restricted access The Threat That Dare Not Speak Its Name: Human Extinction

The end of the human race is not imminent, but it is both inevitable and important. Judging by the scarcity of relevant publications, however, there seems little public or professional concern about this prospect. We submit that this striking disinterest reflects a combination of ignorance and denial that is putting the long-term interests of society in jeopardy. With the pace of change now outstripping that of adaptation, it is no longer alarmist for academics to raise awareness about the approach of human extinction and to design strategies by which time to extinction might be prolonged. By making complacent and anthropocentric thinking less politically correct than it is at present, such awareness could motivate the world community to reformulate social norms in a way that benefits our descendants as much as possible for as long as possible.

The face of Death is toward the sun of Life His shadow darkens Earth.

—Tennyson, “The Death of the Duke of Clarence and Avondale” (1892)