Humanity Can Bring on It's Own Demise or Become It's Own Savior
Life on this planet has reached its sixth mass extinction, which is "ordinarily defined as about 75% of the world's species being lost in a very short period of geological time,". While the previous mass extinctions came about due to natural causes, "this is the first mass extinction event that is the result of the actions of just one species "humans."
Many of the extinctions of the past are due to various ecological problems caused by climate change and pollution. With the human footprint on extinction, experts have debated whether we will cause our own demise in the near future as well, given the threats of climate change as well as artificial intelligence and nuclear power, all of which have been shown to have potentially catastrophic impacts.
Possibly Sooner Than Later
Climate change is sending Earth's ecosystems "toward collapse much sooner than scientists thought," with a number of the planet's tipping points approaching quickly. Tipping points refer to changes that we cannot come back from, like the melting of the Arctic permafrost. "This means that significant social and economic costs from climate change might come much sooner than expected, leaving governments with even less time to react than first thought."
We are already seeing the loss of species across the globe. "The only other times the mass extinction levels have reached where they are now are following massive global natural disasters." Human activities are destroying habitats globally, spelling disaster for a number of species. "To put it bluntly, the current way of our planel will kill off humans' way of life."
Artificial intelligence is also a threat to humanity, and "it seems only a matter of time before computers become smarter than people." Experts have warned of the threat of AI leading to human extinction, namely predicting that computers may take on the role of superior beings to humans ultimately leading to our downfall." It's unclear if humanity will ever be prepared for superintelligence, but we're certainly not ready now."
We Still Have Some Time
Despite looming threats, we cannot overlook humanity's resilience. "Humans have long been distinguished for their capacity for empathy, kindness, the ability to recognize and respond to emotions in others." We have "a sense of self" and "pride ourselves on creativity, innovation, originality, adaptability and reason." Because of that, it's too early to be certain that we are headed to our doom just yet.
"We're also in an era of abundance and remarkable wealth that's fueling innovation that could enable us to fundamentally change our destiny." The bigger problem may actually be humans stagnating themselves because of negative outlooks. "Psychologists have long believed that some amount of hope, combined with a belief that personal actions can make a difference, can keep people engaged on climate change," meaning that hope can drive change. "But finding the balance between constructive worry ... and a sort of fatalistic doom is difficult."
"Whether we're headed toward utopia or dystopia "or something in between" will rest on the decisions humanity makes over the next few years." The key is to leverage humanity's knack for innovation, and "if used for good," it will "allow us to make the world a far better place."
Wow there's a lot of information to digest here; but it's all true. News outlets and media
sources all around the globe have been admonishing all of these projections for a very long
time now. Has it made people wake up and smell the truth? Hell no! The average Joe has no
concept of the calamities that are about to engulf the planet. I for one am really scared!
Yes, but all of the admonishments are falling on deaf ears. It seems humanity is hell bent on destroying itself.
I am afraid it is too late for us. People in power don't listen to the warnings of the dangers of many things they are doing, like, AI. There is also the danger of nuclear bombs being dropped in these never ending wars. I just think we are too "intelligent" for our own good.
Unfortunately you are right Shannon. However the whole crux of the matter is this:
"Intelligence Without Wisdom" will be our downfall and our ending on this planet!