Friday, January 23, 2015


In case you had not noticed, the doomsday clock just moved from five minutes until midnight to three minutes before midnight of the apocalypse.  You can read the story here.  The full report is here.

 Humans Could Go Out With A Bang

 Or Exit In A Much Longer Drawn Out Whimper,xcitefun-global-warming-effect-5.jpg

Maybe A Pandemic

We Know That Ultimately This Will Happen

When discussions turn to "the end of life as we know it" I usually pitch in with something like "If it comes down to betting on humans or the earth, I will bet on the earth." Humans will kill themselves off before they kill off the planet.  Humans have been around here for an exceedingly short time since the beginning of life on this planet - approximately 150,000 out of the 3,600,000,000 years.  Many species have been around for 10, 100 or 1,000 times longer, while on the other hand millions of species have gone extinct.  My money is on humans being among the latter group - headed toward extinction.  So, how might we do that?

Nuclear - although there doesn't seem to be nearly as much emphasis on this possibility as during the Cold War, many folks still consider this a significant threat.  After all, who are you going to trust among the nuclear states?  Russia, India, Pakistan, North Korea - yeah, right!  There are still at least 10,000 nuclear devices out there, and while there has been a reduction in stockpiles, there has been a concomitant increase in the sophisticated technology of the devices.

Climate Change - it really doesn't matter if you think that humans are or are not a major contributor to climate change, the globe is getting warmer and likely will continue to do so.  The consequences are so wide-spread, from the oceans to the atmosphere, that it is hard to anticipate the impact, but one likely outcome would be widespread crop failures and then famine and disease.

Eco-Systems Destruction - I believe that this goes hand-in-hand with Climate Change.  Virtually everywhere humans live, they degrade the planet - and they degrade the planet even where they don't live.  From hunting and fishing species into extinction to dumping everything from fertilizer, drugs and trash in lakes and oceans to destroying rain forests to .....  You get the picture, humans are the ultimate invasive species.  The human species will collapse when ecosystems collapse. [Added Note:  See Dr. Norman Pace's comment regarding overpopulation causing ecosystem collapse].

Pandemics - just envision a mutant bacteria or virus that is 10 or 100 times as deadly as Ebola.  Or even a fairly simple mutation that would allow airborne transmission of something not particularly deadly into an agent that would spread quickly around the world.  Of course the first to succumb to such a pandemic would be the anti-vaxers, although they would be a drop in the bucket in a true pandemic.  One unlikely pandemic would be small-pox.  Those of us who have been immunized are slowly dying off, leaving nearly the entire population of the planet susceptible.  The disease has been eradicated globally, but the virus exits in biological warfare research labs - bio-terrorism is a possibility.

Things From Space - asteroids, comets, unknowns, aliens - hey, asteroid impacts have happened before and at some time, will happen again.  Big one - game over.

The End - as shown in the graphic above, the earth will cease to exist in about 7.5 billion years.  The sun will begin its death spiral, becoming a red giant, and the interior planets will either be totally destroyed or become dried up or molten globs.  Not to worry - humans will be long gone from this orb long before then, one way or another.


John Riegsecker said...

Fire and Ice
By Robert Frost

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

DES said...

John - thanks for this. I too had to think about Frost's poem as I was reading and writing about "Doomsday." We likely studied the poem in Mary Oyer's class, and perhaps also in high school at the sophisticated institutions in Middlebury and New Paris!!

DES said...

CU colleague Norm Pace had this to say in today's Boulder Daily Camera:

The recent NASA-NOAA report on global warming is horrifying. It points toward an inevitable collapse of the global ecosystem, already becoming evident in global extinctions and pollution. The remarkable thing to me is that for all the press and popular attention to climate change over many years there is little, essentially no, public discussion of the root cause of climate change — overpopulation.

Population reduction is the true challenge facing humanity if it is to survive. The human population of planet Earth today is over 7 billion and headed for 10-11 billion by the end of this century. A sustainable human population is probably at most a few billion, so a big die-off is facing us over the next century. Big population reduction will happen. The mechanisms that will drive population reduction are the stuff of science fiction past, but are now upon us. This process of population reduction will mold human history in the near-term. Inevitably. And we're not even talking about it. Isn't that remarkable?

