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  • Writer's pictureArielle Kouyoumdjian

Doomsday Is Today

I recently read a New York Times article titled, Inside the White-Hot Center of A.I. Doomerism. The article followed a tech firm’s quest to combat the rise of nefarious artificial intelligence.

It was just one of many articles in the rogue-robot canon promulgated by the media.

Last year, a chatty little bot introduced itself to internet users. ChatGPT’s supposedly artificial, but unnervingly realistic intelligence spun the world wide web into a sticky network of doomerism and panic. Inevitably, webs catch bugs–and when the public came face-to-face with some creepy-crawlies in Chat GPT’s code, we were awfully squeamish. Techies deemed A.I. an existential threat to humanity–on a par with “pandemics and nuclear war.”

What about the mass extinction (some would go so far as to say apocalypse) happening right now?

Every day, up to 150 species are lost. Glaciers are wilting into the seas that are swallowing the shores that are clobbered by storms that destroy the cities of citizens sagging under hellish hot spells.

Canada’s still on fire, but who’s talking about climate doomerism?

Last week, only 23 New York Times articles focused on wildfires. 52 articles discussed A.I.

I work at a summer camp for kids experiencing housing insecurity, and we can’t play outside. By noon, the 94° air feels like boiled glue. Intensifying heat waves disproportionately impact lower income districts. These regions lack shady greenspaces, making them several degrees warmer than wealthier counterparts.

We try to play tag early, before our shoes melt off our feet, but smoke is a step ahead of the heat. Excess heat and a dearth of pollution-absorbing trees mean low-income districts fare worse when air quality stinks. Climate change exacerbates the inequity.

A.I, however, is a privileged problem, affecting those with access to tech and WiFi.

The article features Anthropic, a firm

that’s raised over $1 billion to combat A.I.

Where’s that $$ when it comes to the climate crisis?

The “white-hot center” of climate doomerism is just next door. It’s burning everything in its wake. You want to save the world? Doomsday is today! It’s white-hot out there, and the future’s hazy.

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