We keep hearing on the news, day in and day out, about awful things that are a threat to our very existence. Pandemics. Climate change. Nuclear weapons. Terrorism. Over and over, it seems like we can't escape the harbingers of our imminent demise.


But outside of the news, there are other factors at play that will make your hair stand on end even more.

Redditor u/Gregori_5 asked:

"What do you consider the biggest threat to humanity?"

Here were some of those answers.

The Me Effect

"Shortsightedness and selfishness. Most people can't project/contemplate more than a decade or so in the future, let alone several generations past their own lives."

"I think this is part of the reason why religions first came to be - as a way to encourage a lifestyle that made sure you left the world in a better place/had a positive impact on your community and future generations."

"Human selfishness and ego has always been an issue, the only difference is that now there's so many of us and we're so advanced and interconnected that our selfishness is putting the future of all civilisations at risk."-LordUnderbite

It's Coming Down To Nothing More Than Apathy

"I noticed something the other day. I care about people, I don't want anyone to suffer, but I don't really think about caring about something until I actually see something that needs to be changed and cared about."

"I started wondering, if we cared before we noticed we needed to care, maybe we'd be better off. Like, instead of being complacent until we see something that is wrong, if we chose to actively care all the time, maybe we would notice more things and could prevent them. Idk. Just random thoughts that enter my mind."-themediumchunk

Oceanic Collapse

"Ocean ecosystems collapsing. The rate of which the populations of fish have decreased is alarming. With common fish like tuna decreasing by 97% in the past few decades (due to overfishing)."

"Coral reefs dying, fish getting extinct, it's all because of us and it'll come back to haunt us, and it already is."

"The oceans contain 85% of all life on earth, and yet we let these big companies throw 1 garbage truck full of trash into them every single minute. I imagine the oceans will be completely dead by 2070 or before, if it continues the way it is."-batyiuoaaa

Is it even possible to stop these anymore?

Just Becoming A Crab

"Everything seems to be turning into crabs with carcination. Maybe the crab people will have a better time with the whole 'industrial society' thing than we did."

"Gonna be hard for them since we've used most of the oil and stuff, but we might all die from climate disasters before the oil is all gone so good for crab people. Good luck guys."-Xx_heretic420_xX

Or: Every Facebook Argument

"The unwillingness to accept that we are all capable of being stupid at any moment in time, and then alienating people who make mistakes by insulting them."

"So I guess the real threat is a lack of patience and understanding."-Vahnish

Time For An Update

"Maybe not an apocalypse, but outdated education is a much bigger problem than people think."

"Everyone remembers school sucked, but nobody cares because they're behind it and it doesn't affect them anymore.. Meanwhile education is an enormously important thing, because it affects how everybody thinks."-juklwrochnowy

Oh, Bernays!

"'The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society.'"

"'Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. ...We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of.'"

"'This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society.'"

"'...In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons...who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.' ― Edward Bernays, Propaganda"

Did you even know some of these were considered a "threat"?

Boo Capitalism

"The biggest threat to humanity has always and will always be greed. There so much corruption in every system we have why because people need more money or power wanting more to feel powerful."

"No matter where ur at theirs always corruption somewhere in ur city, state, or country. Hell I could be wrong but honestly that how I see it everyone needs something. But it requires money"-MonkeySayWhat308

Now We Just Sound Like A Movie

"Humanity will go on even after the collapse of government in small self-governed groups."

"The biggest threat would be a catastrophic global mass extinction event probably caused by the weakening of Earth's magnetic field which allows radiation to penetrate the atmosphere and wreak havoc on DNA."

"Not to mention the numerous seismic shifts and increased activity which leads to more natural disasters etc, etc."-FriedShrekels

And Of Course, The One We All Expect

"Climate change. We're going to have massive problems in my life. I dread to think what kind of world my kids will be living in when they're grown up."

"Edit: Lots are asking why I would have kids. Rather than respond to each of them I'll answer you all here. Our kids weren't born yesterday. We decided to have kids about 6-7 years ago."

"Back then: Donald Trump was a reality TV host and 'businessman.' The US might flip between Democrat and Republican, but both were fairly centrist (by USA standards)."

"Jair Bolsanaro was climbing his way up to power and I'd never heard the name. He's now burning more rainforest than anyone ever before."

"Boris Johnson was the clown mayor of London and there was no way he'd get near actual power. The EU referendum was on the way, but there was no way the UK would vote leave."

"The latest IPCC report was that some warming would happen, but if we all took notice now we could limit warming to around 1-1.5 degrees."

"Eco diesels were a thing. I bought one based on the lower carbon emissions. Seriously, f**k you VW and any other car manufacturers who have done similar things. Everyone should watch the Dirty Money episode about the emissions scandal, it's on Netflix. The world isn't angry enough about this."

"Offshore wind had become cheaper per kW hour than nuclear. We were on the cusp of a green energy revolution. The world really has gone to sh*t in the last few years."-lakesandhills

There's no way around it, this is all pretty dim subject matter.

But these threats aren't going to abate on their own. The world isn't going to change overnight. It's up to us to step up into a leadership position.

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