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» Thoughts on the ending of the world, The when's and how's
Jimbo Cactaur
 Posted: Jan 4 2013, 11:52 PM
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Hammerhand
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Hey guys, I'm not sure if this is fodder for much discussion or not, but Trick's Zombie RPG has really gotten me thinking about this subject for a while now. Besides Z talk I'd like to know other people's thoughts on how a global apocalypse might occur and what it might look like. I want to talk about other issues related to it too, but this seems like a good place to begin.

Here are what I've thought of as the most common end of days scenarios for modern times:

Zombies, far from being a realistic way to go they are now the romantic way to go, even with an apparent zombie/romance film on the way. But some sort of global pandemic...

Global Warming leads to Ice Age, I mean trends are documented in the ice, and from what I've heard the earth has been getting warmer for the past 6000 years so we are somewhat due for that reversal, but could it be a sudden catastrophe that takes us out?

Nuclear War, still as possible now as during the cold war era, perhaps more so(N. Korea, Iran), but we trust our governments to protect us, right?

Socioeconomic Collapse, due to what? Recession? Depression? War? The end of oil? It would seem to be side effect that would actually cause the end for us, like famine and war, and probably disease, sounds a little Biblical.

Coronal Mass Ejection, it takes out most of the worlds transformers and cuts major population centers off from power for a few years. This is my favorite pony, the psychology of desperate humans intrigues me.

Any more? Any more likely than others?
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redeadlink
 Posted: Jan 5 2013, 01:04 AM
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Heroic
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This.

All becomes one and one becomes all.

Just like in End of Evangelion.
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Chronocide
 Posted: Jan 5 2013, 11:25 AM
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Heroic
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I don't think any of those would actually spell the end of the human raise. The world as we know it sure, but I think the human race would survive all those events.

Zombies / Pandemic: In short no; for the most parts viruses don't want to kill off their host. If the host dies then so does the virus. When you hear about deadly viruses they are usually viruses that are non life threatening to another species and have mutated to be able to infect and kill humans; since humans aren't the primary host the virus doesn't mind killing it. This is why bird flu is scary. However; since the virus isn't really intended to infect humans, there is a high likely hood that a good portion of the human population will develop immune defences or the virus will mutate again to be less deadly to humans and start to use it as a second viable host.

Also Madagascar.

Would be a huge epidemic, on the scale of the black death only more global 50% of population dead. Upshot is that following the black death there will be a labour shortage, so wages will improve and discrimination will go down. Also in the past there has also been a tendency for wealth to temporarily be more evenly distributed.


Global Warming: So there are a whole bunch of things going on here, the flooding isn't that big a deal. If the ocean survives then humans will just learn to float on top of it, and live off of that. Now the other side of global warming which is more and more CO2 getting dissolved into the oceans, making the oceans more and more acidic, that is bad, fortunately as temperature rises more ice melts to help counteract that.

The earth is pretty complicated the biggest problem would be the decrease in bio diversity which could lead to a second disaster that does more damage. No idea what the end result would be, but living together on boats in a flotilla would make fore a much more community based society. Tolerance and sharing could improve.

Nuclear War:So they say that we have enough weapons to destroy all life on earth, to which I say: "Doubtful" for one there aren't at the moment enough nukes to do it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_count...nuclear_weapons Those are strategic nukes, if they where all the size of the Tsar Bomba then okay maybe. Anyway, the other issue is that the people firing them aren't going to be trying to destroy the world. They will be trying to destroy their enemy, typically that means you have three main targets, depending on how long you plan the war to last. Cities and population centres, Military installations (specifically those that launch nukes), and Industrial centres (specifically the centrifuge plants needed to make nukes). The target then counters the attacking country, and possibly we get a response reaction causing everyone to fire their nukes. Well for the countries that are involved, (and I'm not convinced it would be all of them) the population centres would be destroyed and their ability to launch nukes diminished and their ability to make new ones nearly destroyed.

Okay now the nuclear winter affect. Yeah its bad, depending how things go down we could see global cooling which is good, except that it tends to hit the grain growing regions harder, so food shortages, for dozens of years potentially. Of course there would be fewer people and it's also possible that new arable land will be created as a result of the cooling.

I honestly think that this is worse for the northern hemisphere, there are more suitable targets and are more likely to suffer from global cooling. It's possible that Africa, South America and Australia could come out of this relatively unscathed, aside from refugees and stuff. (It's not the cold war, no one is going to nuke Chile just because they are a little socialist)


Socioeconomic Collapse Really hard to model depends if it happens before or after the military is automated. If after then things look bad, if before then their would be an interesting revolution of some sort. Of course history shows that revolutions have a tendency not to be that revolutionary with things turning back to the status qua relatively quickly. Honestly I would be more worried if this didn't happen, if it does then at least it means that apathy hasn't completely taken over.

Outlook: no reasonable prediction.


CME Oh the fun one this is bad for North America china and Australlia, possibly also Russia. But turns out not to bad for the rest of the world. The effects are lessoned near the equator and lessoned for grids that use shorter runs of High voltage lines, this is why Europe is largely nu-affected. Satellites may stop functioning or at least half of them. Those on the night side would be relatively fine.

So pretty bad, some of the most technological parts of the world will be without power for possibly years, but there will be parts of the world that are relatively unaffected so here is somewhere for help to come from, probably bad for a lot of countries that are currently receiving aid as it will get diverted to LA, New York Beijing, and the like.


Summary these are bad things but not human extinction events. Of course I was also the person that said the towers wouldn't fall just from a plane running into them. Which based on history was a perfectly valid guess, so what do I know?


As far as actually wiping out the human race giant meteor is a pretty good candidate. Of course my personal favourite way to remove all people from the surface of the earth is for humanity to finally leave it and declare it a nature preserve.


Also I am so totally on some sort of watch list at this point, based on the kind of searches I was making to research some of this stuff.
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