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article imageWorld Economic Forum - Greatest risks facing the world in 2018

By Karen Graham     Jan 18, 2018 in World
A global survey of experts and decision-makers shows they believe nuclear war, cyberattacks and environmental disasters are the likeliest threats to the world in 2018.
Nearly 1,000 experts in government, policy, and business were surveyed for the World Economic Forum's latest Global Risks Report 2018 that comes out just days before the WEF Annual Meeting to be held in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland from January 23-26.
This year’s report grapples with some of the most pressing challenges that we face, including biodiversity loss, cybersecurity threats, rising geopolitical tensions, and the risk of another financial crisis erupting. The WEF hopes the report will inspire debate and focus the minds of those present in Davos in collaborating on addressing these issues.
Screen shot from CTV News video showing damage from extreme wind event in Red Deer  Alberta Tuesday ...
Screen shot from CTV News video showing damage from extreme wind event in Red Deer, Alberta Tuesday night.
CTV News Canada
The threat of nuclear war climbed up on the list due to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's tests of ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons and the bellicose vows of President Trump to annihilate the secretive country if it launches an attack.
And while political unrest and the threat of a nuclear war was considered one of the top risks for the world, even this was overshadowed by the risk of extreme weather events, food, and water crises, large-scale involuntary migration, or ecosystem collapse that anthropogenic (human-caused) climate change may be abetting.
US intelligence agencies have accused Russia of hacking the 2016 presidential campaign
US intelligence agencies have accused Russia of hacking the 2016 presidential campaign
Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV, AFP
It's all interconnected
Regardless of where you might place an issue you are concerned about on the list, as Futurism points out, the WEF’s report doesn't just give us a list of potential threats to humanity; it shows how they are all interconnected.
And this inter-connectivity means that regardless of the potential shock, whether economic, financial or environmental, it has far-reaching global effects and never occurs in isolation.
Take climate change, for example. And yes, we all know we need to address this global issue as soon as possible. And one of the big issues is reducing carbon dioxide output from emissions. However, we are already seeing how the energy industry is being disrupted by the social and economic effects of transitioning to renewables. The report’s Global Risks Interconnections Map outlines some of the links between seemingly discrete problems.
Pyongyang has sparked global alarm in recent months by conducting its sixth and largest nuclear test...
Pyongyang has sparked global alarm in recent months by conducting its sixth and largest nuclear test and test-launching missiles capable of reaching the US mainland
Kim Won-Jin, AFP/File
“Humanity has become remarkably adept at understanding how to mitigate conventional risks that can be relatively easily isolated and managed with standard risk-management approaches,” WEF founder and executive chairman Klaus Schwab and president Børge Brende wrote in the report’s preface.
“But we are much less competent when it comes to dealing with complex risks in the interconnected systems that underpin our world. … When risk cascades through a complex system, the danger is not of incremental damage but of ‘runaway collapse’ or an abrupt transition to a new, suboptimal status quo.”
More about World economic forum, greatest threats, Nuclear war, Extreme weather, Risk assessment