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Top 10 Apocalyptic Risks to the Survival of the Human Race
In case you aren’t up on the latest in television programs, a show about surviving a zombie apocalypse (The Walking Dead) is the top of the heap when it comes to ratings. In this show, a virus (that is presumed to be government made and spread by accident) has spread like wildfire all over the planet, killing off (well, almost killing. If no one whacks you in the head, you spend your life as a flesh eating zombie) most of the human race, while the few remaining living human beings run around trying to find ways to survive.
Now other than a few politicians, we all know that zombies are real. Even though the thought is most entertaining (and you can’t help but start wondering how you would survive in such a scenario) it is really not a very likely scenario for the end of the human race. Or is it? Perhaps not the zombie part, but how about the virus part? Interesting thought, isn’t it?
Although it is difficult for humans to imagine this world without “us,” it is certainly possible. And rest assured, if something should happen to us, if we should be killed off by a virus that only affects man, for example, life on earth will not end. It will go on without us, the same way it went on after the dinosaurs were extinct.
Actually, there are several very real and very possible scenarios staring us right in the face, right now, today. These aren’t some Hollywood movie scenarios, either; these are very real possibilities that, if we don’t get a grip on things, could actually end life on earth as we know it. There are a few that are a bit out of our control, but we could at least prepare for them.
Curious? Keep reading for the very real top 10 scenarios (in no particular order) that could end life on this planet as we know it.
1. Loss of Biodiversity
One of the very real ways we could end our own lives on this earth is a loss of biodiversity. You most likely learned in school that life operates on a food chain system- you know, spider eats ant, bird eats spider, dog eats bird, bear eats dog, man eats bear, man dies and ants eat man. When you break this food chain with the extinction of one too many species, you start a chain reaction that cannot be stopped. In an environmental report released back in 2005, the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment stated that between 10 to 30 percent of all mammals, birds, and amphibians on earth are in real danger of extinction because of humans.
This includes deforestation of the planet, carbon emissions, invasive species introduction (such as boa constrictors in the Everglades), and over-exploitation of food sources. If we experience a massive extinction of many species (such as bees or frogs), the chain reaction may be catastrophic. This has happened 5 times in the history of earth, so it’s not impossible to imagine it happening again, and taking us along with it.
New diseases are being discovered every single year, many of them caused by viruses. Back in 1918, the Spanish flu killed somewhere between 25 and 50 million people. Now think about all the recent pandemic scares we have experienced just in the past 50 years: AIDS, SARS, Avian Flu, Swine Flu, and, most recently, Ebola. See how to protect youselves from deadly viruses.
In our modern world, we can be almost anywhere in the world in hours via airplane. It is not impossibility, not by a long shot. Although it is not in the interest of a virus to kill all its hosts, but a flu strain that jumps, perhaps, from birds or pigs to humans, might wipe out human beings but leave plenty of pigs behind to continue to carry the virus. Never underestimate what nature might do.
3. Super Volcano
We have plenty of active volcanos around the planet, but we aren’t talking about your everyday, run of the mill volcano, we mean super volcanos. Benfield Hazard Research Center at University College London will tell you that about every 50,000 years or so, the planet gets slammed by a super volcano that can decimate more than 1,000 square kilometers of land and the surrounding continent has the air injected with sulphur gases and the land is covered in ash.
This sulphur acid that will be blasted into the atmosphere will travel all around the planet and reflect our sunlight back into space for years. This means noon will look like midnight with a full moon. The last super volcano erupted in Indonesia about 75,000 years ago. We have a few super volcanos that we know about in Sumatra, Indonesia, and Yellowstone National Park. Be afraid. Be very afraid.
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