In July 2011 (prior to the existence of GCRI), GCRI’s Seth Baum compiled a bibliography of GCR literature, originally published at http://sethbaum.com/research/gcr/bibliography.pdf. Here is the bibliography in full, including Seth’s introductory note. GCRI is meanwhile updating the bibliography with new literature. Please suggest any literature via our contact form.
To the reader:
For this bibliography, global catastrophic risk (GCR) is defined as risk of events that would significantly harm or even end civilization at the global scale. This bibliography features general discussions of GCR. The references may discuss ethical, methodological, or other trans-GCR issues. They may also present integrative, cross-GCR assessments. References analyzing specific GCRs have been omitted, except in select instances in which the discussion is of clear relevance to other GCRs.
This bibliography serves two core purposes. First, the bibliography serves as a resource for GCR researchers and other interested individuals. Literature on GCR appears in a wide range of often-disconnected places; this bibliography works towards a more unified GCR field. Second, the bibliography serves to respond to the concern that there is not a lot of GCR literature. While what constitutes “a lot” is a matter of opinion, in my experience people often underestimate just how much has been written on GCR, perhaps due to lack of awareness about the breadth of the literature.
The bibliography contains 115 entries, including book reviews and publications in the popular literature. Where possible, I have included links to open-access (subscription-free) web versions of the entries. While I have tried to make this bibliography comprehensive, I presume that I have overlooked some literature. Please send me any and all suggestions for further entries, or for updated links to existing entries, preferably via email to sethbaum [at] gmail.com.
12 July 2011
Barrett, Scott, 2006. The problem of averting global catastrophe. Chicago Journal of
International Law, vol. 6, no. 2, pages 527-552.
Baudiment, Fabienne Goux, 2009. Tomorrow will die. Futures, vol. 41, no. 10, pages 746-753.
Baum, Seth D, 2008. Reducing catastrophic risk through integrative assessment. Hawaii Reporter, August 25; Daily Camera (Boulder, CO), September 2
Baum, Seth D, 2008. Better to exist: A reply to Benatar. Journal of Medical Ethics,
vol. 34, no. 12, pages 875-876.
Baum, Seth D, 2009. Global Catastrophic Risks (book review). Risk Analysis, vol. 29,
no. 1, pages 155-156.
Baum, Seth D, 2009. Cost-benefit analysis of space exploration: Some ethical
considerations. Space Policy, vol. 25, no. 2, pages 75-80.
Benatar, David, 2006. Better Never to Have Been: The Harm of Coming Into Existence.
Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Bloom, Barry, 2003. Bioterrorism and the university: The threats to security – and to
openness. Harvard Magazine, November-December, pages 48-52.
Bommier, Antoine and Stéphane Zuber, 2008. Can preferences for catastrophe
avoidance reconcile social discounting with intergenerational equity?. Social Choice and
Welfare, vol. 31, no. 3, pages 415-434.
Bostrom, Nick 1999. The doomsday argument is alive and kicking. Mind, vol. 108, no.
431, pages 539-550.
Bostrom, Nick, 2001. The doomsday argument, Adam and Eve, UN++, and Quantum
Joe. Synthese, vol. 127, no. 3, pages 359-387.
Bostrom, Nick, 2002. Existential risks: Analyzing human extinction scenarios and
related hazards. Journal of Evolution and Technology, vol. 9.
Bostrom, Nick, 2003. Astronomical waste: The opportunity cost of delayed
technological development. Utilitas, vol. 15, no. 3, pages 308-314.
Bostrom, Nick, 2006. Dinosaurs, dodos, humans?. Global Agenda, January, pages 230-
Bostrom, Nick, 2011. The concept of existential risk. Unpublished draft.
Bostrom, Nick, 2011. Existential risk FAQ.
Bostrom, Nick and Milan M. Ćirković, 2003. The doomsday argument and the self-
indication assumption: Reply to Olum. Philosophical Quarterly, vol. 53, no. 210, pages 83-91.
Bostrom, Nick and Milan Ćirković, 2008. Global Catastrophic Risks. Oxford: Oxford
Bostrom, Nick and Milan Ćirković, 2008. Introduction. In Nick Bostrom and Milan
Ćirković (eds), Global Catastrophic Risks. Oxford: Oxford University Press
Carpenter, P. A. and P. C. Bishop, 2009. A review of previous mass extinctions and
historic catastrophic events. Futures, vol. 41, no. 10, pages 676-682.
Carpenter, P. A. and P. C. Bishop, 2009. The seventh mass extinction: Human-caused
events contribute to a fatal consequence. Futures, vol. 41, no. 10, pages
Charles, Daniel, 2006. A ‘forever’ seed bank takes root in the Arctic. Science, vol. 312,
no. 5781 (23 June), pages 1730-1731.
