Geologists warn us about dangerous volcanoes. Will we spend pennies for warnings?

Summary: While we obsess about climate change and debate if we live in the Anthropocene, we prepare poorly or not at all for natural forces like volcanoes that can level cities. This is folly we can no longer afford. Experts recommend a simple first step to better protect ourselves. Let's start listening, or nature will … Continue reading Geologists warn us about dangerous volcanoes. Will we spend pennies for warnings?

California’s past megafloods – and the coming ARkStorm

Sacramento during the 1862 flood

Summary: To boost our fear, activists and journalists report the weather with amnesia about the past. Ten year records become astonishing events; weather catastrophes of 50 or 100 years ago are forgotten. It makes for good clickbait but cripples our ability to prepare for the inevitable. California's history of floods and droughts gives a fine … Continue reading California’s past megafloods – and the coming ARkStorm

It’s the Anthropocene! But natural threats will still kill millions unless we act soon.

Summary: While scientists debate if we live in the Anthropocene era, let's not fall into delusions of grandeur. Natural forces can wipe away cities and destroy regions despite our impressive powers. We have prepared poorly or not at all for most of these. This is a luxury we can no longer afford. “We don’t even … Continue reading It’s the Anthropocene! But natural threats will still kill millions unless we act soon.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb looks at the risks threatening humanity

Summary: How to deal with risks dominates our headlines, usually driven by single-interest groups that see only their favorite threat. Statistician Nassim Nicholas Taleb's latest work offers a way to identify the most serious threats facing us, and determine how much we should spend to fight each of them. It has received much attention. Is … Continue reading Nassim Nicholas Taleb looks at the risks threatening humanity

Three things to know about asteroids, certain death from the sky (eventually)

Summary: Asteroid Day approaches (mark June 30 on your calendar), reminding us about the risk of death from the sky from asteroids and comets -- one of the largest of the many shockwaves looming in our future. Here are the three things to know about this danger. This is a follow-up to Asteroid Day: reminding … Continue reading Three things to know about asteroids, certain death from the sky (eventually)