Riskování všeho

CAMBRIDGE – Ti z nás, kdo mají to štěstí, že žijí v rozvinutém světě, si dělají starosti s bezpočtem drobných – nebo leckdy nepravděpodobných – rizik: s karcinogeny v potravinách, s leteckými haváriemi a tak dále. Ve skutečnosti jsme však v menším bezpečí, než si myslíme. Popíráme hrozbu scénářů, které by dokázaly napáchat takovou spoušť, že i pouhá jedna epizoda by byla příliš.

Mnohé se už napsalo o možných ekologických šocích vyvolaných nároky stále početnější lidské populace na biosféru a o sociálních a politických napětích vyplývajících z nedostatku zdrojů nebo klimatických změn. Ještě znepokojivější jsou však rizika spojená s výkonnými novými kybernetickými technologiemi, biotechnologiemi a nanotechnologiemi: několik málo jednotlivců by omylem nebo v důsledku teroru mohlo podnítit sociální rozklad tak rychle, že by to smetlo veškeré vládní reakce.

Éra „antropocénu“, v níž hlavní celosvětové hrozby nepředstavuje příroda, nýbrž lidé, se stala obzvláště riskantní po masovém rozšíření termonukleárních zbraní. Během celé studené války byly běžným jevem falešné poplachy a špatné odhady na straně obou supervelmocí, přičemž u několika z nich vážně hrozilo rozpoutání jaderného armageddonu.

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