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Global Catastrophic Risks

Chapters from leading experts and thinkers covering some of the biggest risks facing the world today
Covers astronomical and Earth-based natural catastrophes, nuclear war, terrorism, biological weapons, totalitarianism, advanced nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, and social collapse
Highly topical area with frequent media coverage
Addresses the key methodological, ethical, and policy issues arising from the study of Global Catastrophic Risks
Includes a comprehensive introductory section

By: Nick Bostrom (Editor), Milan M Ćirković (Editor), Sir Martin J Rees (Editor)

554 pages, b/w photos, b/w illustrations, tables

Oxford University Press

Paperback | Sep 2011 | #189757 | ISBN-13: 9780199606504
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £14.99 $19/€18 approx
Hardback | Jul 2008 | #173211 | ISBN-13: 9780198570509
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £36.99 $47/€44 approx

About this book

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 26 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. Global Catastrophic Risks 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.

"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)


Contents

Sir Martin J. Rees: Foreword
Nick Bostrom and Milan M. Ćirković: Introduction

Background
- Fred C. Adams: Long-term astrophysical processes
- Christopher Wills: Evolution theory and the future of humanity
- James J. Hughes: Millenial tendencies in responses to apocalyptic threats
- Eliezer Yudkowsky: Cognitive biases potentially affecting judgememnt of global risks
- Milan M. Ćirković: Observation selection effects: the Fermi paradox, the Doomsday argument and the simulation argument
- Yacov Y. Haimes: Systems-based risk analysis
- Peter Taylor: Catastrophes and insurance
- Richard A. Posner: Public policy toward catastrophe

Risks from Nature
- Michael R. Rampino: Supervolcanism and other geophysical processes of catastrophic import
- William Napier: Hazards from comets and asteroids
- Arnon Dar: Influence of supernovae, gamma-ray bursts, solar flares, and cosmic rays on the terrestrial environment

Risks from Unintended Consequences
- David Frame and Myles Allen: Climate change and global risk
- Edwin Dennis Kilbourne: Plagues and pandemics: past, present, and future
- Eliezer Yudkowski: Artificial Intelligence as a positive and negative factor in global risk
- Frank Wilczek: Big troubles, imagined and real
- Robin Hanson: Catastrophe, social collapse, and and human extinction
- Joseph Cirincione: The continuing threat of nuclear war
- William Potter and Gary Ackerman: Catastrophic nuclear terrorism: a preventable peril
- Ali Nouri and Christopher F. Chyba: Biotechnology and biosecurity
- Chris Phoenix and Mike Treder: Nanotechnology as global catastrophic risk
- Bryan Caplan: The totalitarian threat

Acknowledgements
Index
Author's Biographies


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