Existential risks are thorny problems. They generally can’t be solved by one person working alone. Success will almost certainly require deep cooperation among all countries. In fact, existential risks can be categorized according to how much cooperation is needed to avoid them. Mass cooperation without an explicit structure might work for some types of risk […]
One way to quantify the danger posed by an existential risk is to examine how much countries will need to cooperate in order to avoid it. Since successful avoidance of an existential risk can be considered a public good (something that benefits the well-being of all members of a society) we can borrow some terminology […]
If we can travel to other stars, there may one day be billions of times as many humans alive at one time as there are today. If we can travel beyond our galaxy there may one day be trillions of humans alive at one time for every one of us today. In case the sheer number of living humans wasn’t overwhelming enough, consider the fact that these civilizations could persist for many billions of years.
We live in a universe that is very hostile to life as we know it. The only habitable place we’ve found so far is the place we grew up: a thin layer atop the surface of the Earth. This is an incredibly small fraction of all volume in the known universe. Even if we make […]
A pandemic is the rapid spread of an infectious disease across a large region. Global pandemics will likely occur in the future, but their danger is very hard to estimate. So far, pandemics have received far more attention than other natural existential threats and our analysis below indicates that this level of attention is appropriate. […]
Existential risks can be divided into two groups: those that are caused by nature and those that are caused by humans (also known as anthropogenic risks). Natural risks come from the physical processes of the Earth, sun, and universe at large. These events have always been a danger to all life on Earth, including humanity. […]
A global catastrophic risk is a possible future event that would cause severe harm to humans on a global scale. An existential risk is a global catastrophic risk that has a chance of rendering humanity extinct.
An existential risk is a possible future event that could potentially cause the extinction of humans or the permanent destruction of our ability to thrive. Studying them is very challenging, but given what is at stake, existential risks need to be studied with great care and intensity.
So, the big vote is tomorrow. Regina residents have been back and forth with regards to the P3 debate, but there still seems to be a lot of undecided voters and confusion regarding the proposed project. Still haven’t decided? Want the lowdown? I’m going to do my best to explain.The first thing that’s required when […]
The City of Regina has recently begun consulting residents about the subject of “Rooming Houses,” which are homes in residential areas in which both the owner and renters are residing. If all renters in a home are relatives, then it is not a Rooming House.1 The City has asked that comments on the subject be […]
Fair Vote Canada, an organization dedicated to voting system reform, has launched a video contest. The intent of the contest is to find new and better ways to communicate both the drawbacks of Canada’s current winner-takes-all voting system and the benefits of proportional representation (PR) voting systems. We fully support Fair Vote Canada in their […]
Preface This document is a response to the draft documents posted as part of the Design Regina process. The authors of this response are also the primary authors of Transforming Regina: Planning for 2040 and beyond, which achieved a place in the finals of the Regina Morph My City competition. Readers interested in a detailed […]
Hello! This is my first post on Vision of Earth. Glad to be here. On November 9th & 10th, SCIC (Saskatchewan Council for International Cooperation) hosted an event in Saskatoon called Harvest and Hunger (introduced in our earlier post: Harvest and Hunger: Brainstorming the future of the world food system). SCIC is an umbrella organization that represents […]
Harvest and Hunger The Saskatchewan Council for International Cooperation is hosting an event in Saskatoon on November 10th called Harvest and Hunger. The event sets out to answer three questions: Who controls the world’s food? Who has power in the global food system? Who doesn’t? What are people doing – both in Saskatchewan and around […]
Ethics and morality are not permanent fixtures of our society. They are constantly evolving and adapting to new social norms and necessities. Today in Canada, slavery is considered to be absolutely immoral. This is, however, a relatively recent development. Two hundred years ago slavery was legal and widely accepted. At present in the Ivory Coast, […]
We’re releasing our entire urban design report on the city of Regina. Originally developed for the Morph My City design competition and the National Infrastructure Summit, this report contains our main insights into the future of Regina and other North American Cities.
Vision of Earth has been selected as a finalist in the Regina Morph My City competition. We’ll be presenting our work at the National Infrastructure Summit and releasing all of it to the public.
