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Stephen Haller examines claims about the risk of global catastrophe and describes the models of global systems that predict catastrophe. He explains the condition of a good prediction and shows that models that generate predictions of catastrophe leave us uncertain about the likelihood of catastrophe - our best science can give us no assurance that doomsday is either likely or unlikely.
While models of global systems can reveal only possible, not probable, futures, that catastrophic threats posed by such things as global warming, ozone depletion, or population increase represent what James would call "live options": that is, they present us with a plausible possibility that forces us to make momentous decisions.