Notable Linkage: World Economic Forum: Global Risks 2013


The nature of global risks is constantly changing. Thirty years ago, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) were seen as a planetary risk, while threat from a massive cyber attack was treated by many as science fiction. In the same period, the proliferation of nuclear weapons occupied the minds of scientists and politicians, while the proliferation of orbital debris did not. We see a similar story with asbestos then and carbon nanotubes today, and the list goes on. With new information, the perceptions and realities of risks change, and often in unforeseen directions. Consider that in some circles the threat from greenhouse gas emissions made nuclear energy seem less hazardous than fossil fuels over the long run. Yet the nuclear catastrophe in Fukushima, Japan, not only changed public perceptions there but also energy policy, almost overnight, in some parts of Europe.

The global risk that respondents rated most likely to manifest over the next 10 years is severe income disparity…

World Economic Forum: Global Risks 2013