So the Mayans didn’t get it quite right. Does that mean that we are off scot-free? Not in the least. Earth will see its own demise; it’s just a question of when and how. There has been a lot of hype about the nearing of the apocalypse in the past handful of years. The chances that God himself will come down and wipe out humanity is unlikely to say the least.
However, there are a good amount of other factors that could not only end life on planet earth, but could mean the end of Earth itself. Will this be next week? Or next year? No, it won’t. It most likely won’t be in our lifetime, but it will happen sooner or later. If the human race wishes to continue for the next million years or so, we need to keep these possibilities in mind in order to burn a fire under our own asses.
One of the most common fears is global warming. I am sure you all have your own opinions on whether or not global warming is a possibility or rather a governmental conspiracy. I am here to tell you that not only is it possible, but it is inevitable. This is something that most people won’t tell you: the earth’s temperature will rise with or without the help of humans and our garbage.
Technically, we are currently living in the Ice Age. An Ice Age has cold periods called “glacial” periods and warmer periods called “interglacial” periods. We are currently in an interglacial period. The current Ice Age has been around for about 30 million years, but will eventually come to an end.
Our carbon dioxide emissions are only speeding up the process. For those that don’t believe that the polar icecaps will melt, you are only fooling yourselves. The icecaps will melt and most of the world will be consumed by water. This is not a prediction; it is a fact.
There once used to be dinosaurs. Yet some 65 million years ago, a 10-km wide asteroid collided into Earth and killed each and every single one of them. Why do you all think that this is not a possibility today? Sixty-five million years ago is nothing compared to the lifetime of the world, which is roughly 4.5 billion years.
Why is it so unfathomable that another may strike the earth in the next 500 years, wiping out civilization? Sure, such a large asteroid has not been seen since, but a smaller one could also do the trick of ending life on planet earth.
“A one to two kilometer strike would be a global catastrophe,” says Duncan Steel, one of the world’s leading experts in asteroid threats. “It would totally obliterate an area about the size of a European country. But the main concern is not the impact itself, but the knock-on effects… We’d lose a few years of agriculture across the globe, which means a lot of people will die of starvation. The result would be the death of around 25 per cent of humankind.”
Kilometer-sized asteroids only hit earth once every few hundred thousand years, but when they strike it’s said they are completely unpredictable. It could be in a thousand years, it could be next week.
The human species has faced extinction in the past. Just 70,000 years ago, our numbers were reduced to only a few thousand. Back on May 18 1980, Mount St Helens in Washington State exploded, lifting more than a cubic kilometer of rock, ash and scorching hot magma into the atmosphere. It left a crater more than 2 kilometers wide in its wake and killed 57 people.
This was nothing compared to the volcano that almost wiped out the human race. The eruption at lake Toba in Indonesia went off and ejected over 2,800 cubic kilometers of the material; that is almost 3,000 times what Mount St. Helens managed to spew out. The crater that was left was 30km wide and 100km long.
“It is more likely that the Earth will next experience a super-eruption than an impact from a large meteorite greater than one kilometer in diameter,” says Stephen Self, geologist at the Open University in Britain.
“The likelihood of another super-eruption is about 1 in 200 over the next 1,000 years,” says volcanologist at the U.S. Geological Survey, Jacob Lowenstern. One such supervolcano happens to be in the Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. The ash that would be thrust into our skies would impact agriculture on earth for near a decade.
However, the two most prominent threats of all are that of a pandemic and that of nuclear war. Throughout the 1900s, the flu itself has taken the lives of over 100 million people — that’s more than both World Wars combined. The flu is not the only disease that could significantly affect the longevity of our lives on Earth. Viruses and diseases mutate, becoming stronger and deadlier over time.
It is not wise to overlook chemical warfare as a possibility either. However, the most likely possibility is nuclear war — especially in the times that we are in now. North Korea may just be dumb enough to destroy the whole world. No matter what the calamity, humans cannot live on earth forever.
If a natural disaster won’t occur, then keep in mind that the sun will eventually grow so large that it will consume the planet. If the human race is to continue living, it must look for other places to inhabit. Christopher Hawkins strongly recommends continuing space exploration and finding a way to start colonies on other planets in the next 1,000 years. If you won’t take it from me, take it from a genius.
Paul Hudson | Elite.