Thursday 22nd of August 2019

preparing for armageddon...

gosse

Don’t panic… The earth is under attack. The comic cosmos has made life tenuous on this planet. 


While the oxygen level won’t change much for the next few million years according to credible experts on the breathable stuff — bolides (meteorites and comets) could impact this planetoid any minute. Take a deep breath though and watch another meteor pass through the Russian skies. Let’s hope the Rooskies won’t think it’s a US missile on its way to Москва…
There is a medium-sized one passing over Los Angeles every second day as well.
And please don’t blame god if one of them larger-ones ruffles life on earth a bit. This kind of cosmic bombardment has happened since the earth was formed and apparently strangely has increased in occurrences since 250 million years ago. Life has taken a few hits with near extinction and stuff like that — from NATURAL climate change and from cosmic stoning.
Remember we probably owe the extinction of the dinosaurs to one of these meteors that hit the Yucatan peninsula 65 million years ago. Luckily another one did not hit the same place, Cancún, a few years ago when the dinosaurs of the world political sphere had a meeting there about how to squeeze your balls some more (for the ladies: squeeze your tits) under the pretence of caring for the planet’s climate. Action is still poor on this climatic subject. But like lightning, the bolides never hit the same place twice, except on rare occasion.
And not only they seem to hit Russia more often than anywhere else (it’s a big country) at the moment, they do also hit Australia day and night. Some are so small they vaporise before hitting ground, but some people find their remnants in the Aussie deserts.
The potmark at top is Gosse’s Bluff, in the middle of Australia. The original crater is thought to have been formed by the impact of an asteroid (or comet) about 142.5 million years ago, in the early Cretaceous, near the Jurassic/Cretaceous boundary. The original rim has been estimated to be 22 km in diameter, but it has been eroded away. The 5 km diameter, 180 metre high crater-like uprise, is the eroded remain of the crater's central uplift. The impact origin of this feature was first proposed in the 1960s, because of the abundance of shatter cones. The feature has seen failed petroleum exploration, with two abandoned exploration wells drilled near its centre.
The site, known as Tnorala to the Western Arrernte Aboriginal people, is a sacred place. A Western Arrernte story tells its origins as a cosmic impact: in the Dreamtime, a group of celestial women were dancing as stars in the Milky Way. One of the women became tired and placed her baby in a wooden basket ("turna"). The baby fell off and plunged down to earth, forcing the rocks upward, forming the circular mountain range like a cradle. The parents, the evening and morning star, continue to search for the baby to this day. The turna can be seen in the sky as the constellation Corona Australis.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gosses_Bluff_crater

I also took pictures of the other obvious impact crater near the Kimberleys, this one is far more recent: Wolfe Creek Crater…
Dating has shown that a meteorite crashed to Earth there around 300,000 years ago. It would have weighed more than 50,000 tonnes and is thought to have been travelling at 15 kilometres a second.

The Wolfe Creek meteorite crater was only discovered by Europeans during an aerial survey in 1947, though, it has long been known to Aboriginal people, who called it Kandimalal, and tell of two rainbow snakes who formed the nearby Sturt and Wolfe Creeks as they crossed the desert. The crater is believed to be the place where one snake emerged from the ground.
https://parks.dpaw.wa.gov.au/park/wolfe-creek-crater
The meteorite that hit Gosse’s bluff could have been 1000 times more powerful (weight and speed) than the bolide that created the Wolfe Creek Crater. And the one that extincted the dinosaurs (though they are believed to have survived for another one million year after impact) could have been 1000 times more powerful than the one that created Gosse’s Bluff…
Armageddon starts when the next one is only about five times the power of that which hit the Yucatan Peninsula.
I thought you needed to know. 
Meanwhile, our fossil fuel-burning factories and activities — from transport to cattle — are creating a slow Armageddon of sorts, possibly more devastating than comets hitting us, because we don’t see a physical crater impact and we don’t care to look. 
Mind you we might survive all this to the day we kill each others in a non-winnable war...

rich prepers go underground with their illusions...

