Political risks matter because the very future of liberal societies and democratic governance are in jeopardy; existential risks matter because they feed political risks, and because they threaten the very sources of meaning in our lives.
Together, existential and political risks contribute to and reflect our sense of powerlessness. The old environmentalism was a way of life as much as a search for solutions.
It matters who we are and how we live, not just what we bring about.
Dale Jamieson is Professor of Environmental Studies and Philosophy; Affiliated Professor of Law; Affiliated Professor of Medical Ethics, School of Medicine; Associated Faculty, Center for Bioethics, College of Global Public Health; and Director of the Center for Environmental and Animal Protection at New York University.