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Commentary | 15 November 2023

Ok, Doomer! The NEVER Podcast – The End of the World for Beginners

Image of Des Browne

Des Browne |Chair of the ELN, Vice Chairman of the NTI, Convener of the TLG and former UK Defence Secretary

Image of Marion Messmer

Marion Messmer |Senior Research Fellow, International Security Programme at Chatham House

Image of Alexey Gromyko

Alexey Gromyko |Director, Institute of Europe, Corresponding Member, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow

Biosecurity Climate change Emerging technologies NEVER Nuclear Weapons Podcasts WMDs Global Security NEVER

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Welcome to the first episode of the “Ok, Doomer!” podcast, with your hosts, the ELN’s Jane Kinninmont and Edan Simpson. This episode kicks off by introducing the series, and the broad topic of existential risk in the feature “What’s the Problem?” speaking to Adam Thomson, Director of ELN.

Edan’s panel discussion features the Rt. Hon. Lord Browne of Ladyton, Des Browne, and NEVER members Eva Siegmann and Arthur Duforest. They discuss what existential crises are, how they’re defined and how we recognise and classify them, and the impact of existential risks like nuclear war and climate change, whilst exploring interconnected solutions to these complex issues.

In “Turn Back The Clock” we revisit one of the tensest periods in the Cold War – the Cuban Missile Crisis. Jane speaks to Dr Marion Messmer, senior research fellow in the International Security Programme at Chatham House and also Alexey Gromyko, Director of the Institute of Europe of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IE RAS), who also happens to be the grandson of the former USSR’s foreign minister who was in office during the Cuban Missile Crisis. They dissect this critical historical event, putting the focus on the strategic “game of chess” between the superpowers, the initial successes of the Soviets in evading American detection, to the turning point brought about through careful diplomacy and mediated negotiation.

And as always, we’ll end with “The Debrief”, to make sense of everything we’ve covered in this packed first episode.

Listen now, and don’t forget to subscribe for future episodes. The next episode will focus on nuclear weapons and their role in the field of existential risk…

Ok, Doomer! – Podcast page

The opinions articulated above represent the views of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the position of the European Leadership Network or any of its members. The ELN’s aim is to encourage debates that will help develop Europe’s capacity to address the pressing foreign, defence, and security policy challenges of our time.