Chichilnisky, Graciela, 2009. Avoiding extinction: Equal treatment of the present and
the future. Economics, vol. 3, article 2009-32.
Chichilnisky, Graciela, 2009. Avoiding extinction: The future of economics.
International Journal of Green Economics, vol. 3, no. 1, pages 1-18.
Chichilnisky, Graciela, 2009. Catastrophic risks. International Journal of Green
Economics, vol. 3, no. 2, pages 130-141.
Chichilnisky, Graciela and Peter Eisenberger, 2010. Asteroids: Assessing catastrophic
risks. Journal of Probability and Statistics, vol. 2010, article 954750.
Ćirković, Milan M., 2007. Evolutionary catastrophes and the Goldilocks problem. International Journal of Astrobiology, vol. 6, no. 4, pages 325-329.
Ćirković, Milan, Anders Sandberg, and Nick Bostrom, 2010. Anthropic shadow: Observation selection effects and human extinction risks. Risk Analysis, vol. 30, no. 10, pages 1495-1506.
Coates, Joseph F. et al., 1979. Risks to Humankind. Washington, DC: U.S. Congress, Office of Technology Assessment, March.
Coates, Joseph F., 2009. Risks and threats to civilization, humankind, and the earth. Futures, vol. 41, no. 10, pages 694-705.
Cooke, Roger M. and Carolyn Kousky, 2009. Climate change and risk management: challenges for insurance, adaptation, and loss estimation. Resources for the Future Discussion Paper 09-03.
Dieks, Dennis, 1992. Doomsday – Or: The dangers of statistics. Philosophical Quarterly, vol. 42, no. 166, pages 78-84.
Economist, The, 1998. Human extinction: Sui genocide. The Economist, vol. 349, no. 8099, pages 130-131.
Eckhardt, William, 1993. Probability theory and the doomsday argument. Mind, vol. 102, no. 407, pages 483-488.
Epstein, Richard J. and Y. Zhao, 2009. The threat that dare not speak its name: Human extinction. Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, vol. 52, no. 1, pages 116-125.
Franck, Thomas M., 2006. Collective security and UN reform: Between the necessary and the possible. Chicago Journal of International Law, vol. 6, no. 2, pages 597-612.
Hanson, Robin, 1998. Critiquing the doomsday argument. Unpublished manuscript, 27 August.
Hayne, David M. (ed), 1999. Human Survivability in the 21st Century. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
Hempsell, C. M., 2004. The investigation of natural global catastrophes. Journal of the British Interplanetary Society, vol. 57, pages 2-13.
Hempsell, C. M., 2004. The potential for space intervention in global catastrophes. Journal of the British Interplanetary Society, vol. 57, pages 14-21.
Herz, John H., 2003. On human survival: Reflections on survival research and survival policies. World Futures, vol. 59, no. 3-4, pages 135-143.
Horton, Richard, 2005. Threats to human survival: A WIRE to warn the world. Lancet, vol. 365, 191-193.
Iklé, Fred Charles, 2006. Annihilation from Within: The Ultimate Threat to Nations. New York: Columbia University Press.
Jones, Andrew R., 2009. The next mass extinction: Human evolution or human eradication. Journal of Cosmology, vol. 2, pages 316-333.
Jones, Charles I., 2011. Life and growth. Working paper, Stanford University Graduate School of Business.
Jones, Christopher B., 2009. Gaia bites back: Accelerated warming. Futures, vol. 41, no. 10, pages 723-730.
Kaplan, Ralph and Harvey Silverglate, 2006. An urgent cause for philanthropy. Boston Globe, July 23.
Kaplan, Ralph and Harvey Silvergate, 2007. The next generation of threats. The Boston Globe, February 24.
Kent, Adrian, 2003. A critical look at risk assessments for global catastrophes. Risk Analysis, vol. 24, no. 1, pages 157-168.
Koopmans, Tjalling C., 1974. Proof for a case where discounting advances the doomsday. Review of Economic Studies, vol. 41, pages 117-120.
Kuznick, Peter J., 2007. Prophets of doom or voices of sanity? The evolving discourse of annihilation in the first decade and a half of the nuclear age. Journal of Genocide Research, vol. 9, no. 3, pages 411–441.
Leggett, Mark, 2006. An indicative costed plan for the mitigation of global risks. Futures, 38, 778-809.
Lenman, James 2002. On becoming extinct. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, vol. 83, no. 3, pages 253-269.
Leslie, John, 1989. Risking the world’s end. Canadian Nuclear Society Bulletin, May, pages 10-15.
Leslie, John, 1990. Is the end of the world nigh?. Philosophical Quarterly, vol. 40, no. 158, pages 65-72.
