Global Catastrophic Risks

Global Catastrophic Risks

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A global catastrophic risk is one with the potential to wreak death and destruction on a global scale. In human history, wars and plagues have done so on more than one occasion, and misguided ideologies and totalitarian regimes have darkened an entire era or a region. Advances in technology are adding dangers of a new kind. It could happen again. In Global Catastrophic Risks 25 leading experts look at the gravest risks facing humanity in the 21st century, including natural catastrophes, nuclear war, terrorism, global warming, biological weapons, totalitarianism, advanced nanotechnology, general artificial intelligence, and social collapse. The book also addresses over-arching issues - policy responses and methods for predicting and managing catastrophes. This is invaluable reading for anyone interested in the big issues of our time; for students focusing on science, society, technology, and public policy; and for academics, policy-makers, and professionals working in these acutely important fields.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 578 pages
  • 156 x 236 x 40mm | 1,038.72g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • tables and figures
  • 0198570503
  • 9780198570509
  • 1,216,831

Table of contents

Foreword ; Introduction ; BACKGROUND ; Long-term astrophysical processes ; Evolution theory and the future of humanity ; Millenial tendencies in responses to apocalyptic threats ; Cognitive biases potentially affecting judgememnt of global risks ; Observation selection effects: the Fermi paradox, the Doomsday argument and the simulation argument ; Systems-based risk analysis ; Catastrophes and insurance ; Public policy toward catastrophe ; RISKS FROM NATURE ; Supervolcanism and other geophysical processes of catastrophic import ; Hazards from comets and asteroids ; Influence of supernovae, gamma-ray bursts, solar flares, and cosmic rays on the terrestrial environment ; RISKS FROM UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES ; Climate change and global risk ; Plagues and pandemics: past, present, and future ; Artificial Intelligence as a positive and negative factor in global risk ; Big troubles, imagined and real ; Catastrophe, social collapse, and and human extinction ; The continuing threat of nuclear war ; Catastrophic nuclear terrorism: a preventable peril ; Biotechnology and biosecurity ; Nanotechnology as global catastrophic risk ; The totalitarian threat ; Acknowledgements ; Index ; Author's Biographies
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Review quote

This volume is remarkably entertaining and readable...It's risk assessment meets science fiction. Natural Hazards Observer The book works well, providing a mine of peer-reviewed information on the great risks that threaten our own and future generations. Nature We should welcome this fascinating and provocative book. Martin J Rees (from foreword) [Provides] a mine of peer-reviewed information on the great risks that threaten our own and future generations. Nature
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About Nick Bostrom

Milan M. 'Cirkovi'c, PhD, is a senior research associate of the Astronomical Observatory of Belgrade, (Serbia) and a professor of Cosmology at Department of Physics, University of Novi Sad (Serbia). He received his Ph. D. in Physics from the State University of New York at Stony Brook (USA). His primary research interests are in the fields of astrophysical cosmology (baryonic dark matter, star formation, future of the universe), astrobiology (anthropic principles, SETI studies, catastrophic episodes in the history of life), as well as philosophy of science (risk analysis, future studies, foundational issues in quantum mechanics and cosmology).
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Rating details

203 ratings
3.99 out of 5 stars
5 36% (74)
4 33% (68)
3 25% (50)
2 4% (8)
1 1% (3)
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