Milton Torres is worried about the state of the world — so worried that the 42-year-old biomedical engineer has packed up his life and moved to a remote, underground bunker in the Midwest of the United States.

He's part of a growing number of Americans preparing for social, economic and environmental collapse.

"I don't even know what is real or not anymore," Mr Torres says.

"They have us so confused, but they don't want to panic the people about what's happening.

"You think the government is going to save you? If you think that, good luck."

Mr Torres is the first to move permanently into Vivos xPoint, a community of 575 bunkers designed to accommodate up to 5,000 people in a former army munitions site in South Dakota.

He paid $US25,000 for a 200-square-metre underground bunker, which can survive water, air, and gas penetration, as well as significant internal and external explosions.

"It's a steal — especially when compared to a house that won't survive a meteor strike," he says.

 

Read more:

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-02-21/doomsday-preppers-head-undergroun...

 

"Especially when compared to a house that won't survive a meteor strike?"

Well, Milton, I have news for you... A meteor like that which created the bluff at top, will bury you deep to a depth down to more than 10,000 metres below in a "kimberlite pipe". A small impacting meteor could do you down to 2,000 metres (about 6,500 feet if you don't understand metres)...

See: http://science.sciencemag.org/content/363/6424/224

bipolar reversal blues...

Intense flares of solar wind threaten to cause extensive damage to man-made infrastructure, from spacecraft and satellite instruments in near-Earth orbit to entire power grids on Earth itself, particularly during periods when the magnetic shield sparing Earth from deadly solar and cosmic radiation is weakened.

A stream of solar wind emanating from a canyon-shaped hole in the Sun's atmosphere is set to hit Earth's magnetic field on Thursday, Sun-Earth environment monitoring news site SpaceWeather.com has reported.

According to the monitors, the burst of solar energy, traveling at speeds of over 420 km per second, is expected to hit the planet's magnetic field today, resulting in minor geomagnetic storms and auroras mixed with unusually bright moonlight, observable by Arctic sky watchers.

The eruptions of magnetic energy from the Sun's surface, known as solar storms, occur when a disturbance on the Sun emanates outward across our solar system, spewing hot gases out into space. Such events periodically target Earth, causing small geomagnetic disturbances, and occasionally burning out electrical and communications equipment, scrambling radars, and even shutting down entire power grids. The increased amount of radiation during these has also been suspected of leading to higher incidence of cancer.

Earth is generally shielded from such space weather, particularly its weaker emanations, thanks to an invisible shield known as the magnetosphere. However, during periods when the planet's magnetosphere is weakened, such as when Earth's magnetic poles swap places, this magnetic shield is weakened, leading to potentially catastrophic consequences for life on the planet.

 

Earlier this month, officials from the US National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration and the British Geological Survey revealed that the position of the magnetic north pole was moving faster than usual from the Canadian Arctic toward Russia's Siberia, prompting scientists to speculate on what would happen if a sudden pole reversal were to take place in the near future.

Read more:

https://sputniknews.com/world/201902211072628316-solar-storm-incoming/

 

 

 

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... and the big melt...


NASA scientists recently discovered that the Thwaites Glacier, a massive Antarctic glacial body about the size of Britain, has a giant cavity in it, roughly two-thirds the size of Manhattan. The worrying discovery has led to questions about what will happen if the glacier collapses entirely.

The glacial cavity, found at the bottom of a glacier in western Antarctica with the use of ice-penetrating radar and satellites with high-resolution lenses, was discovered by researchers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, who called the find "disturbing" and warned that the mysterious cavity, once containing 14 billion tonnes of frozen fresh water, was still growing at an "explosive" rate. The discovery is vital, the scientists said, because it demonstrated that Antarctic ice is melting not only in areas adjacent to oceans, but also from underneath its thick ice sheets.

