What does it mean to have an existential crisis?

According to the World Health Organization, half the population of humans on the planet lack water for sanitation, and a third lack safe drinking water.  Surely, we can not exist without water.

The World Food Programme tells us 828 million people do not have enough food. The crisis has grown since 2020.  We are moving in the wrong direction. Certianly we do not exist without food.

The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists tells us the Nuclear War doomsday clock is 90 seconds from midnight, the closest to Armageddon that it has ever been since it was set to measure the risk in 1947. We will not exist after a nuclear war.

The Climate Clock ticks telling us we have six years and some days to save ourselves from climate catastrophe. But for many, in areas that use the least amount of carbon, the climate crisis is now.  The heating of the planet, the rising of sea levels, will make the earth uninhabitable for humans.

People need water, and food to exist. They need a world without war. They need climate sustainability. Yet, “tech leaders” including Elon Musk, tell us the existential threat we face today is due to AI?

Maybe they are afraid of what Artificial Intel will demand when we ask it to build a world where everyone has clean water, enough food, peace, and a sustainable climate. Solving those problems will indeed cause an existential crisis for billionaires like Musk.


Anne Winkler-Morey is a writer based in Minneapolis. You can access her Minneapolis Interview Project; one hundred life stories with a social justice lens, at turtleroad.org Her book, Allegiance to Winds and Waters: Bicycling the Political Divides of the United States, can be ordered here. You can read more about Winkler-Morey here. Email her at awmpedalstory.com