The six greatest existential threats facing humans (and animals) are as follows:
- Overpopulation and the destruction of the environment that comes from it
- Nuclear war
- Drug-resistant diseases
- Artificial intelligence
The above six existential threats were elected by 50 Noel prize-winning scientists as the most serious risks facing mankind. One third of the Nobel Prize winners cited the strain placed on the planet by the sharp growth in human population.
Overpopulation and the incumbent destruction of the environment obviously takes habitat away from the wild cat species with whom we share the planet. This is happening all the time as I write this. There are many examples. Huge swathes of forest are being cut down to make paper or furniture. Borneo, a massive island, is being stripped of its wonderful virgin ancient forest. The Borneo Bay cat lives in the forest and one day that particular, rare, small wild cat species will be extinct in the wild.
Not only are the wild cat species under threat by an expanding human population, so are domestic cats. There is increased urbanisation. More people live in apartments. Apartments are less suited to the domestic cat lifestyle. There is less possibility of cats being able to sense what nature can deliver to them. They are destined to live in an artificial world amongst furniture and furniture polish.
I needn’t say much about nuclear war. Both humans and their pets will be killed in the most hideous way together with wildlife of all kinds.
Misinformation is everywhere. There is a ton of it on Facebook or any other social media outlet. Businesses disseminate misinformation by the truckload. Fake news I suppose is misinformation. It all affects us in various ways and it affects us it affects our cats because domestic cat rely on us and we create their world.
As for drug-resistant diseases, it is my personal belief that veterinarians prescribe far too many antibiotics often on a precautionary basis and if humans are susceptible to antibiotic resistant diseases due to overprescription then certainly domestic cats are. This is an ever present danger. It is often talked about. Nothing changes. Apparently Asia is where antibiotics are administered the most. They take them for colds although they do no good at all because colds are caused by viruses. The physiology of the domestic cat is very similar to that of humans. Therefore I think we can reasonably and safely say that if humans are going to suffer from drug-resistant diseases then eventually so will domestic cats.
There is quite a lot of talk on the Internet about artificial intelligence and how it might jeopardise the existence of humanity. This is because people fear that a self learning robot will end up more intelligent than humans and therefore dominate humans. In addition warfare will be played out exclusively with autonomous robots programmed to think for themselves. This would be a dangerous development. It may exacerbate the prospect of war which overwhelms the planet. Obviously both these aspects of artificial intelligence must affect domestic cats if they affect people. There may also be some interesting arguably positive developments with cat robots, so intelligent that they can think for themselves and act exactly like the real thing. That may come about in the distant future.
Facebook is an interesting choice by the 50 Nobel laureates as a threat to mankind. Facebook is both good and bad. There are positives and negatives. With respect of the cat, a lot of good work is done in networking amongst the cat rescue communities which helps to place cats in homes which saves lives. There is, however, quite a lot of fraudulent or semi-fraudulent behaviour amongst the rescue cat community. There are fake personas and cat rescuers who don’t really have cat welfare at heart. They are in the cat rescue business to promote themselves and be loved and admired. The cats come second. Personally I don’t see Facebook as an existential threat to mankind unless it gets completely out of hand when we live our lives exclusively through social media, losing our ability to communicate verbally and so on. We may also have all our written history tied up with Facebook so if Facebook goes down and is wiped out then we lose our history. This may have a significant impact upon our future.
These are my top of the head, instantaneous thoughts about the six existential threat facing mankind and how they affect cats. I’m sure there are a million other topics to discuss and some more profound and far reaching ones.
One Nobel prizewinner, when asked how our species could protect its future, he said that the best insurance policy would be to colonise other planets. One another scientist said that science can’t do much about Trump as he was cited as one of the major threats to mankind.
Note: Existential means: Of, relating to, or dealing with existence (free dictionary).