Study triples number of people threatened by coastal flooding

As many as 200 million people could fall permanently below the high tide line by 2100.

AFP / Stringer
  • Sea level rise caused by climate change threatens millions of people worldwide.
  • A new study suggests that previous estimates of the threats of coastal flooding were based on incorrect measurements of land elevation.
  • Coastal regions in Asia are especially vulnerable.
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Vodka for your post-apocalypse wingding

It's made from Chernobyl water and rye. What could possibly go wrong?

Image source: Chernobyl Spirits Company/lux3000/Shutterstock/Big Think
  • 33 years later, parts of the exclusion zone may be ready to be reclaimed.
  • The beverage similar to Ukrainian vodka will soon be available.
  • Raise a glass to the renewable Earth.
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The Dangers of Idealism: How America Destabilized the Middle East

When it comes to ISIS, terrorism, and global and domestic instability, America has been its own worst enemy.

For the last 25 years, the U.S. has based its foreign policy on a sense of primacy and idealism rather than restraint and realism, says William Ruger, Vice President for Research and Policy, Charles Koch Foundation. Ruger asserts that the U.S. failed to recognize the human and economic cost of international military and political intervention. "We've really opened up all kinds of challenges in this attempt to open up an exemplar for the Middle East. We actually have created an exemplar," he says, "an exemplar of what can go wrong if you engage in the world without first thinking carefully about what is necessary for American safety, and what the unintended consequences of our behavior could be..." The Charles Koch Foundation aims to further understanding of how US foreign policy affects American people and societal well-being. Through grants, events, and collaborative partnerships, the Foundation is working to stretch the boundaries of foreign policy research and debate by discussing ideas in strategy, trade, and diplomacy that often go unheeded in the US capital. For more information, visit charleskochfoundation.org.

Misfortune Telling: How to Predict Disasters So We Can Prevent Them

ISIS, Hurricane Katrina, Fukushima—for each of these disastrous developments, there was someone with a bunch of data that no one would listen to.

Noticing a pattern emerge in the aftermath of some of the worst catastrophes in recent years—like Hurricane Katrina, Fukushima, and the formation of ISIS—global security experts Richard A. Clarke and R.P. Eddy wrote a book called Warnings: Finding Cassandras to Stop Catastrophes. It is an historical investigation and instructive framework that can be used to predict disasters before they occur. How can they do that? Well, the predictions already exist, it's just that no-one is listening. These people making the predictions—who are always experts with strong data to support their claim, but who are dismissed by other experts—are known as 'Cassandras' (a name taken from Greek mythology). By sifting through history to find past Cassandras, they have developed a system to know which predictions are false alarms, and which are absolutely critical to humanity's future. Richard A. Clarke and R.P. Eddy's new book is Warnings: Finding Cassandras to Stop Catastrophes.

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