Who Makes Policy Campaign 2016 Edition

The Biggest Risks Facing Us Today…

A New York Times article from today discusses the biggest risks and dangers that face humanity, and how the political discourse of our candidates focuses on dangers that are overblown and unlikely.

21 risk experts were asked to analyze what are the five biggest threats to the world. They stated:

  1. Climate Change (overwhelmingly)
  2. Use of nuclear weapons
  3. Pandemics – growing resistance to anti-bodies
  4. Cyberattacks
  5. Problems with high Technology – crippling results if world loses its electronic and internet connectivity as we have “created a machine we cannot live without”

**These results matched a larger risk analysis of 750 experts from this year’s World Economic Forum

Experts criticize Trump who discusses the United States’ biggest dangers as immigration, terrorism, and crime, and Hilary who discusses financial insecurity and gun violence as her biggest dangers for the U.S. Their campaigns are missing the very real risks that face us. In fact, “Extreme Weather has killed more than twice as many people in the United States in the past 15 years, even including September 11th.” 

With our presidential candidates focusing their campaigns on issues that easily trigger emotional responses, instead of issues that may appear more abstract but are very real, serious danger can be waiting for us in our near future. We need to shift our country’s priorities.

2 thoughts on “The Biggest Risks Facing Us Today…”

  1. I believe that climate change is unequivocally the greatest threat that we face today. Not just because of rising sea levels and extreme weather, but because of the role it plays in conflicts that we see today. I’m reminded of this piece in the NYT last year, “Researchers Link Syrian Conflict to a Drought Made Worse by Climate Change.” A severe drought in the country, aided by poor water policy decisions by the Assad government, led to some 1.5 million people fleeing to urban areas in Syria. This led to an increase in social stresses that culminated in violent protests during the Arab Spring in 2011.

    It’s sad that the issue has not been seriously discussed and even sadder that one of the candidates thinks the greatest existential threat we face today is a hoax peddled by China.


  2. Thank you for sharing this article! It serves as a good example of the very real effects of climate change. For a long time, the effects appeared too abstract to the public – more intellectual than physical. Your article contradicts this. It’s actually scary how this “theory” of climate change is coming to life and making a real impact on society. I can only imagine it getting worse. And in the direction we are going, probably by the time it is too late.

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