Leslie, John, 1990. Risking the world’s end. Interchange, vol. 21, no. 1, pages 49-58.
Leslie, John, 1992. Time and the anthropic principle. Mind, vol. 101, no. 403, pages 521-540.
Leslie, John, 1992. Doomsday revisited. Philosophical Quarterly, vol. 42, no. 166, pages 85-89.
Leslie, John, 1993. Doom and probabilities, Mind, vol. 102, no. 407, pages 489-491.
Leslie, John, 1996. The End of the World: The Science and Ethics of Human Extinction. London: Routledge.
Leslie, John, 1997. Observer-relative chances and the doomsday argument. Inquiry, vol. 40, no. 4, pages 427-436.
Levin, Josh, 2009. How is America going to end? Slate’s ‘Choose your own apocalypse’ lets you map out the death of the United States. Slate, 7 August.
Levin, Josh, 2009. How is America going to end? The world’s leading futurologists have four theories. Slate, 7 August.
Levin, Josh, 2009. How is America going to end? The apocalypse you chose. Plus, the end-of-America social network. Slate, 7 August.
Lopes, Tobin, Thomas J. Chermack, Deb Demers, Madhavi Kari, Bernadette Kasshanna, Tiffani Payne, 2009. Human Extinction Scenario Frameworks. Futures, vol. 41, no. 10, pages 731-737.
Martin, James, 2007. The Meaning of the 21st Century. New York: Riverhead Penguin.
Matheny, Jason G., 2007. Reducing the risk of human extinction. Risk Analysis, vol. 27, no. 5, pages 1335-1344.
Matheny, Jason G., undated. Ought we worry about human extinction?. Unpublished working paper,
Matson, John and John Pavlus, 2010. Laying odds on the apocalypse. Scientific American, vol. 303, no. 3, pages 82-83.
Morgan, Dennis Ray, 2009. World on fire: two scenarios of the destruction of human civilization and possible extinction of the human race. Futures, vol. 41, no. 10, pages 683-693.
Ng, Yew-Kwang, 1991. Should we be very cautious or extremely cautious on measures that may involve our destruction?. Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 8, pages 79-88.
Nordhaus, William D., 2009. An analysis of the dismal theorem. Cowles Foundation Discussion Paper, No. 1686.
Norgaard, Richard B. and Paul Baer, 2003. Seeing the whole picture. World Futures, vol. 59, no. 3-4, pages 225-239.
Ord, Toby, Rafaela Hillerbrand, and Anders Sandberg, 2010. Probing the improbable: Methodological challenges for risks with low probabilities and high stakes. Journal of Risk Research, vol. 13, no. 2, pages 191-205.
Parson, Edward A, 2007. The big one: A review of Richard Posner’s Catastrophe: Risk and Response. Journal of Economic Literature, vol. 45, pp. 147-164
Pindyck, Robert S. and Neng Wang, 2011. The economic and policy consequences of catastrophes. NBER Working Papers, no. 15373.
Posner, Richard, 2004. Catastrophe: Risk and Response. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Posner, Richard, 2005. Catastrophic risks, resource allocation, and homeland security. Journal of Homeland Security, October.
Posner, Richard, 2006. Efficient responses to catastrophic risk. Chicago Journal of International Law, vol. 6, no. 2, pages 511-526.
Powell, Corey S., 2000. 20 ways the world could end swept away. Discover, vol. 21, no. 10.
Randers, Jorgen, 2008. Global collapse — Fact or fiction?. Futures, vol. 40, no. 10, pages 853-864.
Rees, Martin, 2003. Our Final Century: Will the Human Race Survive the Twenty-first Century? Oxford: William Heinemann.
Roberts, Patrick S., 2008. Catastrophe: Risk and Response, by Richard A. Posner. Homeland Security Affairs, vol. 4, no. 1.
Rockström, Johan, Will Steffen, Kevin Noone, Åsa Persson, F. Stuart III Chapin, Eric Lambin, Timothy M. Lenton, Marten Scheffer, Carl Folke, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Björn Nykvist, Cynthia A. de Wit, Terry Hughes, Sander van der Leeuw, Henning Rodhe, Sverker Sörlin, Peter K. Snyder, Robert Costanza, Uno Svedin, Malin Falkenmark, Louise Karlberg, Robert W. Corell, Victoria J. Fabry, James Hansen, Brian Walker, Diana Liverman, Katherine Richardson, Paul Crutzen, and Jonathan Foley, 2009. Planetary boundaries: Exploring the safe operating space for humanity. Ecology and Society, vol. 14, no. 2, article 32,
Rockström, Johan, Will Steffen, Kevin Noone, Åsa Persson, F. Stuart III Chapin, Eric Lambin, Timothy M. Lenton, Marten Scheffer, Carl Folke, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Björn Nykvist, Cynthia A. de Wit, Terry Hughes, Sander van der Leeuw, Henning Rodhe, Sverker Sörlin, Peter K. Snyder, Robert Costanza, Uno Svedin, Malin Falkenmark, Louise Karlberg, Robert W. Corell, Victoria J. Fabry, James Hansen, Brian Walker, Diana Liverman, Katherine Richardson, Paul Crutzen, and Jonathan Foley, 2009. A safe operating space for humanity. Nature, vol. 461, pages 472-475.
