Planet in Peril
Humanity's Four Greatest Challenges and How We Can Overcome Them
by Michael D. Bess
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Pub Date 13 Oct 2022 | Archive Date 06 Oct 2022
Written by an award-winning historian of science and technology, Planet in Peril describes the top four mega-dangers facing humankind – climate change, nukes, pandemics, and artificial intelligence. It outlines the solutions that have been tried, and analyzes why they have thus far fallen short. These four existential dangers present a special kind of challenge that urgently requires planet-level responses, yet today's international institutions have so far failed to meet this need. The book lays out a realistic pathway for gradually modifying the United Nations over the coming century so that it can become more effective at coordinating global solutions to humanity's problems. Neither optimistic nor pessimistic, but pragmatic and constructive, the book explores how to move past ideological polarization and global political fragmentation. Unafraid to take intellectual risks, Planet in Peril sketches a plausible roadmap toward a safer, more democratic future for us all.
“We are threatened by our own cleverness, and it is easy to get paranoid. This book, by one of our best historians of science and technology, offers a sane, balanced, and deeply informed look at the major threats and lays out a rational way forward.” - Donald Worster, author of Shrinking the Earth and A Passion for Nature
“Michael Bess is able to look over the horizon and think creatively without losing sight of what is viable. In Planet in Peril he offers insightful...solutions to four of the greatest threats facing humankind. It is one of those rare books that is both a joy to read and a roadmap for solving daunting problems.” – Michael Vandenbergh