Rising Sea Levels

The immediate and most obvious concern about the discovery is that if the Thwaites Glacier, which extends some 192,000 square kilometres, or 74,000 square miles, were to melt completely, it could raise global sea levels by some 2 feet (0.6 metres). According to the Smithsonian Institute, such a rise would be enough to threaten coastal cities around the globe, flooding island nations and leading to soil erosion. 

Last year, researchers from Germany, Austria and Australia released a study which concluded that with sea levels expected to rise two feet worldwide by the year 2300, low-lying areas of Florida and Bangladesh, and entire nations such as the Maldives in the Indian Ocean or Kiribati in the Pacific, would be threatened, with massive coastal urban areas such as Shanghai, London, New York, and New Orleans affected as well. 

 

If rising sea levels come to pass sooner than expected thanks to new, previously unknown phenomena, like the Thwaites Glacier cavity, "that's going to really throw a wrench into the ability for these nations to plan and prepare for the impacts of sea level rise," Dr. Ted Scambos, a senior research scientist at the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre, told USA Today.

Fleets of Dangerous Icebergs?

In addition to its massive store of frozen fresh water, the Thwaites ice formation is thought to serve as an important 'door stop', preventing nearby glaciers from sliding toward the sea. If that happens and those glaciers melt, sea levels would rise not by two feet, but up to ten feet (three metres), affecting areas of human habitation much further inland and causing even more chaos to local ecosystems.

In this sense, Thwaites "holds a kind of wildcard for being able to increase the rate of sea-level rise quite rapidly if things unfold a certain way," Scambos said.

In addition to their possible threat to local wildlife, icebergs breaking off from Antarctica could pose a major threat to human oceanic activities, particularly shipping. In 2018, New Zealand news portal Engineering News warned that Antarctic icebergs were already posing a heightened hazard to southerly shipping routes. A year earlier, the US Coast Guard's International Ice Patrol warned shipping companies that an unusually high number of icebergs were drifting into shipping lanes in northern areas, with the monitoring agency reporting four seasons of "extreme" danger in a row due to bergs drifting through the North Atlantic. 

And while Antarctic icebergs are seen as less of a threat than those forming in the Northern Hemisphere and the Arctic, given existing shipping lanes, they still pose a threat, according to scientists.

 

Extreme Weather

Earlier this month, researchers from the Antarctic Research Centre at New Zealand's Victoria University of Willington and McGill University in Canada published an article in Nature which warned that the billions of tons of meltwater flowing into the oceans from melting ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica may result in more extreme global weather conditions worldwide and serve to destabilise regional climate in the very near future.

According to the study, the pumping of billions and billions of tonnes of new, previously frozen cold freshwater into the ocean has the potential to slow the global oceanic conveyor belt network regulating climate, resulting  in longer, more extreme hot or cold snaps, wet spells and dry stretches, with much greater temperature variance in some areas of the world than at present.

In this light, the discovery of the massive cavity in Thwaites Glacier may mean that this process, which the New Zealander and Canadian scientists said may come within decades, may occur even faster.

Destabilisation of Antarctica

Finally, some scientists, including Lucas Zoet, a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison's department of geoscience, fear that the collapse of the Thwaites glacier "could potentially destabilise the whole region of West Antarctica."

 

"It's a major throughway of how ice gets discharged from West Antarctica into the ocean," Zoet explained, speaking to USA Today. "If this cavity grows or sort of expands, that's one way it can get off this last sort of ridge that Thwaites Glacier is hanging on to," the geologist warned.

Worst is Yet to Come?

According to Dr. Scambos, the discovery of the massive cavity in Thwaites Glacier does not bode well for our future, with no end in sight. 

"The point is not so much [in] whether or not it's going to happen, unless we really change how much heat-trapping gasses we're putting in the atmosphere," Scambos said, when asked about the prospects of the glacier melting. "Eventually, we're going to lose big areas of the Antarctic, big areas in Greenland. The important thing is how fast is this going to happen," the scientist concluded.

