Potential Utopian and Dystopian Futures
This century is the first in Earth's history when the catastrophic threats to the entire planet can be induced by one species, humans. We have an ever-heavier collective footprint on the planet. We’re empowered by ever more powerful technologies that can be hugely beneficial, but which if misapplied could trigger calamitous setbacks to civilization. Such events could be global: we’re so interconnected that no continent would be unscathed. It’s an ethical indictment of humanity that the gap between the actual state of the world, and the way it could be, is widening rather than narrowing, COVID-19 has been a wake-up call; it has shown that our increasingly interconnected civilization is vulnerable; but also that well-directed science can be our salvation.