Evaluating Alternative Policies and Actions to Avoid Global Catastrophes

Thursday, 19 July 2018: 17:30
Oral Presentation
Ronald ANDERSON, University of Minnesota, USA
The first half of 2017 has tossed the world order into a new set of vulnerabilities not previously experienced. The world has been previously threatened by high risks of nuclear war but not simultaneously with giant storms generated by rapid global warming. All out nuclear war and climate catastrophes produce such devastating damage and death that humanitarian considerations give these threats highest priority for preventative measures. In other words, the suffering from these possible future events is so terrifying that measures to curb the probability of future disasters are critical for present day decision-making.

In addition to such malaise and risk of catastrophic suffering, there are a number of existing major sources of societal malaise such as racism, inequality, poverty, hunger, and disease. Using world surveys, I take on the challenge of identifying and prioritizing both of these types of catastrophic sources of disorder. This pioneering work aims to avoid stagnation in the social order and collapsed social institutions. The importance of tackling this challenge is based upon the fact that society faces serious risks of societal extinction. Therefore, improvements in public policy-making demand new urgency. Once solutions have been charted for global chaos, preparations for local disasters may be more obvious.