I consider two points on the Current Situation Analysis to be existential threats to humankind: anthropogenic climate change, and “us vs. them mentality” (sometimes referred to as tribalism). If these threats continue as they currently exist, I believe they will lead to our extinction.
Anthropogenic climate change caused by and coupled with unsustainable global practices has led to an increasing threat of global catastrophe. Anthropogenic climate change has many data citing the severe impacts it has and will have on the planet’s life and systems. Some believe that societal collapse is inevitable (Jem Bendell – Deep Adaptation: A Map for Navigating Climate Tragedy), many believe collapse is likely (Paul and Anne Ehrlich – Can a collapse of global civilization be avoided?). Whether societal collapse would lead to extinction is debatable, but is not improbable.
“Us vs. them mentality” comes from the psychology of in-groups and out-groups. Evidence supports that people included in groups will support theirs over another, even when randomly placed in a group. Whether this mentality is from our nature or nurtured throughout our lives, it is seen across cultures and geography (Leonard Mlodinow – Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior.) If we act to support our group over another without credible reason, then current and past tragedies of genocide, war, and poverty become more explainable; when members of one group have reason to believe another group wants to harm them, isn’t as good as them, or there aren’t enough resources for both groups, they can do terrible things. Whether through their own beliefs or manipulation, in-group and out-group psychology can be extremely divisive.
With the power of modern weapons, it could only take a group of people or a single government to cause global catastrophe and societal breakdown.