Climate Change Think Tank Warns of Robot Uprising

You know that sneaking suspicion you’ve always had that climate change alarmists are all doom fetishists with an unhealthy obsession with apocalyptic scenarios? Well you’re not too far from the mark, it would seem.

Martin Rees, former president of the Royal Society, and author of uber-alarmist global warming book Our Final Centuryhas teamed up with philosophy professor, Huw Price and Skype co-founder Jaan Tallinn to form the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk (CSER), a think tank devoted to looking at climate change and other ways we could all die. Maybe. Perhaps.

The BBC reports on the think tank and the inspiration behind it:

The Centre for the Study of Existential Risk (CSER) will study dangers posed by biotechnology, artificial life, nanotechnology and climate change.

The scientists said that to dismiss concerns of a potential robot uprising would be “dangerous”.

Fears that machines may take over have been central to the plot of some of the most popular science fiction films.

BBC: Risk of Robot Uprising Wiping Out Human Race to Be Studied.

It is certainly appropriate that climate change is to be studied under the same roof as robot uprisings and fears about the triffids taking over the planet. Perhaps Bigfoot will also be looked into as well, we’re not sure on that one yet.

But what is certain is that from being a front page news story and worldwide concern, climate change alarmism has slipped ever further down the slope to fringe status, joining crackpot theories like robot uprisings at the outer margins of speculation. How fitting.



8 responses to “Climate Change Think Tank Warns of Robot Uprising

  1. They can’t make a computer that will run 1000 hours without crashing. What chance for one that will rule the Earth for 1000 years?

  2. The robots have already taken over, in the form of climate models which apparently provide validation of their own results. The perfectly good words may and could have become “weasel words” in a sense. In published papers, news reports and blog articles; they’re almost always used just once, if at all. “That’s got the uncertainty out of the way now let’s get on with the business of gigatonnes, many degrees centigrade, metres of sea-level rise and corrosive oceans”.

    What may well be normal, in many cases IS normal in the opinion of some, somehow elicits “surprise” amongst scientists who clearly had a preconceived notion of what they expected to find, when in fact they clearly didn’t know what they’d find or they wouldn’t have done the research in the first place. Post-normal science is taking control. The robots are on the march.

  3. Is this article about the CSER really a Daily Onion satire?
    It reads, after all, like the same writer who wrote about how the North Korean despot is the sexiest man in the world…..

  4. It seems a bit late in the day to set up a Torchwood-style scientific taskforce to counter the robot menace – ideally, it should have been done in the 1950s, after chilling1953 film Robot Monster brought this scary message home to drive-in movie audiences everywhere.

    Amusing to see that climate change comes in fourth behind biotechnology, AI and nanotech. I can imagine the kind of conversation Rees, Price and Tallinn might have had when they drew up their list.

    “We’ve got three existential threats, but come on, chaps, three’s not really enough. Um, what else is there?”

    “There’s always climate change.”

    “Oh, that. Yeah, I suppose we can throw that in as well.”

  5. If I may presume to represent the Lomborgian position; it is progress in the climate debate for any climate alarmist to discuss alarming potential events OTHER than climate. Then we may progress to ordering the priorities. I tend to think that biological war, nuclear war, asteroid strike, volcanoes, tsunamis, Spanish Influenza, Carrington Events, depletion of agriculturally economical subsurface aquifers, and censorship of the internet all rank above either Robot Takeovers or Climate Change, but again, recognizing that there is more than one thing to worry about is a sign of maturity.

  6. If you spend a few minutes reading my paper and at least the abstract of the paper published by the American Institute of Physics (cited in reference (8) in my reference [13]) you might understand what happens in the atmospheric physics of both Earth and Venus.

    I’m still waiting for a satisfactory alternative explanation from anyone in the world regarding the Venus surface temperature.

    Pressure does not maintain high temperatures all by itself, anywhere, not even on Venus. So forget that “explanation.”

    My paper is up for PROM (Peer Review in Open Media) for a month, so feel free to publish a rebuttal or debate it with some of these members of PSI. Such a review system far outstrips the “peer-review” system used for typical pro-AGW publications.

    Doug Cotton

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