 

Read more:

https://sputniknews.com/science/201902211072623211-antarctic-glacier-cav...

 

 

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survivors of armageddon at the new yorker circa 1960s...

russell

During his long tenure in the Senate, Russell served as chairman of several committees, and was the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Armed Services for most of the period between 1951 and 1969. He was a candidate for President of the United States at the 1948 Democratic National Convention and the 1952 Democratic National Convention. He was also a member of the Warren Commission.[7]

Russell supported racial segregation and co-authored the Southern Manifesto with Strom Thurmond.[8] Russell and 17 fellow Democratic and one Republican Senators blocked the passage of civil rights legislation via the filibuster. After Russell's protege, President Lyndon B. Johnson, signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law,[9] Russell led a Southern boycott of the 1964 Democratic National Convention.[10]Russell served in the Senate until his death from emphysema in 1971.

 

Read more:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Russell_Jr.

 

After whatever trauma happened — nuclear war or bolide hitting the planet — the caption reads: "Senator Russell would have been tickled to know that the last two remaining human beings not only are Americans but come from Georgia." Here the twist is that the last two human beings are blacks — and that Senator Russell (a Democrat) was a racist (segregationist). 

the end of biblical times...

A locust outbreak of biblical proportions is spreading from Sudan and Eritrea along both sides of Red Sea to Saudi Arabia and Egypt, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation has warned.

Huge swarms of locusts are about to descend on Egypt and around the Red Sea, which couldn’t but generate comparisons to one of the ten plagues, described in the Book of Exodus, God delivered upon Egypt after the Pharaoh refused to concede to Moses’ demand to set free the enslaved Israelites.

READ MORE: Fabled Biblical City Finally Found Near Jerusalem After Years of Digging

The present outbreak has been caused by long periods of rain around Sudan and Eritrea that have contributed to two generations of breeding and a substantial increase in locusts, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has explained. One highly mobile swarm crossed the border to Saudi Arabia in mid-January, with further swarms following suit a week later.

“The next three months will be critical to bring the locust situation under control before the summer breeding starts. The further spread of the current outbreak depends on two major factors — effective control and monitoring measures in locust breeding areas of Sudan, Eritrea and Saudi Arabia and the surrounding countries, and rainfall intensity between March and May along both sides of the Red Sea and in the interior of the Arabian Peninsula”, the UN’s locust expert Keith Cressman warned.

Social media users believe that the locust outbreak is a harbinger of the biblical prophecy.

Since December 2018, pest control experts have treated up to 200,000 acres of land in Egypt, Eritrea, Saudi Arabia and Sudan, and corresponding control measures are currently underway in Iran after at least one swarm descended on the southern coast in late January

Adult locust swarms can fly up to 93 miles (150 kilometres) a day with the wind and can consume roughly their own weight in fresh food per day, posing a great threat to crops and food security.

 

According to Cressman, the last major locust upsurge was detected between 2003 and 2005 when over 12 million hectares were treated in Africa, which incurred a whopping cost of about $750 million including food aid.

The UN FAO is expected to hold a meeting in Jordan over the next few days to address intensifying control measures with the affected countries.

 

Read more:

https://sputniknews.com/world/201902231072677757-biblical-locust-plague-...

 

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the worst years to be alive...

We study the 1258 eruption of Mt Rinjani in Lombok in the european summer that went AWOL.... A pretty bad event that also tells us why "geo-engineering of climate" is a very bad idea...

 

In November, an article in Science, studies an earlier volcanic eruption in 536 AD that created "the worst year to be alive"...

 

Ask medieval historian Michael McCormick which year was the worst to be alive, and he's got an answer: "536." In that year, a mysterious fog plunged Europe, the Middle East, and parts of Asia into darkness, day and night—for 18 months. Summer temperatures dropped 1.5°C to 2.5°C, initiating the coldest decade in the past 2300 years. Snow fell that summer in China; crops failed; people starved. Historians have long known that the middle of the sixth century was a dark hour in what used to be called the Dark Ages, but the source of the mysterious clouds has long been a mystery. Now, after analyzing volcanic glass particles in ice from a Swiss glacier, a team of researchers has identified the culprit: A cataclysmic volcano in Iceland spewed ash across the Northern Hemisphere early in 536.

