The next generation of threats

Boston Globe
by Ralph Kaplan & Harvey Silverglate

02/24/07

Much ink has been spilt extolling the latest progress made in recognizing the second- and third-most serious threats facing mankind and the planet. The recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has forced even the recalcitrant Bush administration to back down in the face of agreement between the scientific and political communities, prodded by a citizenry frightened by disturbing weather patterns. Meanwhile, the effort to control the world’s current supply of fissile material, and limit the future manufacture of more of it by rogue states, has picked up steam, fueled by scientists’ warnings and by public appeals from respected former officials. … Yet there is an even more urgent danger. Besides chemical and biological weapons, we are now seeing advances in the fields of genetics, nanotechnology, and robotics (so-called GNR technologies ) that threaten destruction even more horrific than that of atomic devices or climate change...

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