CCCR 2020 - Global Justice and Global Catastrophic Risk: between error and terror

Published on 11 December 2020

Global Justice and Global Catastrophic Risk: between error and terror.

One of the most enduring legacies of Our Final Century? has been its consideration of the role that individuals play in bringing about global catastrophes, whether by accident (error) or on purpose (terror). The book makes a strong case that error is at least as troubling as terror and that many scientists are insufficiently concerned with the safety of their research. However, are there other ways in which individuals affect the level of risk we face that are still being ignored?
This panel considers one driver of global risk that falls somewhat between error and terror: global injustice. Global inequality and structural discrimination profoundly affect how risks are perceived, who can respond to them, what incentives people face to operate safely and how likely humanity is to recover from a global catastrophe.
However, while these injustices often result from the deliberate actions of elites (and are therefore far from error), their effect on global risk are seldom fully appreciated, let alone intended (making them not quite terror either). This panel will consider this important driver of risk and how the GCR research community can better respond to it.

Bentley Allan: Global Inequality and the Energy Transition: State Power, Capital, and Thermodynamics in Catastrophic Risk

Bentley Allan is Associate Professor of Political Science at Johns Hopkins University.

Ndidi Nwaneri: Global inequity (extreme poverty and inequality) and extreme, catastrophic and existential risks.

Ndidi Nwaneri is a Social Development and Public and Policy Consultant and and currently sits on the Executive Board of the International Development Ethics Association.

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