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What will be the biggest threat for humanity ?

Humanity gives themselves courage in order to overcome his fear. Threats like Global warming, the asteroids, nuclear catastrophe, world wide deadly pandemic, invading aliens ... will be a world scourge. But Which of these, according you, can wipe out mankind?

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    Dec 8 2013: I'm pretty optimistic, I don't think anything is too big a threat. Humanity is in a pretty good time right now.
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      Dec 8 2013: Agreed, we are in a good time right now; we have come a long way and are respecting diversity more than ever.
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        Dec 8 2013: plus we got out of the cold war, I remember a time when there was real fear that there would be a nuclear war between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. And also there is a lot of awareness of the problems that we do need to take care of, and people are trying to make all of them better.
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          Dec 9 2013: Yeah, earlier the problems were to war and acquire land, to acquire power, insecurity between neighboring countries, fight for resources. People dreamed of freedom, be it freedom from an autocratic ruler or feminine freedom.

          Some of these may still exist but are definitely diluted.
          Today the problems people face are to compete in their career, secure for future financially. They dream of family and happiness.
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        Dec 9 2013: Sai, the last I read global poverty is decreasing. I cannot remember, it is 1.3, or 1.7, billion people under the poverty line, number going down. It's not perfect, but it could be worse?
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        Dec 9 2013: This is purely based on imagination, no facts about any such vulnerability. Sorry to rain on your pessimism :)
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        Dec 9 2013: well, Jason, is it a case where we'll ever permanently solve the problem of viruses that could mutate into a pandemic? If you could come back in a million years, would humanity have solved the problem permanently? Because if you say it's a problem we'll never solve, then maybe you'd have to say it's just part of life and be happy anyway?

        30-50 million people is not good, but it's a fairly small fraction of total people on earth.
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        Dec 9 2013: well, I don't see anything on the link that says those numbers or that severity. But as long as we're fighting the viruses, why then be unhappy or afraid? The best you can do is fight, but in the meantime, while you're fighting, you also have to enjoy life, right?

        If you're worried about your health, you might check my vid how I've been living on skim milk last five years: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T2bY4jCmqfc
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        Dec 10 2013: well, aren't there some reasons to believe it wouldn't be as bad as 1918? Medical science has evolved, sanitation has evolved. Here is a page that shows four flu epidemics in the 1900's, you can see that the three post-1918 had many fewer numbers of deaths. I'm not saying to ignore the possibility of a flu pandemic, I just thought it might be upsetting you to the point where you weren't enjoying life. http://www.flu.gov/pandemic/history/#
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        Dec 10 2013: still, Jason, we do know quite a bit more about controlling pandemics than we did in 1918? So perhaps we would do better?

        You know, the asker's original question was what is the greatest threat to humanity? From what I see, the flu epidemics in the past mostly killed old people. Old people I would say are not humanity, they are a slice of humanity. So do you think "flu pandemic" is really an answer to his question?
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        Dec 11 2013: well, when I read my own link again, it seemed like some of the epidemics did target young people more than old people, so I am wrong about that. But still, when you look, you see that the number of deaths in epidemics subsequent to 1918 is much less than those in 1918. Would one think this is because medical science got better at dealing with an epidemic? And also, everyday practices, such as those concerning sanitation, improved?

        What is your background to talk about this topic? TED will not take me to your profile.

        What did it mean when you said you don't have to put your waste in a place where it doesn't belong?
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        Dec 11 2013: well, but there were far fewer deaths than in the 1918 one, so that shows we have advanced?

        what is the problem with using human waste for fertilizer? In the wild state, doesn't nature turn waste products into value? Plants die, decompose, enrich the soil, subsequent plants use the enrichment from the prior generation of plants?

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