Sandberg, Anders and Nick Bostrom, 2008. Global catastrophic risks survey. Technical Report 2008/1, Future of Humanity Institute, Oxford University.
Sandberg, Anders, Jason G. Matheny, and Milan M. Ćirković, 2008. How can we reduce the risk of human extinction?. Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, September.
Seidel, Peter, 2003. Introduction. World Futures, vol. 59, no. 3-4, pages 127-128.
Seidel, Peter, 2003. ‘Survival research’: A new discipline needed now. World Futures, vol. 59, no. 3-4, pages 129-133.
Seidel, Peter, 2009. Is it inevitable that evolution self-destruct?. Futures, vol. 41, no. 10, pages 754-759.
Shapiro, Robert, 2009. A new rationale for returning to the Moon? Protecting civilization with a sanctuary. Space Policy, vol. 25, no. 1, pages 1-5.
Singer, Peter, 2005. ‘Catastrophe’: Apocalypse when? (book review of R. Posner). New York Times, 2 January 2005.
Smil, Vaclav, 2005. The next 50 years: Fatal discontinuities. Population and Development Review, vol. 31, no. 2, pages 201-236.
Smil, Vaclav, 2008. Global Catastrophes and Trends: The Next Fifty Years. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Sunstein, Cass R., 2005-2006. Irreversible and catastrophic: Global warming, terrorism, and other problems. Pace Environmental Law Review, vol. 23, no. 1, pages 3-19.
Sunstein, Cass R., 2006. Irreversible and catastrophic. Cornell Law Review, vol. 91, no. 4, pages 841-897.
Sunstein, Cass R, 2007. Worst-Case Scenarios. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Tännsjö, Torbjörn, 1997. Doom soon?. Inquiry, vol. 40, no. 2, pages 243-252.
Tegmark, Max and Nick Bostrom, 2005. Is a doomsday catastrophe likely?. Nature, vol. 438, page 754.
Tonn, Bruce E., 1999. Transcending oblivion. Futures, vol. 31, pages 351-359.
Tonn, Bruce E., 2000. Ensuring the future. Futures, vol. 32, pages 17-26.
Tonn, Bruce E., 2002. Distant futures and the environment. Futures, vol. 34, pages 117-132.
Tonn, Bruce E., 2004. Research society: science and technology for the ages. Futures, vol. 36, 335–346
Tonn, Bruce E., 2007. Futures sustainability. Futures, vol. 39, pages 1097-1116.
Tonn, Bruce E., 2009. Obligations to future generations and acceptable risks of human extinction. Futures, vol. 41, no. 7, pages 427-435.
Tonn, Bruce E., 2009. Beliefs about human extinction. Futures, vol. 41, no. 10, pages 766-773.
Tonn, Bruce, 2009. Preventing the next mass extinction: Ethical obligations. Journal of Cosmology, vol. 2, pages 334-343.
Tonn, Bruce and Donald MacGregor, 2009. Are we doomed?. Futures, vol. 41, no. 10, pages 673-675.
Tonn, Bruce and Donald MacGregor, 2009. A singular chain of events. Futures, vol. 41, no. 10, pages 706-714.
Tonn, Bruce and Jenna Tonn, 2009. A literary human extinction scenario. Futures, vol. 41, no. 10, pages 760-765.
Trisel, Brooke Allen, 2004. Human extinction and the value of our efforts. The Philosophical Forum, vol. 35, no. 3, pages 371-391.
Tudge, C., 1989. The rise and fall of Homo sapiens sapiens. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Series B, vol. 325, no. 1228, pages 479-488.
Waldman, Ronald, 2006. Responding to catastrophes: A public health perspective. Chicago Journal of International Law, vol. 6, no. 2, pages 553-572.
Weitzman, Martin L., 2009. On modeling and interpreting the economics of catastrophic climate change. Review of Economics and Statistics, vol. 91, no. 1, pages 1-19.
Wiener, Jonathan B., 2005. Review of: Catastrophe: Risk and Response and Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, vol. 24, no. 4, pages 885-890.