Human Extinction

Studying extinction risk analysisAny baby boomer worth the desk they once crawled under should bravely study ‘extinction risk analysis’. Every baby boomer is already initiated.

Particularly now, while species drop to warn us, paranoids rush to rule us, while Russia still refuses, and not one industrial foundation isn’t crumbling, baby boomers are the only generation initiated in the study of utter annihilation.

Thus, there’s duty calling, the other calling, the loudest wail humanity will ever hear, in one word, extinction.

But we’re not yet worried.

Though it seems the Defense Department studied little else with the trillions spent on Mutual Assured Destruction, there’s surprisingly few links for ‘extinction risk analysis‘ on Google.


Climate change might merely be the opening curtain to the New Green in most pondertoria, an opportunity to invest, gain status and prove once again that expertise is measured merely by an audience.


Before extinction, there’s much more to think about, e.g. shortages. We seem to be discussing shortages every day.

Insufficient grain is a soils research issue, genes not admitted. Insufficient water is just another boon for overpaid plumbers. Insufficient housing is dealt new in a new New Deal with higher rates. Insufficient heat will revive sales in solar and 2.7 million 300 foot windmills we’ll find a place for. Insufficient oil will tear us away from both donkey jihadi and donkey dominionists. Insufficient fish is an enforcement issue, a fissure of dietary fashion fixed when we’ve affixed satellite sensors on every nubile salmon and erect fin; Oxley for caviar and Sarbanes for sharks. Insufficient safety and civility we’ll repair with cameras, cameras everywhere, cameras providing speedy enforcement, speedy divorce, speedy recidivism; cameras behind your eye.

In the past, how have humans behaved when they encounter shortages?

As if not listening to the calming effect of a nuclear air raid loudspeaker, the Lifeboat blog continues to look at the sky and studies ‘extinction risk analysis’. There’s not an Alexandrian library of knowledge on the subject. We haven’t been doing much thinking about extinction.

Once you realize that humanity has lived entirely without existential risks (except the tiny probability of asteroid impact) since Homo sapiens evolved over 100,000 years ago, and we’re about to be hit full-force by these new risks in the next 3-15 years, the interval between now and then is practically nothing.

Ideally, we’d have 100 or 500 years of advance notice to prepare for these risks, not 3-15.

But since 3-15 is all we have, we’d better use it.

At least Lifeboat is beginning to look human extinction in the face. Put that under your desk.

Mood music for an extinction

Teaching 'duck-and-cover' during the H-Bomb eraFrom ‘The Golden Age of Homeland Security’.

As caliphate and global warming rekindle thoughts of doomsday, it’s time to brush up on Duck and Cover and take a serious look at this collection of H-Bomb-era links and artifacts.

Long before duct tape and poly, All things Atomic reveals how to deal with panic in the year zero by offering a “Musical Manhattan Project” with plenty of lyrical memories to accompany deep analysis of whither instant annihilation or slow extinction. [via learning2share]