When ultimately the coronavirus crisis begins to decline and we return to a resemblance of normality. No matter how socially distanced or how much handwashing it requires. We can expect some kind of global action to prevent, or at least limit, the spread of future deadly viruses.
As a species, we are pretty good at studying from a recent encounter. It’s what’s known as the availability heuristic – the tendency to estimate the probability of an incident based on our ability to recall examples.
But as the moral philosopher, Toby Ord describes in his new book, The Precipice. We are extremely less adept at foreseeing potential catastrophes that have no criterion in living memory.“Even when specialists estimate a significant probability for an unprecedented event,” he writes, “we have great difficulty believing it until we see it.”
This was exactly the problem with the coronavirus. Many informed experts predicted that a global pandemic was almost sure to break out at some point soon.
Aside from the warnings of multitudes of virologists and epidemiologists. The Microsoft originator, Bill Gates, gave a widely disseminated Ted Talk in 2015 in which he described the threat of a killer virus. For a while now, a pandemic has been one of the two most notable catastrophic threats in the government’s risk register (the other is a massive cyberattack).
But if something hasn’t yet occurred, there is a deep-seated attraction to act as if it’s never going to happen. If that is true of an event, like this pandemic, that will kill only a tiny portion of the world’s population.
It is, even more, the case for what is known as existential threats.
There are two interpretations of existential threat, though they usually amount to the same thing. One is something that will bring a total demise to humanity, remove us as a species from the earth, or any other. The other, only slightly less troubling, is something that leads to an irreversible collapse of civilization, reducing surviving humanity to an ancient state of existence.
Given that we’re going through a global disaster. Now is maybe an opportune time to think about what can be done to avoid a future catastrophe. According to specialists working in the field of existential risk assessment, the period we inhabit is a significant moment in the history of humankind. Not only are there the conceivably disastrous effects of global heating. But in this nuclear era, we also hold the power to destroy ourselves in a moment.
The next century will be a dangerously doubtful one. If we make the right choices, We can have a world of unimaginable resources and flourishing. And If we make the wrong choices, We could head towards the same direction the dinosaurs did and go totally extinct.
If the world governments come together and work for the better of earth instead of small benefits then we can have a future where humanity will flourish. But if things keep going the same way they are and organization prefers temporary benefits instead of humanity’s survival then, The future looks grim.
Humanity as a whole has to make an effort to make the right decisions and work for a better future because if we are not prepared then we cannot survive and their disaster that may be on a bigger scale then the coronavirus. And it can be in many forms. It can be a naturally occurs virus that can make a huge impact on human civilization or maybe an act of bioterrorism or a man-made disaster or maybe a dangerously high level of global warming that can threaten the survival of humanity itself.
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