Global Existential Threat Advisory System (GETAS)
Humanity on planet Earth requires a Global Existential Threat Advisory System (GETAS) to provide a comprehensive and effective means to disseminate information regarding the existential threats to global, continental, regional, national, and local human populations. Present system provides warnings in the form of a set of graduated “Threat Conditions” that increase as the (assessment of the) risk of the threat increases. At each Threat Condition, divisions and agencies of the Lifeboat Foundation are to implement a corresponding set of “Protective Measures” to further reduce vulnerability or increase response capability during a period of heightened alert.
This system is intended to create a common vocabulary, context, and structure for an ongoing international, global discussion about the nature of the threats that confront our species on planet Earth and the appropriate measures that should be taken in response. It seeks to inform and facilitate decisions appropriate to different levels of societal organization and to private citizens at home and at work.
The Lifeboat Foundation Global Existential Threat Advisory System (GETAS) shall be binding on the divisions and agencies of the Lifeboat Foundation. To other levels of societal organization and the private sector, it is voluntary. There are five Threat Conditions, each identified by a description and corresponding color. From lowest to highest, the levels and colors are:
- LOW = GREEN
- HIGH = ORANGE
- GUARDED = BLUE
- SEVERE = RED
- ELEVATED = YELLOW
- EMERGENCY ACTION = FLASHING RED
The higher the Threat Condition, the greater the risk of an existential catastrophe to occur. Risk includes both the probability of an existential catastrophe occurring and its potential gravity. Threat Conditions shall be assigned by the LF Executive Director in consultation with the LF Scientific Advisory Board. Except in exigent circumstances, the LF Executive Director shall seek the views of the appropriate Scientific Advisory Board members, and other parties as appropriate, on the Threat Condition to be assigned. Threat Conditions may be assigned for the entire planet, or they may be set for a particular geographic area or industrial sector. Assigned Threat Conditions shall be reviewed at regular intervals to determine whether adjustments are warranted.
The assignment of a Threat Condition shall prompt the implementation of an appropriate set of Protective Measures. Protective Measures are the specific steps an organization or division, department or agency of an organization shall take to reduce its vulnerability or increase its ability to respond during a period of heightened alert. The authority to craft and implement Protective Measures rests with the LF Scientific Advisory Board. It is recognized that departments and agencies may have several preplanned sets of responses to a particular Threat Condition to facilitate a rapid, appropriate, and tailored response. Department and agency heads are responsible for developing their own Protective Measures and other anti-catastrophe or self-protection and continuity plans, and resourcing, rehearsing, documenting, and maintaining these plans.
Likewise, they retain the authority to respond, as necessary, to risks, threats, incidents, or events at facilities within the specific jurisdiction of their department or agency, and, as authorized by law, to direct agencies and industries to implement their own Protective Measures. They shall continue to be responsible for taking all appropriate proactive steps to reduce the vulnerability of their personnel and facilities to existential catastrophes. LF department and agency heads shall submit an annual written report to the LF Executive Director, describing the steps they have taken to develop and implement appropriate Protective Measures for each Threat Condition. Presidents, governors, mayors, and the leaders of other organizations are encouraged to conduct a similar review of their organizations Protective Measures.
The decision whether to publicly announce Threat Conditions shall be made on a case-by-case basis by the LF Executive Director in consultation with the LF Scientific Advisory Board. Every effort shall be made to share as much information regarding the threat as possible, consistent with the safety of the planet. The LF Executive Director shall ensure, consistent with the safety of the planet, that supra-national, national, state and local government officials and law enforcement authorities are provided the most relevant and timely information. The LF Executive Director shall be responsible for identifying any other information developed in the threat assessment process that would be useful to supra-national, national, state and local officials and others and conveying it to them as permitted consistent with the constraints of classification. The LF Executive Director shall establish a process and a system for conveying relevant information to supra-national, national, state and local government officials, law enforcement authorities, and the private sector expeditiously.
The LF Executive Director shall ensure that a continuous and timely flow of integrated threat assessments and reports is provided to the Secretary-General of the U.N., Presidents of countries, Vice Presidents, Assistants to Presidents and Chiefs of Staff, the Assistants to the President for Homeland Security, and the Assistants to the President for National Security Affairs. Whenever possible and practicable, these integrated threat assessments and reports shall be reviewed and commented upon by the wider international interagency community.
A decision on which Threat Condition to assign shall integrate a variety of considerations. This integration will rely on qualitative assessment, not quantitative calculation. Higher Threat Conditions indicate greater risk of an existential catastrophe, with risk including both probability and gravity. Despite best efforts, there can be no guarantee that, at any given Threat Condition, an existential catastrophe will not occur. An initial and important factor is the quality of the threat information itself. The evaluation of this threat information shall include, but not be limited to, the following factors:
- To what degree is the threat information credible?
