No one expects the machinery of progress to roll backwards, but sometimes it seems that no one is watching the speedometer (or manning the brakes, assuming any exist). Is this a fair assessment? If so, should we be worried — and what can we do about it?
In this feature, experts on technology, risk, science, policy and neuroscience discuss risk, innovation and how our values affect our conceptions of both.
As Congress eases rules for selling public lands and considers measures to weaken the Endangered Species Act, conservation efforts may rely increasingly on private facilities like the Phoenix Zoo, which supports its Arthur L. and Elaine V. Johnson Foundation Native Species Conservation Center with a portion of its gate receipts.
It’s said that we all have a double somewhere in the world. It’s a haunting thought, but almost comforting compared to the harrowing tales of identity theft we hear on the nightly news. But, hey, we live in the age of fingerprints, DNA and CSI, right? The post-911 world of ever-more Orwellian identification requirements? Surely we’ve left cases of mistaken identity firmly in the past.
In the real world, disasters aren’t just a matter of scale – they’re a question of preparedness and of a society’s capacity to handle the fallout. Vaccines, rapid-response teams and early-warning systems can move the needle from calamity toward recovery, while poverty, corruption and ignorance slide it toward catastrophe. So, cue announcer: “In a world … where real disasters aren’t single events that arise from simple problems that are solvable in 93 minutes …”