Apocalypses

Discussion in 'Earth Science' started by draqon, Feb 15, 2006.

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Which apocalypse/end of our civilization/Earth is most likely?

  1. Nuclear War

    20.8%
  2. Biochemical War

    5.7%
  3. Chemical War

    1.9%
  4. Terrorism/bloodshed (everyone dies)

    1.9%
  5. GreenHouse effect (Venus scenario)

    18.9%
  6. Meteor/comet/body strikes

    15.1%
  7. Aliens Invasion

    3.8%
  8. Peace all throughout...there is no apocalypse

    7.5%
  9. Genetic extermination

    1.9%
  10. One of people's universal engineering concepts fail

    5.7%
  11. Ice Age...

    3.8%
  12. Other

    37.7%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. RAW2000 suburban Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    151
    hum... what about a slow apocalypse containing all of the above (execpt peace and harmony.) I think we Humans are quit a sturdy bunch at worst so it'll take more than one of those to take us down, the dinosaurs were pussies.
     
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  3. Golgo 13 The Professional Registered Senior Member

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    102
    It's because there's no precedent for it. We've been killing each other in droves and developing weapons in which to facilitate the process since the dawn of our species. That hasn't changed and likely never will.

    You want to know how far along the "Peace/No Apocalypse" movement has come along? We're 45 minutes from total oblivion via. nuclear holocaust at any given moment.
     
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  5. draqon Banned Banned

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    35,006
    ...so what?...if we got what it takes to destroy ourselves doesnt mean it will happen.
     
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  7. usp8riot Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    381
    I think the Messiah will come soon and there will be a holy war thereafter. So sad. Such a blessed creation to wind up exterminating its own self.
     
  8. Slacker47 Paint it Black Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    667
    Zombie Apocalypse by Mortician, good shit

    hmm, i dont know what will happen. I voted for Tech Failure. I thjink it will be an accident. I definately want to be alive when it happens.
     
  9. certified psycho Beware of the Shockie Monkey Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,943
    It should be Nuke war by default. Turn on CNN and its topic on the Middle East.
     
  10. Xylene Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,398
    I could argue that if Humanity survived the 20th Century, they should be able to survive anything--but who knows. The term survival covers a lot of ground. Living out the rest of your life hiding in a cave or skulking around in the bush, with all of the world's cities obliterated--now I wouldn't call that worth living for. However, if the most pesimistic of the doomsayers are right about global warming, we could see that by the end of this century. By the way, I have voted.

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  11. Poincare's Stepchild Inside a Klein bottle. Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    231
    I vote for...the war between Giants and Gods begins...Ragnarok!

    Really, though...humans are pretty good weeds. They can take a lot and still come back. Of all the traits that make a very successful weed, the only one we lack is a high birth rate. Humans are pretty tough.

    (Though not as tough as cockroaches.)

    Oh, my real vote was...big rock go smash. Don't know if it would wipe us out, but it would sure mess things up.
     
  12. Poincare's Stepchild Inside a Klein bottle. Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    231
  13. Dinosaur Rational Skeptic Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,592
    I have hopes that our civilization will survive. If it does go down the drain, I expect it to be due to over population causing revolutions and anarchy.

    Europe got through the Dark Ages and ended up with civilization and technology surpassing the Roman, Greek, & Middle Eastern empires.
     
  14. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    23,198
    At present time, "other" is leading with 36% of votes. The "big rock" hit and "nuclear war" are close seconds, but the later is not likely to kill all and the former is very improbable if the "big rock" is big enough to kill all (May not even be any of those left and even if there are any, the Earth is quite small target compared to some other planets.)

    Perhaps much more probable than "big rock" hit is the passing by the solar system of a small black hole (say 1 to 4 solar masses). Black holes in this range are more numerous than all the stars that have every existed!

    Perhaps one passed by the solar system in late 1920s and was responsible for the perturbation of Neptune observed back then. (That perturbation lead to the search, which discovered Pluto, and until about 1950, Pluto was believed to be the cause of the perturbation of Neptune. - The mass of Pluto was thought to be several times greater than Earth also until then as that much mass is required to make the observed perturbation of Neptune. Now Pluto is known to be smaller than the moon. Which leaves few alternatives, except a passing small black hole to explain the perturbation. Pluto itself was unknown in late 1920's. Perhaps it had an orbit in the ecliptic, like all other planets, and was given its current inclined orbit by the passing gravitational mass.)

    The solar system is a much bigger target to "hit" than the Earth. The “hit” would be a gravitational impulse changing the orbits of all the planets, including Earth. Only a very slight change in Earth's orbit can either boil the oceans or cover Earth with deep layer of ice. - More on the later see Dark Visitor - read for free - at web site under my name.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 5, 2006
  15. Dinosaur Rational Skeptic Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,592
    A nuclear war would be disasterous, but not the end of our civilization. During the cold war, I was working for a group that planned for WW3. After Stalin died, the intelligence community no longer feared the USSR. There was a fear that he was insane and might start WW3. It was generally believed that the other leaders were rational enough not to want to start WW3 because the USA would come out way ahead.

    Our assessment of WW3 was that 50 to 100 of the largest cities on each side would be destroyed. This would result in the USSR being about a 10th peasant culture without enough technology to get back to the 20th century for at least 100 years.

    Almost every library, machine tool, engineer, teacher, et cetera was in or near the larger cities. Their paved highways and railroads all went through major cities. Hardly anyone had a car or truck except those in major cities. Their small towns had very few hardware stroes, let alone machine tools or small businesses.

