Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Only A Billion Years Left Folks

Photo credit:

Fox ran an interesting story yesterday on five ways the world could end.

Now this isn't intended to bring anyone down, I just find it fascinating. Also, I find it helpful to put things in perspective occasionally. We are all worrying about the socialization of America, the Middle East, who will win American Idol this year, you know life changing things. If you start worrying about these too much, just stop and take a breathe and realize things could be worse, the world could end.

Actually if you want an even better analysis of this or have a budding mad scientist at home with the goal of destroying the Earth, read Top 10 Ways To Destroy Earth

First, what's not on the list. No matter what the Goracle says, global warming will not destroy the earth.

Global warming is bad for people who live in low-lying coastal areas and at the edges of deserts, but the truth is that Earth been much warmer throughout most of the past 500 million years, and life did just fine.

So now that everyone's nerves are calmed by that piece of good news, let's see what can do us in.

Asteroid - according to the article it would take a asteroid the size of a small planet to destroy life on Earth

Volcano - it would have to be a big one. Not Mount Pinatubo, not Krakatoa, not even the giant super-massive volcano that is boiling right now under Yellowstone National Park.

For that, it would take something along the lines of the long-ago prolonged eruptions that created India's Deccan Traps and the Siberian Traps in Russia.

In both instances, giant fissures in the ground simply opened up, oozing lava that spread in every direction for hundreds of miles, releasing huge amounts of deadly gas, smoke and soot into the atmosphere. These events went on for tens of thousands of years.

Nuclear War - not a couple of missiles lobbed but your father's nuclear war in which the US and Russia unloaded on each other. This would cause a Nuclear Winter that would destroy plant life and therefore cause animals to starve.

Black Hole - Some theorists believe there may be black holes all around us (maybe even inside of us) . These aren't the problem. The problem is the super massive black holes that suck in anything that comes near.

Finally, if we make it until then, the sun will expand as it dies and envelop the Earth in a billion or so years.

So, hug your kids, call your mother, live today like you only have 365,000,000,000 left.

Note: If you really need to get away, rent The Hitchikers Guide To The Galaxy (see graphic above). This movie, while not for the mature, is incredibly good fun if you like Brittish humor.


cube said...

I'd like to add the proton death of the universe to the list. With proton death (or, more accurately, proton decay) it's not a question of if, but a matter of when. All protons decay and end. When all of them go, that's the end of everything.

I read the Hitchhiker books and other stuff by Adams. Never saw the movie, though.

kevin said...

The movie was pretty good, as was the tv series.

Chuck said...

Cube, I've read the books, Hitchhiker and Dirk Gently, you would like the movie. It's not as good as the books but is funny.

Kevin, never saw the TV series.

Tina Hemond said...

Spectacular Analysis, Chuck - Fox is not alone, National Geographic has been running the same series - or could be the History Channel - either way - the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy - the Book, is extremely amusing, and somewhat like the movie, but more like - today's Senate! (Grab a towel and cover your head for the next four years!)

Christopher Hamilton said...

I think the one that will eventually end the earth will be nuclear war. No in our time, but eventually you'll get enough crazy people to do something like that.

Christopher Hamilton
The Right Opinion, for the Right Wing

Larry T Durham said...

Good post. I'm thinking that we'll slowly be exterminated by extraterrestrials...and the first stage was to get one of their own elected president.

Z said...

Sorry, I'm not reading this.
I'm so full of anxiety now, having practically everyone I run into say "you know, Z, sometimes I feel lately like another shoe's going to fall..." that I don't need MORE Ammo to make me freak out!

Chuck, came by to tell you your captions for my blog photo were SO FUNNY! Thanks a million..REALLY good ones. The winner, but I can't show favoritism. Thanks so much! xxx

By the way..I do have to admit I find Larry's comment terrific!

shoprat said...

One alone is a problem but picture several in a period of just a few years.


I'm not sweating it, but I am keeping my eyes, ears, and Bible open.

Chuck said...

Christopher, I worry more about a madman getting one than total war

Larry, that is funny and very possible

Thanks, Z, it was safe to read, it's supposed to be lighthearted. We wouldn't be able to do anything anyways

Shoprat, I will sleep easy tonight (of course part of this is because of the Nyquil)

Brooke said...

It's all good. I've got my reservation.

If you haven't, you must read the Dirk Gently books; they're the best PI stories EVER.

mksviews said...

Hey there chuck, hope you're feeling better now. Ending in a few billion years eh, well how about that. Pass the salt.

stormin said...

nothing about first and second hand smoke, trans fat, eating red meat, CO2, or a Republican led White House and Congress? these are the things we here on the news on a daily basis that are suppose to kill us all and yet they didn't make the list. c'mon people, we're not pulling our weight here!

Papa Frank said...

Bring it on!!!