If the end of the world as we know it is in sight, there are really only two questions left: How much time do we have and how are we going to live it?
We have no prophesies or dates from god. There is sort of a calendar, if you are paying attention, but it’s not terribly precise.
Before we look ahead, let’s look back to last year. It was the hottest year on record and some 86 people died of heat related causes.
Chicago had four consecutive days of over 100 degree temperatures. Many, many other locations also broke heat records. We had drought (projected to continue), wildfires (ditto), a derecho and Sandy.
All of these “natural” disasters cost lives and billions of dollars.
Artic ice is expected to be gone by 2017, far earlier than scientists originally thought.
2017 is only four years away.
The ice reflects the sun’s rays back into the atmosphere. Dark ocean absorbs heat. No ice by 2017 means a lot of warming, very quickly.
Which releases more methane, melts more permafrost, and so on.
The biggest wildcard in the mix is the grid. The United States energy grid isn’t really a grid so much as a web of public and private companies providing a variety of fossil fuel burning “juice.” Last year, the American Society of Civil Engineers wrote a report about the grid, concluding that it has severe problems with aging or badly maintained equipment and that it is stretched to capacity. The ASCE calculated that a $107 billion investment – by 2020 – was needed to “keep the electrical infrastructure whole.”
Well, I don’t reckon that $107 billion is going to be too hard to rustle up here in the next seven years, do you? I mean, between the wars/natural disasters/the black hole that is leadership/and the fractured economy, $107 billion won’t be any problem at all.
So, combine the hot and getting hotter with an aging and poorly maintained energy grid and try to figure when you hit blackjack.
Without the grid – no water, no sewage, no food in grocery stores, no gasoline, no AC or heat, and worst of all, the final straw, the thing that will cause the revolt the Department of Homeland Security is preparing for – no television! No internet! No smartphones!
That’s when the nuclear plants melt down. That’s when we all die.
A prediction I’ve seen that seems reasonable is that the Northern Hemisphere goes extinct by 2031. The Southern in 2047.
Extinct. Humans and probably at least 98% of all other species. Extinct. In 18 years.
Quite frankly, I’m still trying to get my mind around this. The fact that this is a slow moving and man-made disaster makes it more difficult, because it seems impossible that we could allow this to happen. But the simple fact of the matter really is: We love electricity more than life itself.
RIP homo sapiens.