PDA

View Full Version : Human race 'will be extinct within 100 years', claims leading scientist


William Haskins
06-20-2010, 07:18 AM
As the scientist who helped eradicate smallpox he certainly know a thing or two about extinction.

And now Professor Frank Fenner, emeritus professor of microbiology at the Australian National University, has predicted that the human race will be extinct within the next 100 years.

He has claimed that the human race will be unable to survive a population explosion and 'unbridled consumption.

Fenner told The Australian newspaper that 'homo sapiens will become extinct, perhaps within 100 years.'

'A lot of other animals will, too,' he added.

'It's an irreversible situation. I think it's too late. I try not to express that because people are trying to do something, but they keep putting it off.'

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1287643/Human-race-extinct-100-years-population-explosion.html##ixzz0rLyNFy9c

Zoombie
06-20-2010, 07:24 AM
Um, the person I think most able to predict the future - Ray Kurzweil - is crazier than a bucket full of snakes who are all high on LSD.

And he thinks by 2050, humanity will merge with non-biological intelligence and crazy shit will happen. Possibly involving snakes.

His near future predictions are a little less crazy - better nanotech, better infotech, better biotech - but even still, I'm fully expecting a good half of them to be wrong.

I will say this: If we don't change A SINGLE THING, we'll be extinct within a hundred years. And as we all know, humans never ever change.

Now I'm gonna go shit in the woods, kill a tiger with my bear hands, skin it with a rock, then starve for a bit.

Bird of Prey
06-20-2010, 07:27 AM
I've been extremely depressed lately. Perhaps instinctively, I suspect he's right. And I don't like it at all, because until recently, I've had great faith in us homo sapiens. But the good ones can't seem to get control . . . .

rugcat
06-20-2010, 07:41 AM
Does not bother me in the slightest.

MoonWriter
06-20-2010, 07:47 AM
Damn! I was so looking forward to my 148th birthday.

kaitiepaige17
06-20-2010, 07:52 AM
Hopefully a REALLLLYYYY affective source of birth control will come out before then....

maxmordon
06-20-2010, 08:00 AM
As the scientist who helped eradicate smallpox he certainly know a thing or two about extinction.

And now Professor Frank Fenner, emeritus professor of microbiology at the Australian National University, has predicted that the human race will be extinct within the next 100 years.

He has claimed that the human race will be unable to survive a population explosion and 'unbridled consumption.

Fenner told The Australian newspaper that 'homo sapiens will become extinct, perhaps within 100 years.'

'A lot of other animals will, too,' he added.

'It's an irreversible situation. I think it's too late. I try not to express that because people are trying to do something, but they keep putting it off.'

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1287643/Human-race-extinct-100-years-population-explosion.html##ixzz0rLyNFy9c


Darn, you have to love the optimistic ones.

C.bronco
06-20-2010, 08:14 AM
My predictions for the future, for those who will take copious notes:

C.bronco's blockbuster hit from her graphic novel, Capon Frank, will encourage PETA to make more outrageous claims, and therefore make a sequel necessary.

AW will go down in history as the greatest literary salon of the 21st century. Writer friends from AW will be listed in Norton Anthologies for hundreds of years.

100 years from now, students in universities worldwide will ponder the meanings of KTC's many threads. They will respond in complete awe, believing that none of his posts were random.

Stacey's zombies will eat the BP oil spill.

Quickwit's posts will replace the tenets of Buddha as the means to world peace and chili-dogs, and/or cheese-steaks.

William Haskins will be recognized as the ultimate political authority, despite the many claims that "Hazkins wuz mean to me" and the lolcat pictorials.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. will win the Sprint Cup.

That is all.

PoppysInARow
06-20-2010, 08:19 AM
And didn't fifty years ago, they believe that the only way the Cold War would end would be Nuclear Holocaust?

I'll believe that crap when I see it.

Miss Plum
06-20-2010, 08:30 AM
He has claimed that the human race will be unable to survive a population explosion and 'unbridled consumption.'
Whoo. We're gonna shop 'til we drop.

Shadow Dragon
06-20-2010, 08:31 AM
And didn't fifty years ago, they believe that the only way the Cold War would end would be Nuclear Holocaust?

I'll believe that crap when I see it.
Yeah, I think it's kinda bs also. A hundred years is only like two or two and a half generation. Nothing less than a nuclear war will do that. And even nukes wouldn't gurantee the death of all humanity. A major disaster or a world war could kill off a large portion of the population, but not all.

We humans are like cockroaches. As long as the surface of the Earth survives, so will we.

C.bronco
06-20-2010, 08:34 AM
I think the Mayans stoppped the calendar in 2012 because the guy who was carving it either died or lost his funding.

Magdalen
06-20-2010, 08:42 AM
Homo sapiens, meh. Maybe Frank and Zoombie are both right -- evolution and extinction are intimately entwined, so perhaps those distant folks will be moto(r) sapiens. I'll be really pissed if there aren't flying cars by then, though.

William Haskins
06-20-2010, 08:42 AM
William Haskins will be recognized as the ultimate political authority, despite the many claims that "Hazkins wuz mean to me" and the lolcat pictorials.

i suspect extinction is preferable.

C.bronco
06-20-2010, 08:45 AM
After I finish the t-shirts tho... bear with me for a few...

Magdalen
06-20-2010, 08:48 AM
My predictions for the future, for those who will take copious notes:

C.bronco's blockbuster hit from her graphic novel, Capon Frank, will encourage PETA to make more outrageous claims, and therefore make a sequel necessary.

AW will go down in history as the greatest literary salon of the 21st century. Writer friends from AW will be listed in Norton Anthologies for hundreds of years.