 

Read more:

http://science.sciencemag.org/content/362/6416/733

 

There has been plenty of "worst year to be alive", especially when personally you encounter death: as medieval historian Michael McCormick states... "not 1349, when the black death wiped out half of Europe. Not 1918 when the flu killed 50 million to 100 million people, ... But 536..."

 

But there were plenty of awful years as well. Should you have lived in Pompeii for example. Or when:

 

Massive [impact] crater under Greenland’s ice points to climate-altering impact in the time of humans

By Paul VoosenNov. 14, 2018 , 2:00 PM

On a bright July day 2 years ago, Kurt Kjær was in a helicopter flying over northwest Greenland—an expanse of ice, sheer white and sparkling. Soon, his target came into view: Hiawatha Glacier, a slow-moving sheet of ice more than a kilometer thick. It advances on the Arctic Ocean not in a straight wall, but in a conspicuous semicircle, as though spilling out of a basin. Kjær, a geologist at the Natural History Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen, suspected the glacier was hiding an explosive secret. The helicopter landed near the surging river that drains the glacier, sweeping out rocks from beneath it. Kjær had 18 hours to find the mineral crystals that would confirm his suspicions.


What he brought home clinched the case for a grand discovery. Hidden beneath Hiawatha is a 31-kilometer-wide impact crater, big enough to swallow Washington, D.C., Kjær and 21 co-authors report today in a paper in Science Advances. The crater was left when an iron asteroid 1.5 kilometers across slammed into Earth, possibly within the past 100,000 years.


Though not as cataclysmic as the dinosaur-killing Chicxulub impact, which carved out a 200-kilometer-wide crater in Mexico about 66 million years ago, the Hiawatha impactor, too, may have left an imprint on the planet's history. The timing is still up for debate, but some researchers on the discovery team believe the asteroid struck at a crucial moment: roughly 13,000 years ago, just as the world was thawing from the last ice age. That would mean it crashed into Earth when mammoths and other megafauna were in decline and people were spreading across North America.

Read more:

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/11/massive-crater-under-greenland-s-ice-points-climate-altering-impact-time-humans

 

 

 

Read from top. We live in an accidental cosmic world, on a small pebble with a fragile surface that has a complex mix of gases, water, rocks and life. CO2 is an important component of the gases: too little and the earth cools, too much and the earth warms. See: "what is global warming"... With the article about Michael McCormick's discovery comes the concept that as the temperature of the surface of the planet varied (dropped) by 1.5 to 2.5 degrees Celsius, it created MASSIVE HAVOC, in early medieval times. The reverse is quite problematic. Bolide impacts and volcanoes are bad enough, but our human thirst for energy and comfort has unbalanced the natural CO2 equation. Processes such as photosynthesis are unable to absorb our excess carbon dioxide and WE ARE WARMING THE PLANET — by our usage of fossil fuels. Some people think that this "could" be beneficiary, but as we know from more frequent extreme weather events, this has some drawbacks (worst storms, drought and floods in "history"), including tree mortality.

We need to divest from fossil fuels URGENTLY. Like NOW!... The sad thing here is that despite our very comprehensive sciences, we cannot predict WHEN the full impact of this process is going to create "the worst years to be alive..." Some scientists place the "beginning" of this worst at between 2045 and 2050. Gus' prediction is 2032. By all account we have already started the process and more extreme shift of weather patterns are on the cards as the ice on the poles melts faster and faster.

"The worst years to be alive...?" We  HAVE NOT SEEN ANYTHING LIKE WHAT'S COMING, YET.

 

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white house to speed up incoming armageddon...