    In the USA, every small town has a decent library, a hardware store, some mahcine tools used by hobyists. We have hundreds (maybe over a thousand) small colleges in places like Grinnell, Iowa with libraries, a teaching staff, machine shops, et cetera. We have small manufacturing businesses in tiny towns like Bethayres, PA.

    Almost everybody in small towns and rual areas owns a car or a truck. You can drive from coast to coast in the USA on paved secondary raods without passing nerar a major city. We have ham radio operators and small radio broadcasting stations in many small towns.

    The USA could have transportation, knowledgable people, machine tools, libraries, and enough infrastructure to stay in the 20th century.

    Nuclear war would be devestating, but not the end of the USA. There are other countries that would survive without much ddamage. Who would hit Switzerland or Australia with nuclear weapons?
     
  16. duendy Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    6,585
    Yip!!!
     
  17. draqon Banned Banned

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    lol... none of the sides will survive in nuclear war...neither Russia nor USA...Russia's nuclear weapons are much more destructive then the US ones...Russia also can stop the US nuclear missile from ever reaching the country, its got its technology. So this destruction of large cities you speak of will not happen simply because the nuclear rockets will never destroy those cities because they are heavely guarded. Now...whats better a heavely guarded area that if hit has more chance of destruction or an area that is more prone to attack but if hit has more chance of reestablishing itself? A parallel to this situation is an immune system... Would you rather have a very strong immune system that will not let the disease to act up but if it does get to act up your condition will sereasly worthen or would you chose a so-so immune system that will allow diseases to act up but your condition will not worthen as much? Believe me...the situations are equal...there is no need to test...which side wins...
     
  18. Dinosaur Rational Skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    4,592
    Dragon: You over rate both the destructiveness of nuclear weapons and the defenses against them.
     
  19. Sci-Phenomena Reality is in the Minds Eye Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    869
    I chose other, my end of the world scenario involves mankind using "space-age techonology."
     
  20. draqon Banned Banned

    Messages:
    35,006
    Being a citizen of two countries that have enough nuclear weapons to destroy the world many times over...emmm....how exactly do I overrate the nuclear situation?

    And manmadesaucer: the space-age technology relates to universal engineering concepts gone wrong and not other.
     
  21. Clockwood You Forgot Poland Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,467
    Eh... nukes certainly have the potential to end civilization, but not the world or even our own species.
     
  22. Dinosaur Rational Skeptic Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,592
    Dagon: Since you seem to think that there are enough nuclear weapons to destroy the world many times over, how about providing some data?

    How many nuclear weapons are in the combined USA & Russian arsenals?

    Suppose a 5 megaton weapon were dropped on New York city. How far from ground zero would you expect to find survivors and intact building?
     
  23. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    23,198
    Back when fall-out shelters were all the rage and Russian tested a 50 MT bomb, I did some analysis, the results of which were published in the Baltimore Sun. On a clear fall day, with the optimum altitude air burst over Washington DC, that bomb would start dark paper and dry brown leaves burning all over Baltimore. (I was a physics graduate student at JHU in Baltimore at the time and very opposed to the nonsense that the US government* was encouraging about how we could "win" an atomic war, but the citizens need to be "prepared" - stocking public basements with crackers etc.)

    If your bomb is only 5MT then with the same (actually slightly lower would be optimum, so the firestorm range would be slightly greater than I will first give here.) atmospheric, fall conditions, the flux would be the same at 31.6% of the distance of the 50MT bomb. Let us call it 32% to correct for the lower optimum altitude. I do not recall the distance between Balt. & DC, but lets say it is 50 miles. Then in a 16 mile radius, so many fires would be started that the ground level air at 20 miles from ground zero would be drawn towards ground zero and fan the flames. From about, 10 miles to ground zero there would be little oxygen and lots of toxic fumes at ground level. Few inside a 10-mile radius circle would survive.

    For more information, if you can still find it, read the book Fire and the air war . I no longer remember the author, but it tells the story of how a few mathematicians in a small, unheated room in London, with RAF guards at the door, were calculating the optimum mix of bomb types to use in the raid on Dresden. (Not too many "fire starters" and not too many "building breakers", just the right amount of "fire starter" with hooks to catch on gutters as they slid down roofs, etc.) Coal was rationed and they had to do their probability analysis calculations in a cold room. After a few weeks of working, they went on "strike" for a bucket of coal, claiming that their "frozen" fingers could not hold their pencils. The dispute reach all the way up to Churchill's main aid, who said give them their dam bucket of coal. I found it very ironic that the work they were doing in the cold room would cause many in Dresden a few weeks later to die in bomb shelters and basements, from lack of air to breath and that their bodies would be warmed to such a temperature, by the fires burning over their "oven shelters" for several days, that the fat in them would liquefy and leave a layer, later found congealed on the floor of some shelters several cm thick. Most bodies were still sitting on the benches. They had died from the atmosphere they inhalled, not the heat.

    I mention this in some of my letters to the Baltimore Sun, pointedly asking if the people building their shelters were planning to take tanks of oxygen for several days into their fall-out shelters, as well as crackers!
    ------------------------------------------------------
    *The government of course knew that urban fall-out shelters would not protect the city's population. It was all part of an effort to show that the US would use atomic weapons if it came to that against the USSR. Often what the government is telling you is lies, that they want you to believe for some hidden reason. In this case, I knew too much physics for them to trick me. Little or nothing has changed, but perhaps with GWB, it is now a little worse and the average citizen is more ignorant.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 13, 2006

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