Norman Pace

Anonymous said...

aint no nukes wiff da norf koreaners. daint no tech dun deh. sept wha da chi givm. worri dem chi yeh.

that said, the world will end in fire from god. this fire will destroy the waste that the fire of man (nuke) left behind. god will destroy all of man's works and magic, inspired by satan. man's true works cannot be established until he is perfected. this will happen after the resurrection (not fake rapture), so be good to your fellow man, admit your sins, hold to the law you understand, and be willing to accept the grace offered to you by the word.

the word holds true to the law: grace saves those who understand all fail the law which is love: this is the basis of a relationship with the creator. outside of god there is no love; god is love over will. it is contrary to reason and science that love could be under will. therefore love is not under will, and satan is a beautiful but perfectly retarded spirit, who led many like A.C., A. H., G.W.B., Elvis, Jackson, B.H.O., especially G.S., B.G., the Rotteneggenhammers, and well, all of us astray.

Anonymous said...

ps. rob's doomsday poem is nice, he likes ice. genius. what he don't say is what he really mean. and that is the thick of it - read between the lines! similarly, the best part of the bible is what is not stated... like reverence for all life.

anyway, frost believes it will end in fire, because it has already ended in ice (water, flood, etc). although it would suffice 'morally' to end the world with another flood, a planetary fire is required to eliminate everything made by man from the surface

- to prepare it for the work of the true man after.

it's not so much about reading between the lines, but feeling what is not stated but said.

Bizzy, Sick, Phil, Nostra, Etc. said...

Just for the record, I comment under different names at times, but never have and never will use the pen name Anonymous.

Bizzy Brain said...

I will go with nukes and their aftermath and earthquakes. The Muslim terrorists will use nukes when they get them. Then there may be some Divine intervention in the form of earthquakes swallowing up armies.

DES said...

My personal view is that climate change, regardless of the underlying cause, will lead to crop failures, famine and then pandemics. Perhaps 90% of the population would perish, leaving a hearty group of survivors to start over.

Re the Second Coming - as the song says "If Jesus in a comin' he must be walkin' and not runnin'"

Nostradumbass said...

I predict there is a kind of doomsday coming for the Mennonite Church USA caused by female pastors. Fifty-one percent of female pastors in congregational assignments support LGBTQ membership without conditions, compared to 21 percent of male pastors. Ordaining women may be akin to Satan giving Eve the forbidden fruit.

R. W. Posner said...

I find it very amusing that "the end of the world" is so often conflated with the extinction of the human species.

The world will do very nicely without us.

The world does not need us but we certainly need it. And we need it to exist within very narrow parameters to ensure our survival. Our own activities, our "civilisation" is pushing the environment we depend upon beyond those parameters.

The creatures we named dinosaurs dominated Life on Earth for over 200 million years before succumbing to natural forces beyond their comprehension. Not their fault. Could happen to anyone.

After a paltry 200 thousand years, the species Homo sapiens teeters on the brink of extinction as a result of its own hubris and recklessness. Nobody's fault but our own.

Just my opinion

DES said...

Richard - completely agree. One thing that I did not elaborate was the coming crisis due to the collapse of fiat currencies. Our government cooks the data re unemployment, inflation, etc., and continues to monetize the debt, i.e. print money. The economic turmoil is not an ultimate doomsday, but things could get pretty rough if it should come to pass.

DES said...

Nostra - I think this is one of your more dumbass predictions :-) There will likely be yet another split in the Mennoworld over this issue. I wonder if those 79% of men pastors uphold the same standard for adultery? Methinks not.

Nostradumbass said...

Whoa, DES. The LGBTQMENNO crowd claims the Mennonite church values its “theological purity over the love modeled by Jesus.” In other words they believe that “love” should trump sin. Good luck with that idea. But it does leave me optimistic. The radical left is trying to destroy the Mennonite church using the Marxist BS of “equality” and “diversity” and “unity” and “inclusion.” I think enough of the current Mennonites will come to realize what is really going on and “throw the bums out” once and for all. Lol! Let them form their own LGBTQMENNO church.

