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jeudi 24 mai 2012

8 Ways Humans Could Cause Our Own Extinction

Doomsayers come, and they go. In the 18th century, Thomas Malthus predicted that the human population would outpace its ability to feed itself. Paul Erlich picked up that theme in the 1960s, but since then the world population has doubled. So what has changed?

Our own success as a species has created new a terrifying risks that didn't exist a few decades ago. By our dominating presence on the planet, we are in danger of upsetting climate systems in ways we don't fully understand. As the world becomes more global, we are putting ourselves in more intimate contact with other species, creating opportunities for new emergent diseases. To fight these pathogens, we are racing to unlock mysteries of biology, which could be used for good or for ill. We have built an elaborate global economy on technology that was never intended to handle this kind of scale and complexity.

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