 

White House recruits researchers for ‘adversarial’ climate science review


 

Originally published by E&E News


The White House is recruiting researchers who reject the scientific consensus on climate change for its "adversarial" review of the issue.

The proposal to form a "Presidential Committee on Climate Security" at the National Security Council (NSC) has shifted, into an ad-hoc group that will review climate science out of the public eye. Those involved in the preliminary discussions said it is focused on recruiting academics to conduct a review of the science that shows climate change presents a national security risk.

 

Read more:

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/02/white-house-recruits-researchers...

 

Meanwhile, as we spray our mozzies with KillBuggo, spray crops with NeoCots and use hospital-strength antibacterial hand-washes that kill "99.9 of something we can only see in a microscope, including killing our own protective "skin microbiome", every five minutes, so our kids can eat ice cream (see the latest awful adverts for Dettol) — and possibly induce more "allergies" to the world out there — the insects are in trouble:

 

The world’s insects are hurtling down the path to extinction, threatening a “catastrophic collapse of nature’s ecosystems”, according to the first global scientific review.

More than 40% of insect species are declining and a third are endangered, the analysis found. The rate of extinction is eight times faster than that of mammals, birds and reptiles. The total mass of insects is falling by a precipitous 2.5% a year, according to the best data available, suggesting they could vanish within a century.

The planet is at the start of a sixth mass extinction in its history, with huge losses already reported in larger animals that are easier to study. But insects are by far the most varied and abundant animals, outweighing humanity by 17 times. They are “essential” for the proper functioning of all ecosystems, the researchers say, as food for other creatures, pollinators and recyclers of nutrients.

Insect population collapses have recently been reported in Germany and Puerto Rico, but the review strongly indicates the crisis is global. The researchers set out their conclusions in unusually forceful terms for a peer-reviewed scientific paper: “The [insect] trends confirm that the sixth major extinction event is profoundly impacting [on] life forms on our planet.

“Unless we change our ways of producing food, insects as a whole will go down the path of extinction in a few decades,” they write. “The repercussions this will have for the planet’s ecosystems are catastrophic to say the least.”

 

Read more:

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/feb/10/plummeting-insect-nu...

 

 

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Meanwhile Gus should be invited to the White House and deliver his exclusive paper on "what is global warming". This would save a lot of time, money and waste of efforts from researchers for ‘adversarial’ climate science...

more or less?...

The entrance and subsequent explosion of the meteor went unnoticed by media and locals in December 2018 as it went off over the sea, far away from inhabited areas.

NASA has reported that a large meteor explosion over the Bering Sea, near Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula in December 2018 went unnoticed despite being second in power over the last 30 years of observations. The Bering Sea fireball exploded 25.6 kilometres above the air having struck thicker layers of the atmosphere with its air burst power reaching 173 kilotons, which is 11 times [more] than "Little Boy", a 15-kiloton bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima.

Despite producing the second powerful air burst in 30 years, the Bering Sea meteor went largely unnoticed as it exploded over the sea and not above an inhabited area as happened with the Chelyabinsk meteor in 2013, which produced the most powerful meteor air burst over the last 30 years. Back then social media was flooded with videos and photos of the fireball blazing in the sky brighter than sun. The superbolide exploded around 30 kilometres above the Earth with a power of 400 to 500 kilotons, although most of it was sucked by the thick atmospheric layers.

 

Read more:

https://sputniknews.com/science/201903181073342810-nasa-meteor-hiroshima...

 

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my dear dead subjects...

 

'Ma’amageddon': secret plans for Queen's nuclear address revealed

In the apocalyptic event of a nuclear strike on Britain, the government offered householders make-do-and-mend advice on how to create refuge shelters under stairs and tables, and knock up temporary toilets from a chair and bucket.

Few were reassured by the DIY defences advocated in the widely lampooned public information “Protect and Survive” pamphlet, published in 1980, and a new cold war exhibition at the National Archives in Kew, featuring such a shelter, will do little to augment faith in this as a robust strategy for civilian survival.