- To what degree is the threat information corroborated?
- To what degree is the threat specific and/or imminent?
- How grave are the potential consequences of the threat?
Threat Conditions and Associated Protective Measures
The world has changed since the exponentially accelerating emergence of the Nano-Bio-Info-Cogno technology convergence. We remain a planet at risk to existential catastrophes and will remain at risk for the foreseeable future. At all Threat Conditions, we must remain vigilant, prepared, and ready to deter existential catastrophes. The following Threat Conditions each represent an increasing risk of existential catastrophes. Beneath each Threat Condition are some suggested Protective Measures, recognizing that the heads of departments and agencies are responsible for developing and implementing appropriate agency-specific Protective Measures.
LOW condition (GREEN)
This condition is declared when there is a low risk of existential catastrophes. LF departments and agencies should consider the following general measures in addition to the agency-specific Protective Measures they develop and implement:
- Refining and exercising as appropriate preplanned Protective Measures;
- Ensuring personnel receive proper training on the LF Global Existential Threat Advisory System and specific preplanned department or agency Protective Measures; and
- Institutionalizing a process to assure that all facilities and regulated sectors are regularly assessed for vulnerabilities to existential catastrophes, and all reasonable measures are taken to mitigate these vulnerabilities.
guarded condition (BLUE)
This condition is declared when there is a general risk of existential catastrophes. In addition to the Protective Measures taken in the previous Threat Condition, LF departments and agencies should consider the following general measures in addition to the agency-specific Protective Measures that they will develop and implement:
- Checking communications with designated emergency response or command locations;
- Reviewing and updating emergency response procedures; and
- Providing the public with any information that would strengthen its ability to act appropriately.
elevated condition (yellow)
An Elevated Condition is declared when there is a significant risk of existential catastrophes. In addition to the Protective Measures taken in the previous Threat Conditions, LF departments and agencies should consider the following general measures in addition to the Protective Measures that they will develop and implement:
- Increasing sousveillance of critical locations;
- Coordinating emergency plans as appropriate with nearby jurisdictions;
- Assessing whether the precise characteristics of the threat require the further refinement of preplanned Protective Measures;
- Implementing, as appropriate, contingency and emergency response plans; and
- Put LF space and bunker evacuees on a heightened state of readiness in terms of their ability to move to designated bunkers and space launch facilities.
High condition (orange)
A High Condition is declared when there is a high risk of existential catastrophes. In addition to the Protective Measures taken in the previous Threat Conditions, LF departments and agencies should consider the following general measures in addition to the agency-specific Protective Measures that they will develop and implement:
- Coordinating necessary security efforts with supra-national, national, state, and local law enforcement agencies or any kind of National Guard or other appropriate armed forces organizations;
- Taking additional precautions at public events and possibly considering alternative venues or even cancellation;
- Preparing to execute contingency procedures, such as moving to an alternate site or dispersing their workforce;
- Restricting threatened facility access to essential personnel only; and
- LF space and bunker evacuees are instructed to move to their designated bunkers and space launch facilities and to remain there in a state of vigilant standby.
severe condition (red)
A Severe Condition reflects a severe risk of existential catastrophes. Under most circumstances, the Protective Measures for a Severe Condition are not intended to be sustained for substantial periods of time. In addition to the Protective Measures in the previous Threat Conditions, LF departments and agencies also should consider the following general measures in addition to the agency-specific Protective Measures that they will develop and implement:
- Increasing or redirecting personnel to address critical emergency needs;
- Assigning emergency response personnel and pre-positioning and mobilizing specially trained teams or resources;
- Monitoring, redirecting, or constraining transportation systems;
- Closing public facilities; and
- Activate preparations for space arks and space settlements to receive LF evacuees from Earth.
emergency condition (flashing red)
An Emergency Action Condition reflects the actual occurrence of an existential catastrophe. LF departments and agencies are to execute the following general measures in addition to the agency-specific Protective Measures that they will develop and implement:
- Switch the LF bunkers to autonomous power and hermetically seal off the LF bunkers from the outside world;
- Launch the LF Space Lifeboats and move the LF evacuees to their designated space arks and space settlements; and
- Remotely shut down non-bunker LF Earthbound facilities.
Comment and Review Periods
The LF Executive Director, in consultation and coordination with the LF Scientific Advisory Board, shall, for 5 years from the date of this directive, seek the views of appropriate officials at all levels and of public interest groups and the private sector on the proposed LF Global Existential Threat Advisory System.
One hundred thirty-five days from the date of this directive the LF Executive Director, after consultation and coordination with the LF Scientific Advisory Board, and having considered the views received during the comment period, shall implement proposed refinements to the LF Global Existential Threat Advisory System.