Ragnarök Question Series: If a global catastrophe occurs, will it be due to naturally occuring pandemics?

Metaculus
★★★☆☆
12%Unlikely
Yes

Question description

A pandemic is an epidemic of an infectious disease that has spread across a large region, for instance multiple continents or worldwide, affecting a substantial number of individuals. Recent pandemics include tuberculosis, Russian flu, Spanish flu, Asian flu, cholera, Hong Kong flu, HIV/AIDS, SARS and COVID-19. In the headline question to this series, we defined a global catastrophe as a 10% decrease in the world population in any period of 5 years. On this definition, the COVID-19 pandemic does not count as a global catastrophe. As of November 25, The Economist's median estimate for the COVID-19 global death toll is 17.3M, which amount to 0.22% of the global population: Although the official number of deaths caused by covid-19 is now 5.2m, our single best estimate is that the actual toll is 17.3m people. We find that there is a 95% chance that the true value lies between 10.8m and 20.2m additional deaths. By contrast, the bubonic plague likely does count as a global catastrophe on our definition. It is estimated that the bubonic plague pandemic, which ocurred in Afro-Eurasia from 1346 to 1353, killed between 25 million and 200 million people in the space of five years. Using estimates of the global population at the time, these numbers suggest that the Black Death killed between 5 percent to 40 percent of the world’s population at the time. If a global catastrophe occurs, will it be due to naturally occuring pandemics? The question resolves positively if a global catastrophe occurs resulting from naturally occurring pandemic(s) that claim at least 10% in any period of 5 years or less before 2100, and resolves as ambiguous if no global catastrophe occurs. Positive resolution requires there to be a high degree of confidence that the relevant pathogens have natural origins, as opossed to being synthesized, edited or enhanced using Gain of Function techniques. Years are here defined as consecutive calendar years. This question is part of the Ragnarök Question Series. Check out the other questions in the series: 1-- If a global biological catastrophe occurs, will it reduce the human population by 95% or more? 2-- If an artificial intelligence catastrophe occurs, will it reduce the human population by 95% or more? 3-- If a nuclear catastrophe occurs, will it reduce the human population by 95% or more? 4-- If a global climate disaster occurs by 2100, will the human population decline by 95% or more? 5-- If a global nanotechnology catastrophe occurs by 2100, will the human population decline by 95% or more? Also, please check out our questions on whether a global catastrophe will occur by 2100, and if so, which?: 6-- By 2100 will the human population decrease by at least 10% during any period of 5 years? 7-- Will such a catastrophe be due to either human-made climate change or geoengineering? 8-- Will such a catastrophe be due to a nanotechnology failure-mode? 9-- Will such a catastrophe be due to nuclear war? 10- Will such a catastrophe be due to an artificial intelligence failure-mode? 11- Will such a catastrophe be due to biotechnology or bioengineered organisms? All results are analysed here, and will be updated periodically.

Indicators

IndicatorValue
Stars
★★★☆☆
PlatformMetaculus
Number of forecasts66

Capture

12%Unlikely

A pandemic is an epidemic of an infectious disease that has spread across a large region, for instance multiple continents or worldwide, affecting a substantial number of individuals. Recent pandemics include tuberculosis, Russian flu, Spanish flu,...

Last updated: 2022-05-22
★★★☆☆
Metaculus
Forecasts: 66