posted on Aug, 17 2008 @ 03:56 AM
So, I watch a lot of the research, educational and science channels (history/international, discovery, science, animal planet, natgeo, etc). While I
do find a lot of these channels to have quality programming, there are times when I find what they report to be abismal.
As I type, History is airing a show that is forecasting the various ways that life on the planet may grind to a halt. Of course, they bring on their
experts (including Stephen Hawkings), journalists and others to validate these theories, the fallout and for how long. As well, there is a generous
placing of blame, where it is considered appropriate.
So, here is the list in order that they came up with:
7) Black Hole: either we create a black hole trying to find out the secrets of the universe or one is created near enough that it consumes the life in
6) AI: artificial intelligence similar to that laid out in the Terminator movie series could gain enough self awareness and wipe out the human race
5) Super Volcano: massive eruptions blotting out the sky and scorching the landscape would wipe out all of humanity in months
4) Asteroid: just like the one that crashed millions of years ago and ended the dinosaurs, if hit by another, it would blot out the sun and extinct
all life for 1000 years
3) Nuclear War: whether on purpose or by accident, one nuke launch will garner an instant retaliation and if just 20 total nukes detonate even in the
confines of one or two countries, the fallout would spread quickly around the globe and make life impossible for years
2) Mass Disease: diseases such as Ebola could lie dormant in a single person, then with a single cough in a crowded area, be spread to tens, then
hundreds, then thousands, then millions, until it became a global pandemic, leaving the survivors so distrusting and reclusive that world production
would grind to a halt
And the number 1 theory that is still being harped on as the greatest threat above all threats to life on the planet is of course....wait for
1) Global Warming: mankind's relentless corruption of the atmosphere with excessive amount of carbon emissions into the atmosphere at an ever growing
rate have caused a greenhouse effect that is steadily trapping more heat on the planet, causing the glaciers to melt at an alarming rate as well as
the warm seasons to last longer and hotter than ever before
Personally, I have read data that goes both ways on GW and reserve my own right to vote it lower in the stack.
If I had to rate these, I would put them:
7) Black Hole
4) Super Volcano
3) Global Warming
1) Nuclear War
I think that mankind is going to be that which undoes life in a direct, not indirect, way. I think that it will come to an end due to haphazard
emotional paranoia of man rather than anything that could come from a more natural cause.
I have read some and watched some on the LHC and I understand that there are some concerns about what may come from the final ignition of this device.
While it may be devastating, I dont think it will cause any damage on scale of an End of Life event.
While cosmic bodies seem to be under constant supervision and considered always a threat, the vastness of just our own solar system is enough to put
heavy odds against one of enough magnitude hitting and ending our planet.
No matter the efforts of the sci-fi writers to warn of the dangers of advancing AI to the point of self-awareness, mankind still pushes the envelope
to make smarter, more self efficient and evolving technology. Robotics, hyper processing, self learning programming, and more can only go so far
without human interaction. Since the human body is the most sophisticated machine ever conceived and it too needs constant maintenance to survive, I
dont see machine technology advancing beyond the need for constant supervision either.
All I really know about volcanoes is that they react to the slipping of the techtonic plates creating updrafting holes in the earth were the super
heated magma pockets below the crust can escape. Volcanic activity is as old as the planet itself and only 5 times in the history of the planet has a
super volcano capable of ending all life on the planet even been documented.
Global warming is still a current sore spot for many as there are just as many believers as there are nons. While I do favor the fact that warmer
weather seems to be lasting a bit longer than normal in many places, I dont prescribe to the facts of why like so many others. I will leave this one
as it is in my list and let you make your own decisions. It has been discussed very thoroughly here at ATS.
Disease rates fairly high as a major life ending factor. As a population control, it would be quite easy to spread in secret and still be able to
moderately control the amount of destruction that is done. While I dont see this as the final straw to end all of life, I think it would be a useful
tool to put massive controls on all living humanity through fear, drugs, and paranoia. It has already been a well researched practice, even if it has
often happened by chance.
Topping my list of ways that it will all end is with what Dubyah calls Nu-queue-lar war. If just two countries went at it, head to head, bomb to
bomb, everything would end in just hours, perhaps just over a day. If Russia and the US got into enough of a conflict, all it would take is for one
missle to leave one silo bound for one target. The initial target would enjoy its last 15 minutes on the planet while the rest of each country may
get as much as an hour. The fallout would first polarize the world, just hours, or a day before the planet was covered with radioactive debris. The
world would be uninhabitable for years while the radiation cooled down. If a handful of people were in fact able to get to adequate fallout shelter
in time, the resulting world would be a barren, alien, charred, lifeless place and humanity would spend years in a modified stone age.
This one makes the top of my list for just one reason. I feel it is the most probable of all of the listed options. This type of destruction is
solely dependant on just a few isolated individuals, human beings who experience emotions, fear, paranoia and are trained to follow the last given
order to the letter blindly and without question, to make that decision for us all.
How would you rank them?