This article argues that neo-classical economics places an emphasis on short-term gain over precaution, and in doing so, places the lives of a myriad of individual humans—and even the species itself—at risk. Given the foreseeable risks, if humanity wants to survive longer, we need to rethink our economic principles and priorities and the relationship between economics and law.

I begin with a most brief overview of the various sources of risk to the human species and its life support system. Then I will move on to look at how neo-classical economics interacts with significant risk.