MichaelPlant comments on [Paper] Global Catastrophic and Existential Risks Communication Scale, similar to Torino scale - Effective Altruism Forum

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Comment author: MichaelPlant 14 January 2018 06:21:37PM 2 points [-]

This seems like a good project and I found the 2-axis picture helpful. The only bit that stood out was global warming. I'm not sure how you're defining it but my sense is that global warming of some sort seems pretty likely to be a problem in the next 100 years. If you mean a particularly severe form of global warming, it might help to have a more expressive term like "runaway climate change" or "severe climate change" and possible also a term for a more moderate form that appears in another box.

Comment author: turchin 14 January 2018 10:05:30PM 1 point [-]

Surely, there are two types of global warming.

I think that risks of runaway global warming are underestimated, but there is very small scientific literature to support the idea.

If we take accumulated tall from smaller effects of the long-term global warming of 2-6C, it could be easily calculated as a very larger number, but to be regarded as a global catastrophe, it probably should be more like a one-time event, or many other things will be also a global catastrophe, like cancer etc.

Comment author: Evan_Gaensbauer 27 February 2018 12:27:42AM 0 points [-]

Modeling global catastrophic risks as single events makes sense for a lot of purposes. In terms of preventive actions to be taken, and how resources from, e.g., governments should be divvied up between risks, insuring against one-off catastrophes are important. I think it makes sense to exclude climate change itself from the model, and include potentially catastrophic events which may result from runaway climate change, like worldwide famines.

Another way to model global catastrophic risks is to model their rising profile as a function of time, and past which critical milestones will the scale or degree of the risk irreversibly escalate. This way for the purposes of x-risk studies we can have a model which incorporates both the risk climate change poses over time, versus the development of emerging technologies like AI and genetic engineering over the same period of time.