Complete with identification tags for the dead, shelves of tinned food, and “sandbagged” with suitcases, furniture and soft furnishings, it seems unlikely it could much prolong life.

“We want people to think, ‘how would I have coped if the worst had happened?’,” said Mark Dunton, the curator of the Protect and Survive exhibition, part of the National Archive’s Britain’s Cold War Revealed season.

 

Read more:

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/apr/02/national-archives-cold-w...

 

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No mal intent meant but I hope the Queen goes before we do...

 

apocalyptic fear of the inevitable...

Thanks to the internet, we are bombarded 24/7 with news of disasters and impending disasters, to the point of ennui. Are things really as bad as the media and Hollywood say? Or are we headed for a happy techno future?

The other evening, in search of some entertainment, I stumbled upon a film by Australian director John Hillcoat entitled, The Road (2009). This riveting post-apocalyptic drama focuses on the travails of a father and son as they set out on foot across a devastated American wasteland following some cataclysmic disaster.

What motivates the characters to persevere in their impossible journey, which presents them with every sort of imaginable and unimaginable nightmare, is simply the quest for survival. Why anyone would want to survive amid such total devastation is another question.

An interesting element of the film is that we are never told what caused so much destruction. All we know is that some overnight event turned America, and possibly the entire planet, into a scorched wasteland. Hillcoat plays on our modern fears that some uncontrollable event, either by force of nature or man-made, is lurking just around the corner, waiting to devour us. The media is certainly culpable for giving life to these fears.

By way of a few examples, consider the terrors lurking in deep space. It seems that every month or so NASA discovers some new asteroid or, worse, a gang of asteroids that "just missed" hitting earth by millions of miles, sparing us yet again the fate of the dodo bird.

But if death by asteroid isn't your cup of tea, you may tremble at the thought of the supervolcano bubbling just below the surface in the US Northwest. Known to scientists as the Yellowstone Caldera, America's largest volcanic system last blew its magna some 640,000 years ago. Volcano watchers are giddy about the prospects of it blowing again in our geologically short lifetime.

Although the chance of some such disaster ruining our morning cup of coffee is low, just the possibility that one could occur has gripped our collective imagination. This dark, foreboding view of an unpredictable future is one that tends to dominate Western mentality. A quick glance at the sheer number of dystopian Hollywood productions over the years seems to validate the point.

The problem is that we have been conditioned to believe in the inevitability of an Orwellian future that it risks becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy. Or perhaps Hollywood and the media are serving as our collective conscience, so to speak, warning tinkering humans that we have pushed the boundaries of science and technology too far and are now risking severe consequences - much like the mythical character Prometheus, who was punished for stealing fire from Zeus and giving it to mortals.

And perhaps in no other field has mankind pushed the technological envelope further than on the battlefield.

World War III, the final frontier?

If ever there was an event that could literally wipe out the planet in the blink of an eye, WWIII is it. As Albert Einstein once quipped, "I do not know with what weapons WWIII will be fought, but WWIV will be fought with sticks and stones." Such a grim prophecy may have thus far succeeded in cooling enthusiasm for a global conflict, but it has not thwarted the belief that, in the words of Clausewitz, "war is the continuation of politics by other means."

This type of thinking is no longer realistic unless we are willing to accept the gravest consequences.

Consider the dire situation in Syria, where about a dozen different players are now jockeying for position, to understand the incredibly high stakes involved. In one of the latest developments, a Russian reconnaissance plane was accidentally shot down by a Syrian missile as Israeli fighter jets were conducting an illicit raid on the sovereign Arab Republic. Further tragedy was averted, but the incident brought the overall climate in Syria to an even higher degree of uncertainty.

In the past, nations had a tendency to rush into war with great gusto. However, the atomic bombing of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the waning moments of WWII had a way of changing our minds on the subject. Yet, at the same time, that cruel lesson has done nothing to curb our willingness to stockpile enough weapons of mass destruction to destroy the planet many times over.

