Climate Change And Terrorism Seen As Primary Threats Worldwide

Climate change is second on the list, just behind terrorism. Justin Vldamo/Flickr; CC BY 2.0

It’s worth pointing out that, at least in most countries around the world – especially places like Japan, the UK and the US – the actual risk of being a victim of a terrorist attack is extremely low. In fact, in America, you’re more likely to be killed by almost anything else. The risk from terrorism is one-in-5 million, magnitudes lower than the risk of being killed by a firearm, a traffic accident or a heart attack.

Climate change is the most genuinely threatening inclusion on that list. It’s the problem that will make everything worse. It will trigger new conflicts, deadly droughts and famines, sink entire cities, and create climate refugees all over the planet, from the Middle East and South Asia to America’s own shores.

Air pollution – something inextricably linked to climate change – kills tens of millions of people every single year, more than anything else on that list.


As aforementioned, poorer people are disproportionately affected, but wealth cannot save you from the exacerbated sea level rise, nor can it effectively shield you from an impending economic collapse.

Make no mistake, it’s the crisis everyone should be worried about, so its high ranking in this survey comes as somewhat or a relief, in the sense that – for once – perception and reality align, to a degree.

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