Existential Risk

From From the Trees to the Stars

At the very outside maximum, the tenure of life on planet Earth is constrained by the Sun.

One billion years from now, the swelling Sun will produce temperatures on the surface of the Earth that exceed the boiling point of water, making the planet pretty much unlivable for any creatures made out of the same kind of chemistry that we are.

An asteroid of 1.5km diameter, which is big enough to cause major problems for humanity, is statistically expected to hit the Earth roughly once every million years.

A far more serious problem is the far less seriously-named Super Volcano. Scientists estimate that there is a 0.15% probability of an extinction-level volcanic eruption occurring during our lifetime.

A disease pandemic afflicting either people or the food crops we rely on could precipitate our extinction.

We could bring about our own extinction through warfare, climate change or total resource exploitation.

Rogue technology, developed to serve us, could deliberately or through oversight, lead to our demise.