Showing posts with label Extinction-Level Event. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Extinction-Level Event. Show all posts

October 14, 2017

We Broke The Weather

So my friend who lives in FL and recently experienced the crazy hurricanes down there said something very interesting to me. 

This was during the series of numerous recent hurricanes in just a few weeks period of time, including Harvey, IRMA, and Maria that devastated Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico.

He said to me:
"We broke the weather!"

And after decades of warning about the impact of global warming--maybe he is right.

This last September was the most active month for Atlantic hurricanes ever on record. 

Further, we are seeing simultaneously the deadliest wildfires raging in California in its history. 

This only 13 years after the deadliest Tsunami from the Indian Ocean in recorded times killing about a quarter million people!

And only 28 years after the deadliest Tornado occurred in Bangladesh in 1989 that killed 1,300 people.

All these as if the increasing threats of nukes and other weapons of mass destruction and cyberattack weren't enough to keep you up at night.

As we get more sophisticated and technologically dependent, incredible manmade and natural disasters are threatening us superbig time. 

And over and over again, it is being reported that a well-placed EMP explosion over the United States would kill 90% of the population within a year--talk about a extinction level event!

As we experience temperatures15 degree above normal this fall, even the trees are behaving abnormally as the leaves are not changing to colors of yellows and oranges and reds and purples that we expect and enjoy. 

Nature is messed up by our abuse of the planet and nurture is messed up by megalomaniacs with the weapons to do us in. 

If we don't correct the dangerous path we are on polluting our planet and over-relying on technology then soon we could be turning horrible colors even if the leaves just fall to the ground or turn to ash. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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March 19, 2017

Killer Bots--Massive and Nano

There are big deadly weapons to worry about, such as weapons of mass destruction that come on an ICBM or even in a suitcase bomb to frightening armies of massive killer robots.

And then there are small nanobot weapons to worry about--which don't sound like much, but they could be the ultimate killer machines.

About 10 nanometers make up the width of a human hair, so we are talking about microscopic or bug size weaponized drones. 

Nanobots can be manufactured or scarily can be self-replicating. 

They can fly alone or in massive swarms. 

They can surreptitiously enter/exit and carry out their missions virtually undetected. 

Whether surveillance or delivering a mini-nuke or a toxin.

Nanobots could function like a biological weapon killing millions--targeted or indiscriminately. 

Cambridge University forecasts a 5% chance that nanotech weapons could cause a human extinction level event by the year 2,100

Soon wars will not be fought by people any longer--by rather by robots and nanobots.

People are too fragile for fighting and war against ruggedized and militarized bots that are designed for one purpose only...to kill, kill, kill. 

Terminators are coming--from massive to nanoscale--and mere humans will be dogmeat to these killing machines.

Add in a cyber warfare component that will turn off 21st century civilization leaving us to fend as if we were back in the stone ages, and overpopulation is the last and funniest joke any of us will ever tell. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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December 6, 2016

The Planetary Colonization Imperative

I read something so simple yet profound from theoretical physicist, Stephen Hawking (The Guardian).

First, he enunciated many of the threats we face these days, including:

- Accelerating technological change [I would elaborate that these include more advanced weapons of mass destruction and the means to deliver them]

- Automation, [robotics,] and rise of artificial intelligence

- Economic inequality, mass migration, job destruction, [and divisiveness] augmented by immersive social media that accentuates "Instagram [and Facebook] Nirvana" versus the real poverty and struggling of the masses, 

- "Environmental challenges: climate change, food production, overpopulation, the decimation of other species, epidemic disease, and acidification of the oceans."

In one sentence then, Hawking says it all about the high level of risk we face:
"We now have the technology to destroy the planet, but have not yet developed the ability to escape it."

His call to action:
"Perhaps in a few hundred years,  we will have established human colonies amid the stars. but right now we have only one planet. and we need to work together to protect it [and develop the means to eventually be able to escape it for the survival of humanity.]"

In short, we must get to and colonize other planets as quickly as possible, because it the realm of history, it's only a matter of time and our collective lives are depending on it. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal Via National Geographic)
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November 16, 2016

To MARS and Beyond

So excited about the new show called MARS (and yeah, it's on National Geographic). 

I watched the season premier and it was awesome!

They did this cool combination flipping between the non-fiction of the here and now on Earth in 2016 with all the plans and advances being made to go to settle Mars someday, and the fictionalized future 2033 actual voyage and colonization there. 

The spaceship, rovers, colony are all pretty amazing and it seems so real like we're practically there!

Elon Musk (SpaceX) does a nice job explaining the vision and the reusable rockets they are focused on to get us cost-effectively to the Red Planet and beyond. 

The imperative is clear for us becoming a true multi-planetary species, so that we drastically reduce (hopefully to zero) the risk of an extinction level event to humanity.

There was a good quote that I remember, something like:

"We go into the dark, so others can follow the light."

The leap forward of us actually making it to and colonizing Mars is so mid-boggling great that just about everything else literally pales in comparison. 

Mars is just the first real step...after that the possibilities are truly endless. ;-)

(Source Photo: here with attribution to NASA Jet Propulsion Lab)

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February 11, 2012

Asteroid Killer--That's A Relief!


For those of you who have seen any of the numerous movies about asteroids hitting Earth--such as Armageddon, Deep Impact, and Asteroid to name a few--you know that in most cases this is considered an Extinction-Level Event (ELE).

In other words, what the impact of the asteroid and the resulting tsunamis do not destroy, the dust and debris causing a deep freeze over the earth will. This would be like the Ice Age, although this time, we would be the dinosaurs!

However, a new supercomputer at Los Alamos National Lab running 32,000 processors has been able to demonstrate our ability to explode a 1 megaton nuke near the asteroid on a trajectory with Earth and literally blow it to smithereens. 

The shock wave from blast would smash the composite rocks of the asteroid against each other, and this would shatter them, and disrupt the pending destruction here on Earth. 

All this talk about destroying Asteroids makes me remember back to when I was a kid and used to play this Atari game called Missile Command, where we would shoot down thermonuclear missiles--they could've been asteroids for all we knew--before they hit us.

However, in the game, you eventually missed--and your base stations and ability to shoot were destroyed after being overcome by the number of incoming missiles--that was certainly a bummer, even though the game was fun especially with friends. 

I am relieved to see the new simulations and projections that indicate that given enough warning, we have the ability to take down an incoming asteroid.

Life imitating art--I certainly hope Los Alamos's new calculations are right and that if and when the time comes, we can get a very good shot at it!

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