Massively Destructive Terrorism

Another growing threat also holds out the possibility of massive damage and loss of life in this century: religiously rooted terrorism. The scope of death and destruction sought by the perpetrators of this sort of terrorism is also something most people find difficult to envision. This chapter later discusses terrorism (a "malevolent" rather than a "malignant" problem such as climate change) because of a somewhat surprising confluence: the aspects of our energy systems that help create the risk of climate change also create vulnerabilities that terrorists bent on massive destruction are likely to target. We need to be alert to the possibility that although our current circumstances are doubly dangerous, this confluence could give us an opportunity to design a set of changes in our energy systems that will help us deal with both problems.

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