Nuclear War, Ecological Disasters & Ebola Top End Time Scenarios
Scientists at Oxford University have compiled a ‘scientific assessment’ of the 12 most likely ways civilisation will face oblivion and concluded that extreme climate change, accidental nuclear wars and ebola-style epidemics in particular present tangible threats to the future of humanity.
Noting that ‘there are grounds for suspecting that such a high impact epidemic (as ebola) is more probable than usually assumed’ the scientists concluded with a bleak summation.
“One resolution to the Fermi paradox – the apparent absence of alien life in the galaxy – is that intelligent life destroys itself before beginning to expand into the galaxy,” they noted (Independent: http://ind.pn/1Aac0Rk )
The British scientists’ report emerged just weeks after highly respected US organization the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists Science and Security Board moved their Doomsday Clock forward to 3 minutes to midnight, the first such change in 3 years.
Warning that “the probability of global catastrophe is very high’, the board (‘in consultation with its Board of Sponsors that includes 17 Nobel Prize laureates’) issued an even bleaker assessment of the dangers the world currently faces.
“In 2015, unchecked climate change, global nuclear weapons modernizations, and outsized nuclear weapons arsenals pose extraordinary and undeniable threats to the continued existence of humanity, and world leaders have failed to act with the speed or on the scale required to protect citizens from potential catastrophe. These failures of political leadership endanger every person on Earth,” they warned.
“The science is clear: Insufficient action to slash worldwide emissions of greenhouse gases can produce global climatic catastrophe,” they continued.
“Even a so-called “limited” nuclear weapons exchange will produce massive casualties and severe effects on the global environment … We implore the political leaders of the world to take coordinated, quick action to drastically reduce global emissions of heat-trapping gases, especially carbon dioxide, and shrink nuclear weapons arsenals.”
The last time the Doomsday Clock was at three minutes to midnight was 1983, when “U.S.-Soviet relations were at their iciest,” according to the Bulletin.