Lance Sterling said...

Makes sense to me Nostra. The left uses women, especially single women, to advance its causes. “Don’t need no husband, kids don’t need no father, the guvmit going to take care of me and pay for my stuff.” Part of the logic of ordaining women, preferably lesbian women, is to insert leftist influence in the church. And we all know a goal of leftism is to destroy the church from within. I think the Mennos are more vulnerable to this than, say, the Baptists, because Mennos tend to believe more in the fantasy of world harmony and the brotherhood of man, which is a notably left of center belief.

DES said...

Sorry Nostra - I was likely in a very curmudgeonly mood :-) But the main issue remains - why is one sin particularly emphasized over a much more widely practiced behavior that is also clearly defined as sin by scripture? Admittedly, I find the idea of having sexual relationships with another man exceedingly disgusting, but I also know that there are people who are attracted to members of the same sex just as heterosexuals are attracted to the opposite sex. If you are going to hammer on the sin of sexual behavior, you had better hammer on all of the other sexual sins as well. And while you are at it, let's kick all of the overweight people out of the church because gluttony is a sin and it's obvious who participates in that one!!

Nostradumbass said...

Got a big kick out of your gluttony remark. I, too, have thought, if gluttony is a sin, there should be no fat preachers, and my first thought was of John Hagee.
Agree that sexual sin is sexual sin be it heterosexual or homosexual. What I think the LGBTQ crowd is getting at is that homosexual acts should not be considered sin. And my recommendation for them is to not seek to corrupt the Mennonite church which considers out-of-wedlock sex acts as sin. Go down the road and fellowship with the United Church of Christ folks where anything goes, that is after you have been baptized.

DES said...

Nostra - can't disagree with much. In some sense, it boils down to "what makes you a Mennonite" or who can claim to be a Mennonite. Many denominations haggle over the same thing, and this usually ends in a split of some sort - so that is likely here. Many "affirming" Mennos don't want to be UCCers, wanting to retain what they feel are important components of Mennodom.

Go back to this post - it's still hilarious, but also sadly way too true:

Phil L. said...

Re: affirming Mennos. I look at it this way. I am terribly hungry for Italian food. I go to a Mexican restaurant and there is no Italian food on the menu. I get pissed off because the Mexican restaurant does not serve what I want, Italian food. Same with the fudge packers. They go to a church that does not believe in fudge packing, yet expect to have that church upend its beliefs to cater to them. And some churches are stupid enough to go along with the demand.

DES said...

Phil - not unreasonable; also not unreasonable to have civil discussions about differences to see if there could be any sort of resolution. Since the latter does not happen too often, we have 40,000 different stripes of folks who call themselves Christians.

Phil L. said...

You have the last word, DES, and have hit the nail on the head "...40,000 different stripes of folks who CALL themselves Christians."

Sick Sigma Sez said...

Not so fast, Phil, the Sick One hasn’t weighed in yet. Maybe Indiana’s own Warren Wiersbe has the last word. He states, “One of the most difficult things in the Christian life is maintaining the purity of the faith and of the fellowship.” To the word difficult I would add important, “…one of the most difficult and important things…”

hoosierdaddy said...

That's right SSS - and the daddy has not yet checked in either! I think that the number of different Christians is equal to the total number of Christians - hence, there are actually 2.2 billion 'types' of Christianity. It is unlikely that any two people will have exactly the same perspective on Christianity, be it on major issues such as sexuality or minor issues such as how long the string should be on a woman's bonnet :-)

WrenchMonkey47 said...

Well, there's already a comment of mine here from back in I-don't-know-when.

In any case, it'll probably be a combination of all of the above. Who knows what the major causality will be? And does it really matter? It's gonna be very ugly in any case.

And, as far as the nukes go, I don't think it's the bombs and missiles that will be the real problem. There are at least 400 nuclear power plants around the world that will all ultimately melt down once the power grid collapses.