Science denial among the greatest risks to humanity, new 'call to arms' report finds

A graffiti piece saying 'I don't believe in global warming' only half visible above a rising waterline.
24 April 2020

The denial of science is among the top 10 risks to humanity, ranking alongside climate change, nuclear war, overpopulation and unregulated artificial intelligence (AI), a new report claims.

The fledgling Commission for the Human Future (CHF) believes influential members of the political class have showed "disdain for scientific knowledge" and says "some were actively hostile to it".

"This has led to scientific advice being ignored and scientific investment cut because it does not suit short-term political agendas or unfounded political beliefs," it states in its Surviving and Thriving in the 21st Century report.

Chaired by former Liberal leader and treasury economist John Hewson, CHF's roundtable is packed with former government department heads, fossil fuel company directors, doctors, university academics, biologists and scientists.

Dr Hewson told ABC Radio Adelaide that the report's list of threats to Earth and humanity, which also included dwindling fresh water supplies, ecosystem collapse and extinctions, pollution, pandemics and food security, were all "interrelated".

"Humans have, basically, unintentionally done themselves a lot of gratuitous harm by the way they've pursued growth, and population growth and other things, and ignored the consequences," he said.

"This commission's designed to focus on what we think are the 10 major threats, and to start a process of national and international dialogue."

Read the full article on the ABC website, featuring commentary by Dr John Hewson and Dr Arnagretta Hunter