At the turn of the last century; during the end of the First World War, or the affectionately titled, ‘Great War‘; in which millions died in trench warfare, the planet was hit with the ‘Spanish flu‘ and a third of the population became infected. 500 million people from a global population of approximately 1.5 billion became infected and unfortunately for 50 million people it was fatal. A hundred years on and we could potentially be in a similar predicament with ‘COVID-19’ on a rampage throughout the world; and just today there’s been 50 thousand new cases in the U.K. (but.. from recent videos I’ve seen the testing method is far from accurate, but that’s another story for another day). Yet this time the global population is closer to 8 billion.
I’m sure that you’ll agree that’s a massive increase in such a short time, and it makes you wonder what the population will be like in a hundred years if people aren’t living in a post-apocalyptic world, or some other awful dystopian existence. With there being so much hatred, intolerance and bigotry around it makes me genuinely worry for the future of humanity as we know it; and there are a few other concerns that are quite evidently against humanity as a collective:
• The arms race and the potential risk of nuclear destruction on an unprecedented scale.
• The environmental disaster that’s imminently coming that’s going to dramatically affect the planet’s climate and inhabitants and is going to cause massive upheaval and potential destruction as the ice melts.
• Religions gaining state theocracies and ruling under an iron fist.
• Technology is the backbone of modern society. It could also be our downfall.
• A potential catastrophic event like an asteroid collision with Earth which some historians think may have been responsible for the demise of the Dinosaur kingdom.
Fortunately since World War II there’s been no devastation of the scale of what happened to Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 at the hand of America (with the consent of the U.K.) where hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians were killed by two atomic bombs; Fat Man and Little Boy. Despite that potentially fuelling further actions, thankfully 76 years later, we haven’t experienced anything of that scale, but we are well aware that some world leaders could potentially change that. Notably Iran and North Korea are countries that could unleash nuclear devastation.
There are many people that are climate change deniers but the evidence far outweighs conspiracy theories or religious beliefs. The Earth has spent the majority of its 4.54 billion year existence in a state of greenhouse effect where the atmosphere has warned up and has been predominantly carbon dioxide, which acts as a shield keeping the heat in, and in between that several contrasting ice ages. The Earth has always gone through cycles so it’s no surprise that the atmosphere is warming up and glaciers are melting as this has happened before, but this time humans have played a significant role with the burning of fossil fuels and the release of gases from factories and industries. Within the next few centuries the Earth’s life will experience much upheaval and detrimental geographical changes.
A catastrophic potential event is called a existential risk, and this could range from bioterrorism, cyber terrorism, pandemic, nuclear war, super-volcanic activity, asteroid or meteor collision, earthquake, mega-tsunami, solar flare, coronal mass ejection (CME) (which is a plasma explosion from the Sun) or a plethora of other things that could lead to near-extinction to humanity or species of wildlife that could dramatically alter the equilibrium of the food chain. The future of our species has a level of uncertainty.