What is the answer to this deadly conundrum? The choice seems rather straightforward. Although it will be a tall order, especially given how much money is generated by military expenditure, political leaders must ultimately accept the fact that resorting to military means to resolve global issues is an extinct form of 'politics'. It is a paradox, but the awesome lethality of weapons of mass destruction has made war nearly impossible.

Either we accept this fact or understand that humans themselves, together with the planet and its other myriad life forms, will be extinct. It's the simplest choice of all, yet which country would be the first to surrender their weapons?

Capital breakdown

Not all events that result in catastrophe are related to 'acts of God' or military conflict. Consider our current relationship with the so-called 'free market.' Although many argue that this is the best system for organizing the economic affairs of countries, it is occasionally hit by violent downturns that can best be described as disastrous.

When such downturns do happen, as was the case with the 2008 financial crisis, it is the "too big to fail" banks and corporations that are generously bailed out by the government, while the average person is forced to sink or swim for land that seems nowhere in sight. This proving the aphorism that what we really have is 'socialism for the rich and capitalism for the poor.'

Recently, there has been a number of warning signals – including steep drops on Wall Street – that we are once again approaching dangerous times. Former Republican congressman Ron Paul, in a recent interview with CNBC, warned that a massive downturn is inevitable because the US economy is sitting on "the biggest bubble in the history of mankind."

Earlier, the investor Jim Rogers, pointing to the massive amount of debt in global markets, especially in the US, predicted that "When we have a bear market again, and we are going to have a bear market again, it will be the worst in our lifetime."

Although these two individuals may be wrong, there can be no doubt that another economic downturn will eventually happen again. So how should we prepare now for the inevitable? Given the lessons of the 2008 financial crisis, it seems imperative that the banks and corporations understand that the government will not be available to cover for their bad business practices.

Big bailouts for big business is not the answer. If companies understand that they will go belly up in the next crisis, they will behave more responsibly.

At the same time, assurances should be made to average citizens that they will not be left behind if and when the next downturn occurs. Since unemployment always increases as profits on Wall Street decreases, one way to deal with any future market meltdown is to ensure long-term unemployment and medical plans for those affected by any sudden shocks to the system.

Perhaps this is the best way to deal with the daily news of impending gloom and doom, which we see from a variety of places from the military battlefield, to the economic battlefield: Let the people know that not only are solutions being sought, but that their best interests are at heart.

 

Read more:

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/445247-asteroids-war-economic-collapse/

 

 

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And Global Warming heads the list... Though not as immediately devastating as a nuclear war, Global Warming is insidiously fast, though we feel like frogs enjoying the early warmth, though we are being boiled...

 

 

Human nature may be our worst enemy...

... Mr Johnson believes whether the Earth gets hit by an asteroid is a matter of not if, but when. 

Dr Tucker agrees.

"Do I think we're going to see an extinction level event in our lifetime? No I don't," Dr Tucker says.

"Do I think we will see another Chelyabinsk one happen, and people will see it and feel the effects of it? Most definitely."

But while an asteroid strike could do a lot of damage, it may not be the greatest threat to humanity.

Human nature may be our worst enemy, says Mr Johnson.

"I think our biggest risk is forgetting that we are all one human species," he says.

"Currently this is the only place we know of in the universe — Earth — where we are able to live right now."

Dr Tucker says the problem is that we appear to ignore processes on Earth and in space that happen over long timescales.

"It's the same treatment of the problem of both climate change and 'space stuff'.

"It's always kind of this laissez-faire type, 'it's going to happen in the future, we'll worry about it later', but that's not the way to solve it."

Back in Sydney, Mr Sais is planning ahead. 

"No-one can say [a disaster] can't happen here," he says.

 

Read more:

https://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2019-07-14/asteroids-and-apocalypse-...

 

 

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See also:

what every kids should be taught in school... in a sunday picnic launched on saturday...