A list of all our profiles on global problems

This is a list of all the problem areas we’ve reviewed to date.

Our problem quiz filters the profiles based on a couple of crucial questions:

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You can also see a ranked list of all the problems.

  • Natural pandemics and new scientifically engineered pathogens could potentially kill millions or even billions of people. Biosecurity is more important...

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  • Climate change has the potential to produce catastrophic effects on the world. But is climate change the biggest problem in the world?

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  • Each year, 50 billion animals are raised and slaughtered in factory farms. Most experience extreme levels of suffering.

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  • Global priorities research seeks to use new methods to determine in which causes funding to improve the world can have the biggest impact, and make a convincing case about this to people in a position to redirect large amounts of money.

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  • Every year around ten million people in poorer countries die of illnesses that can be very cheaply prevented or managed, including malaria, HIV, tuberculosis and diarrhoea.

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  • Governments and other important institutions frequently have to make complex, high-stakes decisions based on the judgement calls of just a handful of people.

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  • Local laws often prohibit the construction of dense new housing, which drives up prices, especially in a few large high-wage urban areas. The increased prices transfer wealth from renters to landowners and push people away from centers of economic activity

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  • Nuclear weapons that are currently armed have the potential to kill hundreds of millions of people directly, and billions through subsequent effects on agriculture.

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  • A growing number of experts believe a revolution will occur during the 21st century through the invention of machines whose intelligence far surpasses ours.

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  • Effective altruism is about using evidence and reason to figure out how to benefit others as much as possible, and taking action on that basis.

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  • Smoking takes an enormous toll on human health - accounting for about 6% of all ill-health globally according to the best estimates. This is more than HIV and malaria combined. Despite this, smoking is on the rise in many developing countries as people become richer and can afford to buy cigarettes. There appears to be a range of policies which have been shown to reduce smoking rates, which are usually not applied in developing countries. The most natural ways to tackle the problem through your career include becoming a health policy expert, or advocacy through journalism, think tanks and politics. This is a particularly promising cause for people living in a developing country with high smoking rates.

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