The Fate of the Planet: Unconventional Attacks on Pandemics and Nuclear Defenses Could Protect Humanity from Catastrophic Failure
From built pandemics to cyber attacks toppling the city to nuclear destruction, life on Earth could change radically, and soon.
Scientists predicted the planet’s fate at a press conference during the APS meeting in April 2021. “Our Earth is 45 million centuries old.
But this century is the first in which one species – ours – can determine the fate of the biosphere, ” said Martin Rees, British astronomer Royal and founder of the Center for the Study of Existential Risks at Cambridge University.
“Our globally connected society is vulnerable to the unintended consequences of powerful new technologies – not just nuclear, but (even more) biotech, cyber, advanced AI, space technology,” he added.
Royal astronomer predicts the world in 2050 and beyond
Rees thinks biohackers pose a particularly underrated threat to humanity. In the near future, people will be able to irrevocably reconstruct the human genome or develop an expanding flu with simple equipment.
Like drug laws, regulations could never prevent all such actions – and in a world more interconnected than ever before, the consequences would spread worldwide. He will discuss other dangers:
population growth leading to declining biodiversity, catastrophic climate change, uncontrollable cyber criminals, plans for artificial intelligence that affect privacy, security and freedom.
But Rees is an optimist. It will provide a way to avoid these risks and achieve a sustainable future that is better than the world we live in today.
“If all of us, passengers on ‘Spaceship Earth’, are to ensure that we leave it in better condition for future generations, then we must promote the prudent application of new technologies while minimizing the risk of pandemics, cyber threats and other global disasters. minimum is limited, ”he said.
The rollback of missile defense could prevent a nuclear attack
A single nuclear weapon can kill millions and destroy a city instantly. Hundreds of weapons could destroy functioning society in a great nation.
Even a limited nuclear war could cause a climate catastrophe, leading to the starvation of hundreds of millions of people.Recently, Russia, China and North Korea have deployed new types of almost unstoppable missiles.
“Missile defense is an idea that may sound appealing at first – isn’t defense the right thing to do?” said Frederick Lamb, astrophysicist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, co-chair of the 2003 APS Study of Boost-Phase Missile Defense, and chair of the current APS Panel on Public Affairs Study of Missile Defense and National Security.
“But looking at the technical challenges and implications of the arms race, it can be seen that deploying a system designed to defend against intercontinental ballistic missiles is unlikely to improve the security of the United States”, he said.
Lamb points to the UK’s decision to increase its nuclear arsenal by 44%, possibly prompted by Russia’s new missile defense system around Moscow. He sees the move as yet another sign that the existing limits for nuclear weapons are unraveling.
Even missile defense that would never work in practice can catalyze the development of new nuclear weapons and increase global risk. Lamb will talk about what could happen if the United States steps up new missile defense systems.
“What is being done about nuclear weapons and missile defense by the United States and other countries is affecting the security and survival of every person on the planet,” he said.