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Breakthrough Dialogues

Sep 2, 2019

There are few subjects more important than the future of humanity. Bryan Walsh has spent a lot of time thinking about existential risks, how to classify them, whether we care about long-term futures, and why we’re so bad at taking action on climate. As he argues, we’re simultaneously becoming more powerful as a species and creating new risks, and recognizing this double-edged power is essential in learning to be more thoughtful about the way we use new technologies. Climate change is different from things like asteroids or nuclear war, because we’re all guilty; it’s not the push of a button, it’s a million, daily, non-malicious decisions, and structural policy, and everything else. Guilt around our own consumption fuels denialism, so, Walsh tells us, we must remove some of that guilt to succeed. Through a conversation that touches on everything from Spiderman to the Doomsday Clock, nanotechnology to supervolcanoes, Bryan Walsh manages to show how an abstract future can be made less opaque.