Laurel L. Russwurm's Free Culture Blog

a writer, the copyfight and internet freedom

The End Is Nigh?

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dramatic mushroom cloud

I grew up under the shadow of potential thermonuclear war that could have wiped out all humanity and turned planet earth into a radioactive wasteland. When the Berlin Wall came down it seemed as though maybe humanity had become clever enough not to do anything so foolish.

[Of course now that we’re left with only a single superpower, instead of getting “On The Beach” recent events appear to be propelling us toward Nineteen Eighty-Four instead, but that’s another story.]

I’m not quite sure why, but we keep having periodic “end of the world” scares.

It isn’t as though humanity doesn’t have scientific mojo these days; I can attest to the fact that weather forecast  accuracy has improved during my lifetime. Not only that, I can watch an approaching wave of precipitation on the Environment Canada radar web page. How cool is that?

Moon ~ cc by laurelrusswurm

We know more than ever before in history.

We’ve gone further than ever before ~ to the moon! ~ and we’ve even  sent space probes further still!

Improvements in our nutrition and strides in medical research mean we’re living longer than ever before.

So what’s with our apocalyptic fascination?

NASA is skeptical —  they don’t think the world will come to an abrupt end today.

Impressive ruins still stand in the world the Maya once ruled, Mayan descendents are scattered here and there, and undoubtedly there are still some Mayan archeological treasures waiting to be found. The Mayan calendar was certainly an achievement, particularly when you consider it outlasted Mayan civilization.

maya_calendar

Meanwhile, many people choose not to believe the mounting scientific evidence that indicates unchecked climate change could bring about the end of life as we know it on earth.

Why is it easier to believe long dead Mayans than modern day scientists?

Every year my wall calendar comes to an end, but it doesn’t mean the sky is falling…
Calendar End (cc by laurelrusswurm)



Image Credits

The moon and both calendars are released under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license by laurelrusswurm.

“…an atmospheric nuclear test carried out by the U.S. on 1 March 1954 at Bikini Atoll, Marshal Islands. It was the third largest test ever detonated by the United States the first deployed thermonuclear device.”
Castle Romeo: Mushroom Cloud photo published to the Public Domain by the US Government.

If you want to read some great apocalyptic fiction, why not try Eric Swett’s new novel, “Apocalypse Rising

Written by Laurel L. Russwurm

December 21, 2012 at 2:41 am

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