Entry 11, 4/20/14

Prompt: Do you believe in the End of the World? Why? Why not? Which scenario is according to you most likely to happen? Discuss that topic and makes sure to include the lecture by Dr. Krebs and the readings in your reflection.

I don’t think my own beliefs would qualify as any sort of apocalypticism. The destruction of the Earth seems pretty far-fetched, as it’s been around for 4.5 billions years or so, and I don’t expect anything humanity-driven will make much of a dent. The planet itself, as well as the existence of life on its surface, is quite resilient, and I don’t believe humanity has the power to eliminate either. It seems infinitely more likely that humanity could destroy itself, and leave the Earth intact, although I can only imagine this happening through some environmental apocalyptic theory. I am not religious, so I don’t believe in a Rapture. Call me pessimistic, but if anything does occur to bring humanity to its knees, I can only assume it would be less likely to “save us all,” as millenialists like to suggest, and more likely to slowly make the planet inhospitable to humans. That said, I believe the problem of chronic pollution and climate change, if and when it becomes urgent enough, will spur scientific innovations that prolong the lifespan of humanity even past the point of natural habitability.


Alternately, of course, there is always the possibility of a catastrophic event, akin to the Mesozoic asteroid that killed off the dinosaurs, annihilating the planet altogether. However, anything less serious would likely leave a few of us standing. We have the technology even today to detect such a celestial body many years before it would become a threat. I have no doubt that human ingenuity, coupled with desperation, could result in a bunker, likely underground, capable of supporting life for several generations. In fact, this would not be unlike District 13 of the Hunger Games series.


There is always the eventual death of the Sun to contend with, and if humanity were to hypothetically last long enough to see it, we would live to see our planet destroyed before our eyes. It is possible, however, and even probable, that the human race would be observant enough to see this coming. Space travel is now nearly de rigeur; with the added motivation of preserving the species, I don’t doubt that sufficient advances would have been made by then to preserve some vestiges of human life in more habitable, perhaps colonized areas of the galaxy. If an International Space Station can function well enough, I don’t see any major theoretical limitations to expanding such a structure to support a larger population. The human race is very stubborn, and, try as she might, the planet has not managed to wipe us off its face. I suspect it would take the Earth’s veritable death to truly threaten humanity, and even then, we just may be able to outsmart nature.




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