November 2019

Cover for the November 2018 issue: Apocalypse Soon? How civilization might end—and how to make sure it doesn’t

Cover design by Thomas Gaulkin. Photos courtesy Marcio Ramalho and Pixabay.

In this issue, top experts examine technology-related doomsdays the world might soon face if they go unaddressed, not to frighten readers, but to alert them, so they might act in time, making a loud and unmistakable demand: that the Earth be preserved, that the human experiment be extended, that midnight never toll.



A large wave at Banzai Pipeline of the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii

The apocalypse: It’s not the end of the world

The apocalypse probably won’t be quick or final. It will be an environment of misery, not an event or an end point.
The Greenland Ice Sheet was melting already in 2009

Revisiting the climate collapse: The view from Nuuk in the year 2070

How poorly-mitigated fossil fuel use over the next 50 years would cause massive disruption of human societies.
A colorized scanning electron micrograph of a white blood cell eating an antibiotic resistant strain of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, commonly known as MRSA. Source: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)

The existential threat of antimicrobial resistance

This article presents a scenario portraying the economic and human costs that antimicrobial resistance could impose on society 30 years from now, if it is not addressed soon.
Depiction of a carbon nanotube

The threats from nanotechnology

While there’s plenty of reason to be optimistic about the future of nanotechnology, policymakers should also consider its risks, including terrorist use of cheap scientific tools and militaries that develop destabilizing "cloaking" technology. 
Current homeland missile defense architecture. (UEWR = upgraded early warning radar.)

US ballistic missile defenses, 2019

According to the latest Missile Defense Review, the United States will continue to enhance its four primary missile defense systems without “any limitation or constraint.” Doing so is likely to be destabilizing.

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