Six threats and their interrelationships with one another: nuclear or conventional War; global warming (abbreviated as GW in the grid below); famine (Fam); pandemics (Pand); reactor explosions (Reac); and cyber attacks (Cyb).

War GW Fam Pand Reac Cyb
War 1GLOBAL WARMING AS A CAUSE OF WAR: As arming occurs, resources (including land and freshwater) will become scarce and people will fight for survival. 2FAMINE AS A CAUSE OF WAR Famine does not cause war but vice versa. War causes almost all famines now, mainly intentionally, because war affects the outcome of war. One side uses famine as a weapon of war, starving their enemy into submission. Famine must be outlawed as a war crime. 3PANDEMICS AS A CAUSE OF WAR Pandemics do not cause wars (sick people cannot pick fights), but vice versa. However, a pandemic can determine the outcome of a war, so germs can be used as weapons of war. 4RADIATION EXPOSURE AS A CAUSE OF WAR Any explosion blamed on another nation (correctly or mistakenly) would be a cause for going to war. 5CYBER ATTACKS AS A CAUSE OF WAR Ordinary cyber crime is common in civilian life, but a cyber attack will cause and be the first battle in the next World War.
GW 6WAR AS A CAUSE OF GLOBAL WARMING: War and weapons emit CO2, and military activities are a major cause of global warming, even in peacetime, (Of the Pentagon budget for overseas operations, 40% is spent on transporting fuel which emits CO2.) 7FAMINE AS A CAUSE OF GLOBAL WARMING. Famine does not now cause global warming, but may worsen its effects. Hungry, famished people lack resilience to cope with the crises of global warming. 8PANDEMICS AS A CAUSE OF GLOBAL WARMING Pandemics cannot cause global warming but can determine the capacity to survive it. Sick people lack the resilience e.g. to farm or migrate and have to spend their money on drugs etc instead on capacity-building. 9RADIATION EXPOSURE AS A CAUSE OF GLOBAL WARMING. Reactor explosions cannot cause global warming, but victims of radiation would lack the resilience and material resources to cope with the new dangers brought by global warming 10CYBER ATTACKS AS A CAUSE OF GLOBAL WARMING. Cyber attacks cannot cause global warming, but may determine who survives it. Killing people and destroying their material resources prevents them from coping with the effects of global warming .
Fam 11WAR AS A CAUSE OF FAMINE. Nowadays war –not weather or nature –is almost the only cause of famine. Warfighters cause famines as a weapon of war. Ending it must be done by treating famine as a war crime. 12GLOBAL WARMING AS A CAUSE OF FAMINE. Warming of 2 degrees will reduce crop yields of rice and maize as early as the 2030s.and worsen as the temperature continues higher. 13PANDEMICS AS A CAUSE OF FAMINE. A huge pandemic could cause famine by keeping victims from being able to produce, market, or transport food. Sick people are helpless. 14RADIATION EXPOSURE AS A CAUSE OF FAMINE A huge reactor accident could irradiate millions of acres so that it could not be farmed, and even make seafood inedible. 15CYBER ATTACKS AS A CAUSE OF FAMINE. A cyber attack against the electric grid would leave everyone in filthy dwellings, without food or water for months, maybe years awaiting repairs. Millions would starve, freeze, or perish for lack of water.
Pand 16WAR AS A CAUSE OF PANDEMICS Historically pandemics have occurred during wars, partly because soldiers on the move carry ge germs with them to spread. 17GLOBAL WARMING AS A CAUSE OF PANDEMICS. As climate changes, animal habitat changes. Insects move into new areas, bringing Zika and other diseases, forests are felled and people move into land that had been the habitat of animals with viruses they had never met before. 18FAMINE AS A CAUSE OF PANDEMICS. Malnutrition weakens the immune system, making people for vulnerable to infectious diseases. Hungry people contract diseases more readily, including rare ones such as AIDS or Ebola. 19REACTOR EXPLOSIONS AS A CAUSE OF PANDEMICS. A reactor explosion (larger than Chernobyl) would divert all medical facilities to irradiated victims, leaving o resources for infectious diseases, which could not be contained. 20CYBER ATTACKS AS A CAUSE OF PANDEMICS. A cyber attack against an electric grid or other source of energy or water would prevent the treatment of infectious diseases, which would spread, especially in an environment lacking water or hygiene.
Reac 21WAR AS A CAUSE OF REACTOR EXPLOSIONS. The most attractive target for a suicidal or mad military or rebel leader would be to bomb a nuclear reactor. Only 5% of the radioactivity in the Fukushima reactor has been releases. Imagine the effects of a bomb on the same reactor. 22GLOBAL WARMING AS A CAUSE OF REACTOR EXPLOSIONS. No reactor can be entirely safe. Global warming is forcing us to abandon fossil fuel. If we switch mainly to nuclear, we will be increasing the number of reactors and the risk of their exploding. 23FAMINE AS A CAUSE OF REACTOR EXPLOSIONS. Famine does not cause the explosion but affects the survival rate of people affected by the radiation that explosions release. Malnutrition weakens the immune system. Some of the damage can be ameliorated by antioxidants. 24PANDEMICS AS A CAUSE OF REACTOR EXPLOSIONS. Infectious disease does not cause the explosion, but affects the capacity of people to withstand the radiation. Not all bodies are equally affected by radiation, and “radioresistance” is determined in part by the immune response. 25CYBER ATTACKS AS A CAUSE OF REACTOR EXPLOSION. A cyber attack against a reactor would be an ideal way to destroy an enemy’s population. Some rebel groups with suicide bombers are seeking ways to do it.
Cyb 26WAR AS A CAUSE OF CYBER ATTACKS. The next World War will mainly will be targeted by computers from satellite information. War is the only likely cause of catastrophic cyber attacks. 27GLOBAL WARMING AS A CAUSE OF CYBER ATTACKS. Global warming does not force anyone to launch cyber attacks but it makes people more vulnerable to them. Climate refugees flee from traditional agrarian life to urban, internet-controlled institutions that can be hacked or attacked. 28FAMINE AS A CAUSE OF CYBER ATTACKS. Again, hunger does not directly cause war, but both famine and cyber attacks are used increasingly as weapons of war, and they must be resisted by enacing international prohibitions against the violation of human rights in war. 29PANDEMICS AS A CAUSE OF CYBER ATTACKS. These are both potentially weapons of war and both need to be opposed on humanitarian grounds and subjected to international regulation. Do this before, not after, the practices are normalized. 30RADIATION EXPOSURE AS A CAUSE OF CYBER ATTACKS
It is not always clear how an exposion happened. If it is attributed to a supposed enemy state or terrorist group, the response may be retaliatory strikes by cyber-weapons.

This is an illustration of causal interactions among the six global threats. Systems are most effectively addressed comprehensively, rather than as separate problems.

Click or tap on any of the numbered squares to read a short description of each of the 30 intersections under discussion. This grid has been redesigned for mobile compatibility.


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