This is a revisit to some old posts about what to watch for as possible tipping points for the world slipping over into a Doomsday event.
—— WMDs – The Current progress defending against terrorism
—— Predicting the unknown unknowns of Doomsday
—— How bad are the 15 Homeland Security Disasters?
—— Measuring disasters on a scale permits rational comparisons. and many more.
Occasionally it makes sense to revisit some old blog posts to reassess the situation and estimate how accurate the analysis was, or how faulty.
Back on May 1, 2008 I wrote, “When large groups of people start demanding, and then taking, food from other groups of people by force, it is a sure sign that serious trouble is about to crash in upon the entire system. The instability these actions will create will run the price of everything up rapidly, because all of the near infinite lines of supply will have to be protected. When this moves from difficult to impossible to accomplish then a collapse will ensue fairly quickly.”
That was my overview statement of what forecast indicators we should watch for, when trying to predict a major war. At the moment the world is relatively well fed, and so far as I know there have been no large-scale armed food thefts. And, on a positive note, there seems to be a growing ability of agriculture to provide food for the next several years. Also, the CRISPR technology almost certainly will result in greater food production in several ways, such as better crop yields on a given plot of land, better production in soils that were previously too laden with salt or other minerals, or the modifying of plants to become more useful to human needs. Each of these technologies can come about through genetic improvements, and that will probably be done because of the economic incentives to do so.
The chance of accidental major war seems to be no worse than in the previous sixty years, and it feels less likely, but accidents happen, and sometimes a continuing modest yearly risk builds over time into a certainty. The continuing CO2-driven climate change and other pollutions are going to create major problems soon, but not this year. The droughts in the American West are temporary cyclic events, we hope, but the melting glaciers in the Himalaya mountains are continuous and are going to create deadly stress for billions of people. That may well be the inevitable black-swan type tipping point that can not be avoided by the typical methods of reacting to ongoing critical problems. I remember a day, back when I was investing in the stock market, when it seemed everything was great, and the very next day it went very sour for me.
Always conduct yourself in such a way that a major change won’t take you out.