ZME Science: Ignorance is more deadly than evil, despite what blockbusters show

29 January 2018
by Alexandru Micu

ZME Science has covered a paper from our forthcoming Special Issue of the journal Futures. This Special Issue draws on papers and talks given at our 2016 Cambridge Conference on Catastrophic Risk (CCCR).

The paper is Existential risk due to ecosystem collapse: Nature strikes back by Peter Kareiva and Valerie Carranza. It draws on a talk on Avoiding Species Extinction Peter Kareiva gave at CCCR 2016.

From the article:

"The paper, authored by a team of researchers from the University of California Los Angeles’ (UCLA) Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, studied how the apocalypse will most likely visit us, and what we can do to postpone that visit. To get an idea of how people think such an event will come about, they analyzed the themes in blockbusters released between 1956 and 2016.

The films featured a wide range of disasters, including alien invasions, genetically-engineered viruses, evil AI, global war, and “technology run amok,” the team details. Only 10 of the films published over this timeline (17%) dealt with environmental catastrophe. The most common theme or villain among these flicks was corporate greed."

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