilisation and of the conditions under which large-scale human civilisation is possible: Possible.
  5. Significant decline in human population and/or biological diversity: Fairly likely over the long term on our present path.
  6. Downfall of/significant departure from the present mode of our society: Likely and probably imminent in the next few decades.
  7. The ongoing catastrophe of history that we call progress: Presently underway.
If these things come to pass it will be because of our failure with regard to our responsibility of mutual care, which includes the restraint of our appetites. These are moral, not merely technological, issues.

What can we do? Byron Smith has another post that points us in the right direction: "Twelve responses to converging crises".

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About Me

I'm Rachel's husband and Darcy's daddy. I'm a Hoosier, an accountant, and an Episcopalian. Politically, I'm a progressive who believes in the preferential option for the poor. I use the blog as a sort of journal - to interact with my reading and sketch out ideas.