By Michael Snyder | End of the American Dream
Our way of life is far more vulnerable than most people would ever dare to imagine. A single major catastrophe could fundamentally alter all of our lives at any moment. But since most people have not experienced such a catastrophe during their entire lifetimes, most people just assume that there will never be one. This is called “normalcy bias” and it can lull us into a very false sense of complacency. The other day, Michael Hanlon of the Telegraph wrote an article entitled “How will the world end? From ‘demonic’ AI to nuclear war — seven scenarios that could end human race“. Below, I discuss each of those seven scenarios along with five additional ones that I have added. We live in a world that is becoming increasingly unstable, and as a society we have become exceedingly dependent on the technology that we have surrounded ourselves with. If something were to happen which would force us to live like our grandparents and great-grandparents did, most of us would be in a tremendous amount of trouble. And as our technology has advanced, so has the potential that this technology will be used for war and destruction. There is great evil in the heart of man, and the potential to hurt others with that evil has never been greater. And of course there are always other “black swan events” to be concerned about as well. The following are 12 disasters that could bring about the end of the world as we know it…
1. ASTEROID STRIKE
A single asteroid could potentially produce an “ELE” – an extinction level event. And scientists are finding more asteroids that are potentially a danger to Earth all the time. For example, just the other day Russian researchers discovered a massive asteroid that will fly close to our planet every three years…
Scientists have calculated that 2014 UR116 asteroid will fly in dangerous proximity to Earth every three years. If it collides with the planet the energy of the explosion could be a thousand times greater than the impact of the Chelyabinsk meteorite.
Vladimir Lipunov, a leading scientist on the team which discovered the asteroid this October, says the scientists now know its orbit and its period which is 3 years, but they cannot say precisely when the asteroid will approach the Earth.
“We should track it constantly. Because if we have a single mistake, there will be a catastrophe. The consequences can be very serious,” he said in the documentary “Asteroids attack” posted on Roscosmos website.
If a very large asteroid does hit us in just the right place, we could be talking about tens of millions of deaths and the collapse of entire nations. The following is an excerpt from one of my previous articles about what could happen if a very large asteroid were to come crashing down just off the east coast of the United States…
According to the University of California at Santa Cruz website, if a massive asteroid were to crash into the Atlantic Ocean it could produce a giant tsunami with a wall of water as high as 400 feet that would slam into the east coast of the United States…
If an asteroid crashes into the Earth, it is likely to splash down somewhere in the oceans that cover 70 percent of the planet’s surface. Huge tsunami waves, spreading out from the impact site like the ripples from a rock tossed into a pond, would inundate heavily populated coastal areas. A computer simulation of an asteroid impact tsunami developed by scientists at the University of California, Santa Cruz, shows waves as high as 400 feet sweeping onto the Atlantic Coast of the United States.
In case you were wondering, yes, that would be absolutely catastrophic.
2. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
Could the machines one day rise up and take over?
Personally, I am skeptical, but some of the brightest minds in the world are deeply concerned about this. Just consider the following excerpt from Michael Hanlon’s article in the Telegraph…
Humanity may have already created its own nemesis, Professor Stephen Hawking warned last week. The Cambridge University physicist claimed that new developments in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) mean that within a few decades, computers thousands of times more powerful than in existence today may decide to usurp their creators and effectively end humanity’s 100,000-year dominance of Earth.
This Terminator scenario is taken seriously by many scientists and technologists. Before Prof. Hawking made his remarks, Elon Musk, the genius behind the Tesla electric car and PayPal, had stated that “with artificial intelligence, we are summoning the demon,” comparing it unfavourably with nuclear war as the most potent threat to humanity’s existence.
3. A GENETICALLY CREATED PLAGUE
Ebola has kind of fallen out of the news in the United States, but the virus is still spreading like wildfire over in Sierra Leone.
But of potentially even greater concern is what could happen if someone started releasing a weaponized form of Ebola, Smallpox or the Marburg virus in our major cities.
A bioweapon can be a brutally efficient killer. It spreads silently and invisibly, and a full-blown pandemic could ultimately kill hundreds of millions of people.
And every single day, our ability to manipulate these bugs grows. Many believe that it is only a matter of time before these types of weapons are used as instruments of terror.
When that era arrives, all of our lives will change forever.
4. NUCLEAR WAR
This is one that most Americans greatly underestimate.
Even though tensions with Russia are extremely high, most of us just assume that “the Cold War is over” and that a nuclear war is virtually impossible.
Unfortunately, that is not even close to the truth.
The following is an excerpt from my recent article entitled “10 Signs That Russia Is Preparing To Fight (And Win) A Nuclear War With The United States“…
Back in 1967, the U.S. military possessed more than 31,000 strategic nuclear warheads. Now, we only have 1,642 deployed, and that number is scheduled to be further reduced to about 1,500.
Sadly, reducing the size of our nuclear arsenal by close to 95 percent is not enough for anti-nuke crusader Barack Obama. He has spoken of unilaterally reducing the size of our strategic nuclear arsenal down to just 300 warheads.
During this same time period, the Russians have been developing some very impressive stealth delivery systems which have the capability of hitting targets inside the United States within just minutes of an order being issued. This is particularly true of their submarine-launched missiles. The newest Russian subs have the ability to approach our coastlines without us even knowing that they are there. If the Russians came to the conclusion that war with the United States was unavoidable, an overwhelming first strike using submarine-based missiles could potentially take out nearly our entire arsenal before we even knew what hit us. And if the Russians have an anti-ballistic missile system that can intercept the limited number of rockets that we can launch in return, they may be able to escape relatively unscathed.
In order for “mutually assured destruction” to work, we have to see the Russian missiles coming and have enough time to order a launch of our own. Thank to emerging technologies, the balance of power has fundamentally shifted. The old way of thinking simply does not apply anymore and the Russians understand this.
5. PARTICLE ACCELERATOR DISASTER
Michael Hanlon considers this one to have a “very low” probability, and I concur. Although our ability to destroy ourselves is growing by leaps and bounds, I believe that any disaster involving the Large Hadron Collider would be a localized event.
But as we continue to try to “play God” and build machines like this, we potentially open up gateways and expose ourselves to dangers beyond anything that most of us ever imagined.
6. ‘GOD’ REACHES FOR THE OFF-SWITCH
I thought that it was very interesting that Michael Hanlon included this one in his article…
Many scientists have pointed out that there is something fishy about our universe. The physical constants – the numbers governing the fundamental forces and masses of nature – seem fine-tuned to allow life of some form to exist. The great physicist Sir Fred Hoyle once wondered if the universe might be a “put-up job”.
More recently, the Oxford University philosopher Nick Bostrom has speculated that our universe may be one of countless “simulations” running in some alien computer, much like a computer game. If so, we have to hope that the beings behind our fake universe are benign – and do not reach for the off-button should we start misbehaving.
So could God step in and alter the course of history?