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Doomsday Chix

This is an impact simulation of Chicxulub asteroid

I don’t worry about natural disasters destroying humanity and here’s why:

  1. There are really big asteroids striking Earth occasionally like the one at Chicxulub which killed off the dinosaurs, but these are very rare. That one was 65 million years ago. There was an even longer period before the previous mass extinction, so with a human life expectancy of about 65 years there is a rate of about one in a million that a cosmic calamity will even have a chance to bring about our demise. Furthermore, we humans are much more resourceful than the other beasts and could retire to shelters for months or even decades if given a little time to prepare. Since some beasts did survive the previous extinctions it means that humans could have easily survived, at least as a species. There is an ongoing survey of the sky by the Spaceguard Foundation which is 80% complete looking for giant impactors, and there have been none found which are a threat in the next one hundred years. With another few years of searching they will be able to say with 99% accuracy there are no threats for a thousand years. And if is something found there are means for guiding the impactor away from collision given enough time. If nothing better is found it could be blasted apart with an H-bomb, and we could probably cope with any of the fragments that still happened to be coming our way with a second blast.
  2. There are the possibility of comets hitting Earth, like the Tunguska event, every hundred years or so, made up of cometary debris, and they might destroy a city size area, but probably no more. They might cause an earthquake, and tsunami, but it is unlikely to be even as big as the December 26, 2004 one in Sumatra. Even a comet one hundred times bigger than Tunguska would be no threat to humanities survival. Some comets come in quite fast directly from deep space, and could hit us directly quite hard but with far less than one per century coming within a million miles of Earth the chance of being hit is vanishingly small.
  3. There are all sorts of powerful things that happen out in the heavens, supernovas, gamma ray bursters, pulsars, microblazars, poisonous gas clouds, and other strange things. It is not that it is impossible for such things to destroy life on Earth it is just that these events are so rare astronomically, and generally so very far away that they probably won’t be a threat even once in the entire geological life of the Earth.
  4. The sun exploding is a problem, but you are going to have to wait for billions of years for that event. It is not totally impossible for the sun to do something temporarily unexpected, greater than usual fluctuations or its normal breathing pattern might vary a bit more than usual but it is unlikely that these are a major threat to humanities survival.
  5. The scientific experiments at CERN are exploring incredibly powerful phenomena, but it is at a submicroscopic scale, and of itself won’t be a problem. However, what they discover might become a problem because they might find a way to make even more potent weapons than H-bombs. That is unlikely, and it is unnecessary as the bombs are potent enough already, and a new variety of one probably wouldn’t change the balance of weapons terror by much. Where the real danger lies in this particular type of research is in the possibility of discovering a really cheap way to make an A-bomb or perhaps a way to refine explosive materials out of existing materials cheaply. For example, a method of setting off chemical explosives with some particular, and unexpected frequency of light radiation inside of a reflective can.
  6. Of course the Earth and even the Universe will eventually die, and there is no reason to worry about these events because they are incredibly far off in human terms. Furthermore, you can’t do anything what so ever to change those one iota, and one shouldn’t concern themselves overmuch with things which you can’t have any modifying input in.
  7. The 15 potential Homeland Security Disasters were discussed on May 1, 2008, and found not to be a threat to humanities survival. The worst of these disasters being a natural disaster like a bad pandemic flu. The other disasters were more local in their effects.
  8. The real threats to human survival continue to be a total thermonuclear war precipitated by error or simply by the accumulation of stresses which trigger a war which goes really bad. The ultimate driving stress is excess population over stressing the carrying capacity of the resource base both in providing and cleaning up after human exploitations.