Thursday, January 01, 2009

Last Days on Earth - 20/20

Last Days on Earth - 20/20
How smart are we as a civilization? Smart enough to control our destiny and avoid the cataclysms that may end life as we know it? For thousands of years, different religions have warned Earth about Armageddon and the final days. We are now living in an age where scientists are adding their voices and their alleged evidence in support of end-of-the-world possibilities. In this video 20/20 confronts us with the views of twenty top scientists as they take us on a journey to view the seven deadliest and most probable ends of humankind. Hurry, hurry, hurry! Step right up and place your bets then spin the wheel of doom. What's it gonna be, Folks?

7. Death of a Star: The collapse of a "near by" dying star could generate a gamma ray burst that will roasted us alive microwave-style with the power of a million trillion suns. And if the gamma rays don't get us then surely we will end up being sucked into the resulting black hole.

6. Intelligent Machines: Holy Terminator, Batman! Can the threat of a real life SkyNet attempting to annihilate mankind post Judgment Day really be more likely than extermination through being sucked into a dying star's black hole? I think not. We can always build a Killer Machine Killer... can't we?

5. Supervolcano: Mother Nature strikes back with the mother of all eruptions of a supervolcano like the one smoldering beneath Yellowstone national park and up to 39 others around the world. Again, we are already thirty million years overdue for one of these underground monsters to explode and Pompeii the whole Earth.

4. Asteroid: Even more probable is an Earth collision of a massive asteroid like the one that scientists theorize brought about the extinction of the dinosaurs. If that be the case then we will know the exact moment of our demise because of the super computers we are building and using that themselves are moving toward number six on our list of end of the world scenarios.

3. Nuclear War: "If the radiance of a thousand suns were to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendor of the mighty one." and "Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds." ~ J. Robert Oppenheimer quoting the Bhagavad Gita after the Trinity Test in New Mexico. With over twenty thousand nuclear warheads (plus more than 5000 warheads removed from the U.S. stockpiles that are supposed to be dismantled over the next 20 years... maybe) that measure over eighty thousand times the damage capability of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima we are getting closer to our more realistic demise probability.

2. Plague: Will it be the tiniest living creatures that takes us out? A virus or a bacteria? Natural or a man made bioweapon? It is getting easier and easier to cheaply create and disseminate a killer bug that could

1. Climate Change: Woo hoo! Global Warming and Al Gore win this one even in the face of the controversy that global warming may or may not even be real or "caused" by humans. However, the rising sea levels cannot be denied and we may see hundreds of millions of refugees and the inevitable wars, famines and disease that could wipe out billions of people and forever change life as we know it.

Happy New Year!


GeologyJoe said...

my favorite is #5.

Bonez said...

Duh! Supervolcanoes and GeologyJoe were made for each other, Dude. I have a hard time picking between annihilation by our robot overlords or a plague that wipes us all out in about three days ... excepting those who survive as shambling brain eating zombies.

GeologyJoe said...

Yeah the robot overlords seems more and more feasible everyday, which is why I am training my son to be like John Connor.

Bonez said...

I wouldn't doubt that, GeoJoe. I would follow John Connor to the grave as part of the fighting underground to liberate humanity from the murderous, soulless robotic horde. Damn dirty machines!