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When will it come and how?

Photograph Alamy via Science Monitor
Photograph Alamy via Science Monitor

Good morning, Netizens...

Judging by the run of successful natural disaster films in the past few years, people are fascinated by the idea of the end of the world. In Danny Boyle's 28 Days Later, a virus ravaged the UK and beyond; an asteroid was the world-ending threat in Deep Impact and Armageddon; and climate change got a starring role in The Day After Tomorrow. Plus we have a plethora of atomic war movies, some of which are nearly infeasible. An exceptionally-strong magnetic storm, of course, could have deadly effects on our planet, as depicted in the picture.


In the real world, we do not know how or when the earth (or mankind) will meet its end. Pondering such stuff has largely been the business of the world's great religions, if not the cinemas. There is simply too much sin and debauchery according to most religious leaders. Or, as viewed from another perspective, we can take the view of Country Joe McDonald who observed of the War in Viet Nam, “Whoopee we're all gonna die!”.


There is always the possibility that a giant asteroid will collide with our planet. The massive tsunamis this would generate would end coastal cities around the globe; the huge clouds of dust would induce global winter that would, in turn, bring on world-wide famine. It happened once before to dinosaurs, did it not? Experts state that a meteorite larger than 1km wide will collide with Earth every few hundred thousand years and a one larger than 6km, which could cause mass extinction, will collide with Earth every hundred million years. We statistically we are overdue for a big one.


Of course, anytime you are talking about the end of mankind I firmly believe that mankind itself is probably its own worst enemy. If the vast world of man-made germicidal agents don't get us, the Bomb will. I have always said that in a world where there are thousands upon thousands of germicidal and atomic weapons, it demonstrates the folly of our world's leadership that we even allow such hellish devices to exist.


Could we survive long without money? Stop and think what would happen if our entire economic system were to suddenly fail. Money would suddenly be worth little to nothing. The credit systems around the world would simply cease functioning. There are reasoned men and women around the world who believe we are actually much closer to this taking place today than at any time in history.


So, just how close are we to extinction?



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Spokesman-Review readers blog about news and issues in Spokane written by Dave Laird.