Moving Planet Montreal was a celebration of the transition away from fossil fuels in our society. The event was a green kilometer drive and a grand picnic, symbolizing the central role of transportation and food in sustainability.
Ben Harack was interviewed on the Ecolibrium radio show on CKUT in Montreal. Topics were Moving Planet, Saskatchewan’s sustainability, and peer-based cross-disciplinary efforts towards sustainability.
Ending extreme poverty in twenty years is very feasible if the developed world delivers on their promises. The United States alone could end world poverty with a fraction of their military budget.
Looking at Canadian politics as a market, it is clear that left-leaning voters in Canada have a lot more choices at the ballot box than do their conservative counterparts. The melding of fiscal and social conservatism has left conservative voters with only one real option during elections. We might summarize this as a ‘Monopoly on conservatism in Canada’.
Our increasing reliance on natural gas brings with it both opportunities and dangers during the shift towards renewable energy. This issue deals with some major issues regarding natural gas deployment in industry, power generation, food production, and heating.
We apply the ideals of a free market economy to politics and realize that US politics is an extremely unhealthy market dominated by a pair of monopolistic ‘sellers’ who deliberately bar any third party from effectively challenging them.
The Conservatives have launched an attack on unions by creating a crisis to exploit. They control Canada Post since it is a crown corporation, and thus could have ended the lockout at any time. Instead they chose to slam the CUPW with back-to-work legislation that curtails the freedoms and rights of the workers.
This piece is a critique of a video featuring Dan Mitchell of the Cato Institute created by the Center for Freedom and Prosperity. Our conclusion is that this video utterly fails to demonstrate the truth of its claims, and instead relies on psychological manipulation to try to ‘win’ the argument in the minds of viewers
John Klein is a notable blogger and community activist in Regina, Saskatchewan. Here he answers our philosophical and practical questions about the most important issues facing our society today, and what each of us can do about them.
The Conservative Party has deliberately lied to the Canadian populace about several of the major issues that they have focused on during this election season. The intent of this piece is to describe why we have very good reason to believe this.
Capitalist labour transitions are a heavy burden on the working class and society in general, but they are also one of the cornerstones of progress. We can solve this problem in an economically practical as well as morally and socially desirable through the creation of a strong social welfare system.
The protections and advancements that Bill C-32 claims to make with regards to openness of media usage are all nullified by the digital lock sections of the bill. A digital lock takes away all of the important rights, and thus negates the flexibility of media usage.
How do we end the era of suicide bombers? We must give them a future that is worth living for. Currently we are destroying their futures, leaving them with only their hope of taking a shortcut to heaven.
How to live green? Build green buildings? Put our efforts towards a better future? Curtis Dorosh has spent much of his life trying to answer these questions. Collected here are some of his answers.
How to argue against those who will never change their mind, and who will undermine your attempts to discuss things meaningfully. These are our best tips for how to deal with trolls and extremists.
Demand side management helps make our power grid more cost-effective and aids in the transition towards renewable energy. It can also be considered as a very green policy on its own, as it reduces the amount of power we need to produce, and thus our impact on the environment.
Trolls and extremists contaminate our public discourse with falsehoods, logical fallacies, irrational argument, poisoning the well, false expertise, and the creation of de-facto knowledge. Individuals must learn to resist the onslaught of ideas driven by these sections of society.
We have created a newsletter for Vision of Earth! The intent of this effort is to stimulate continued two-way communication with our readers and to provide concise summaries of important content we have created and experienced.
Everything has its price. Every form of power production has costs in dollars, time, land, materials, pollutants, greenhouse gas emissions, and human deaths. We look at the most important factors for analyzing the feasibility of a proposed power project. Considering only some of these factors will lead to an incomplete picture of power system costs.
Laser implosion fusion is a proposed method for creating nuclear fusion power plants. It is showing some great promise, being the most likely candidate for the first fusion method to reach net energy gain. Exciting new developments may make fusion power a reality in the coming decades.
Lindsey Simpson, one of the organizers of TEDxMcGill, talks in this interview about why she likes to volunteer and work hard to plan such big events. TEDxMcGill is an externally organized TED event in the city of Montreal, Canada on November 20th, 2010.