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Discussion > What would be worse than CAGW?

“No challenge – no challenge – poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change” [President Obama]

As someone who regards climate change as essentially a non-problem, I don't agree with what the president is reported to have said. In terms of extreme disruption of life in the USA and elsewhere, I can think of one or two things that seem to me to be quite significant dangers in terms of probability, impact, or both. Probably a lot more disruptive than a few degrees increase in mid-day temperature. Here are a few. What else could be added to the list?

* Hyperinflation of the US dollar. With the current level of accumulation of debt by the USA, who can say when a tripping point will be reached.

* Accidental or intentional nuclear exchange with Russia.

* Major asteroid strike.

Dec 10, 2015 at 11:55 AM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Unstable countries attaining firstly nuclear capability, then ballistic capability.

A Yellowstone seismic event.

General antibiotic resistance.

Totalitarian surveillance.

Dec 10, 2015 at 12:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

The instigation of the Congressional Committee on Climate Denial, following the investigation of card carrying climate deniers by the NSA and the FBI.

Dec 10, 2015 at 1:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterBig Oil

We're well on the way to the last two of your list. Perhaps the Taupo Volcano although probably not Yellowstone scale but was showing signs of activity might cause a few problems as a taster.

For natural rather than self inflicted problems:-

Climate cooling rather than warming, say a drop of 2'C below pre-industrial levels.

A virulent viral infection with similar mortality rates to the Black Death (25-30%). Since Spainish Flu we've been lucky as far as viruses are concerned.

Dec 10, 2015 at 2:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

* Super mega Coronal mass ejection taking out more electrics that anticipated.

* Artificial Intelligence enslaving mankind as Stephen Hawkins fears.

* Terrorists getting hold of nuclear weapon technology and it all getting out of hand.

or I mioght wake up and find all this climate crap was just a dream.

The comedy one ...The release of Windows 11 operating system.

Dec 10, 2015 at 3:21 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Err sorting out ISIS seems to be a lot more urgent.

Dec 10, 2015 at 4:13 PM | Registered CommenterBreath of Fresh Air

Total political collapse in Pakistan. Loss of functioning military command structure. Pakistani nuclear weapons end up in the hands of others (take your pick) who will immediately use them in the most harmful way they can imagine.

Dec 10, 2015 at 4:14 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

If it came to a vote, I would go with SandyS' suggestion. In the long run, a highly lethal transmissible disease is probably a certainty. A genuine case of when, not if.

Dec 10, 2015 at 4:22 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

We can adapt to most things. We have done.

But if we become close-minded and constrain our ability to develop new ideas and technologies....

Then everything will be worse than we can cope with.

Dec 10, 2015 at 6:52 PM | Registered CommenterM Courtney

The climate kooks believe nuclear energy is worse than their claims about CAGW.

Dec 10, 2015 at 7:03 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

World government.

Dec 12, 2015 at 8:37 PM | Unregistered Commenterssat

The UN.

Dec 12, 2015 at 8:50 PM | Unregistered Commenterjaffa

"What would be worse than CAGW?" or what would be worse than a catastrophe? A bigger catastrophe? So people list other catastrophes that would undoubtedly be bad. But so what? The Pres didn't use the word catastrophe, he talked about a challenge that poses a threat. Few of the potential catastrophes mentioned are challenges, apart from antibiotic resistance.

Challenges would be things like persuading the electorate not to elect another idiot republican, dealing with people's desire for artificial stimulation against prudish objections without criminalizing a large part of black youth, improving access to health care, improving educational standards. Arguably all of those pose a threat only to poor Americans. Maybe climate change does too - if you have resources you can often buy your way out of trouble.

Dec 14, 2015 at 4:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterRaff

"[blah blah blah]...idiot Republican [blah blah blah] dealing with people's desire for artificial stimulation against prudish objections without criminalizing a large part of black youth, [blah blah blah]
Dec 14, 2015 at 4:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterRaff

I'm not even sure what all of that means, but I'm glad that the Raff troll doesn't think global warming is even close to a real problem for the human race.

Dec 14, 2015 at 5:00 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

What happen, this discussion dead ?

Dec 21, 2015 at 5:08 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Yes. People don't understand the difference between a challenge and the favourite "skeptic's" trope of 'Catastrophic' AGW .

Dec 21, 2015 at 5:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterRaff