A man watches a bushfire. Wildfires and other disasters will increase, a UN report predicts.

A man watches a bushfire. Wildfires and other disasters will increase, a UN report predicts. (Image credit: Robert Lang Photography via Getty Images)

A new United Nations report claims that the faulty perception of risk has set us on a spiral of self-destruction. Our future will involve an onslaught of daily disasters, according to the report.

The UN's Global Assessment Report shows that there will be doom in store for humanity due to a trio of thought mistakes: optimism, underestimation and invincibility.

By neglecting investment in disaster prevention efforts, while also failing to act with sufficient urgency on related issues like climate change, can cause disasters to become larger and more impactful than they would have been.

Elsworth said that these disasters include earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanoes, as well as climate- and weather-related disasters.


There are 10 signs that Earth's climate is off the rails.

350 to 500 medium- to large-scale disasters have occurred over the past two decades, according to the report. They predicted that the number of disasters will increase to over 500 a day by the year 2030.

The UN's deputy secretary-general said in a statement that the world needs to do more to incorporate disaster risk in how we live, build and invest.

Despite warnings and data that a pandemic was imminent, preparedness was inadequate and governance systems across the world struggled to pivot to a new reality, according to the authors. Exposure to other health risks, such as high levels of air pollution, unsafe housing or limited access to health services, were found to significantly affect fatality rates.

Extreme weather events are becoming more common due to human-made climate change. They said that policymakers should work to climate-proof development and investments. Costa Rica implemented a carbon tax in 1997 to help reverse deforestation, which works to reduce disaster risks and benefit the economy, according to the UN report authors.

Not everyone is impacted by disasters the same. The 20 countries with the highest risk of disasters had an average poverty rate of 34%.

The authors put together a three-action plan to help prevent this spiral of self-destruction. The authors wrote that humans need to stop undervaluing climate change risk, costs to ecosystems and the positive social benefits of risk reduction. The second action is to factor in how human minds make decisions about risk. Governments and financial systems need to work together to help people affected by disasters. They wrote that local leadership is a must during disasters. Local-level action is essential.

The time for action is now.

In Live Science, it was published.