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Seth Baum
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Seth Baum is Executive Director of the think tank Global Catastrophic Risk Institute. He recently completed a Ph.D. in Geography at Pennsylvania State University and a Post-Doctoral Fellowship with the Columbia University Center for Research on Environmental Decisions. Based in New York City, Baum's research covers a variety of topics including ethics, economics, climate change, nuclear war, and life in the universe.

Entries by Seth Baum

Best And Worst Case Scenarios for Ukraine Crisis: World Peace And Nuclear War

(4) Comments | Posted March 7, 2014 | 10:16 AM

No one yet knows how the Ukraine crisis will play out. Indeed, the whole story is a lesson in the perils of prediction. Already we have a classic: "Putin's Bluff? U.S. Spies Say Russia Won't Invade Ukraine," published February 27, just as Russian troops were entering Crimea. But...

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The Central Library Plan Deserves an Educated Public Debate

(4) Comments | Posted March 5, 2014 | 6:03 PM

\I know of no safe repository of the ultimate power of society but the people. And if we think them not enlightened enough, the remedy is not to take power from them, but to inform them by education. -- Thomas Jefferson

The controversy surrounding the New York Public Library's Central...

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Our Final Invention: Is AI the Defining Issue for Humanity?

(49) Comments | Posted October 15, 2013 | 1:26 PM

This post was originally published at Scientific American.

Humanity today faces incredible threats and opportunities: climate change, nuclear weapons, biotechnology, nanotechnology, and much, much more. But some people argue that these things are all trumped by one: artificial intelligence (AI). To date, this argument has been confined mainly...

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Taming the Gigaton Gorilla: Using Syria Diplomacy to Help Avoid U.S.-Russia Nuclear War

(0) Comments | Posted September 15, 2013 | 11:02 PM

The Syrian civil war has already caused over 100,000 deaths. As tragic as this is, it is miniscule compared to the massive and potentially permanent global destruction that could come from the gigaton gorilla lurking in the background: nuclear war between the United States and Russia. While the...

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When Global Catastrophes Collide: The Climate Engineering Double Catastrophe

(9) Comments | Posted February 20, 2013 | 11:09 AM

This article was originally published at Scientific American.

It could be difficult for human civilization to survive a global catastrophe like rapid climate change, nuclear war, or a pandemic disease outbreak. But imagine if two catastrophes strike at the same time. The damages could be even worse. Unfortunately,...

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Hurricane Sandy Hints at the Perils of Global Catastrophe

(10) Comments | Posted November 8, 2012 | 7:17 PM

This article was originally published at Scientific American.

It takes a lot to bump the United States election out of the national spotlight one week before election day. Hurricane Sandy was that big, a direct blow to the most heavily populated region of the country. But all the...

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Dedicated Bus Corridors Could Help Get New York Moving Again

(4) Comments | Posted October 31, 2012 | 7:09 PM

As we speak, New York's train system is starting to come back online, with new updates by the minute. The MTA is doing a commendable job at restoring service quickly and communicating the news. It is not yet clear, however, when full train service will resume....

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Earth Day, Conspiracy and World Government

(8) Comments | Posted April 22, 2012 | 7:57 PM

On April 22, 2012, the 43rd Earth Day will be celebrated. On the same day, Vladimir Lenin will celebrating (posthumously, of course) his 142nd birthday, meaning he was born exactly 100 years prior to the first Earth Day. As far as I can tell, this is a coincidence. But some...

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