100 years from now, students in universities worldwide will ponder the meanings of KTC's many threads. They will respond in complete awe, believing that none of his posts were random.

Stacey's zombies will eat the BP oil spill.

Quickwit's posts will replace the tenets of Buddha as the means to world peace and chili-dogs, and/or cheese-steaks.

William Haskins will be recognized as the ultimate political authority, despite the many claims that "Hazkins wuz mean to me" and the lolcat pictorials.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. will win the Sprint Cup.

That is all.

Brilliant post. And both chili-dogs & cheese-steaks can be one with everything.

C.bronco
06-20-2010, 08:58 AM
I do what I can, yanno, it's the obligation I feel towards humanity.

whistlelock
06-20-2010, 09:29 AM
Hey, remember the US is supposed to fall apart this year and dissolve the Union.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123051100709638419.html

C.bronco
06-20-2010, 09:38 AM
Forgot about that. We'll have to pass it by Mythbusters (my son loves that show).

M.R.J. Le Blanc
06-20-2010, 10:58 AM
I think the Mayans stoppped the calendar in 2012 because the guy who was carving it either died or lost his funding.

Maybe he got a hand cramp, or figured we'd get the point and not need carvings to remind us.

willietheshakes
06-20-2010, 11:09 AM
Um, the person I think most able to predict the future - Ray Kurzweil - is crazier than a bucket full of snakes who are all high on LSD.

And he thinks by 2050, humanity will merge with non-biological intelligence and crazy shit will happen. Possibly involving snakes.

His near future predictions are a little less crazy - better nanotech, better infotech, better biotech - but even still, I'm fully expecting a good half of them to be wrong.

I will say this: If we don't change A SINGLE THING, we'll be extinct within a hundred years. And as we all know, humans never ever change.

Now I'm gonna go shit in the woods, kill a tiger with my bear hands, skin it with a rock, then starve for a bit.

Wait, you've got bear hands?

Damn, the human manipulation is further along than I had feared! ;)

benbradley
06-20-2010, 11:37 AM
Hopefully a REALLLLYYYY affective source of birth control will come out before then....
We do. It's a combo of overpopulation and the collapse of the food supply. It's definitely "affective." :)

Who was that guy - he died recently - 50+ years ago the population was growing and the big prediction was that millions, even hundreds of millions would starve to death, but he engineered a better way to grow wheat, and then the population grew to what it is today...probably billions of people alive now owe their lives to that guy.
And didn't fifty years ago, they believe that the only way the Cold War would end would be Nuclear Holocaust?

I'll believe that crap when I see it.
The US, Soviet and Chinese governments were neither stupid nor crazy, but now more and more nations are getting The Bomb with leaders who are more and more questionable about their intelligence and sanity.

This is how Stephen Hawking has suggested Humanity might end. He was promoting space colonization as a way to not have all our eggs in one basket. While I like the idea myself, it IS rather expensive, and would be a big project to make self-sustaining.
Wait, you've got bear hands?

Damn, the human manipulation is further along than I had feared! ;)
According to the Bill of Rights, I have bear arms and I have a Constitutional right to them.

It's no more bizarre an interpretation tham what I've heard from some of the Supremes.

willietheshakes
06-20-2010, 11:39 AM
According to the Bill of Rights, I have bear arms and I have a Constitutional right to them.

That was very forward-thinking of the founders!

LOG
06-20-2010, 12:10 PM
This is how Stephen Hawking has suggested Humanity might end. He was promoting space colonization as a way to not have all our eggs in one basket. While I like the idea myself, it IS rather expensive, and would be a big project to make self-sustaining.

Forget space colonization, alternate realities are the way to go. We just hop over to an earth where humans never existed, plunder it of all its resources, then move onto the next earth where no intelligent life ever formed. The best part is that there's an infinite number of them. We can chop down trees forever and never have to worry. :D


According to the Bill of Rights, I have bear arms and I have a Constitutional right to them.

How could it possibly be misconstrued? (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bCgCceg042w)

leahzero
06-20-2010, 01:00 PM
We humans are like cockroaches. As long as the surface of the Earth survives, so will we.

This.

Population explosion and diminishing natural resources will affect us, but total extinction of the human race within one hundred years? Absurdity. It would take a global nuclear holocaust, or a giant meteorite hitting the planet, etc., to cause the extinction of our species so quickly.

I find it much more likely that the population will continue to soar, and the quality of living for each individual person will decline, until we reach critical mass and recidivate to a cluster of warring tribes, fighting over water and bandwidth. Not that we are very far removed from such state.

Mara
06-20-2010, 01:19 PM
A microbiologist who helped eliminate smallpox is not someone I'd consider a definitive expert on human extinction unless we're talking about some kind of ultra-lethal pandemic, and he wasn't.

Extinction within a hundred years, due to anything other than a cataclysmic change of climate (or radiation levels), is pretty much impossible.

Shakesbear
06-20-2010, 05:40 PM
Forget space colonization, alternate realities are the way to go. We just hop over to an earth where humans never existed, plunder it of all its resources, then move onto the next earth where no intelligent life ever formed. The best part is that there's an infinite number of them. We can chop down trees forever and never have to worry. :D



Sounds like an episode from Dr Who!

Paul
06-20-2010, 06:05 PM
Another reason to finish this damned novel!

Synonym
06-20-2010, 06:57 PM
We do. It's a combo of overpopulation and the collapse of the food supply. It's definitely "affective." :)

Who was that guy - he died recently - 50+ years ago the population was growing and the big prediction was that millions, even hundreds of millions would starve to death, but he engineered a better way to grow wheat, and then the population grew to what it is today...probably billions of people alive now owe their lives to that guy.



Dr. Norman Borlaug (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norman_Borlaug). I remembered because my son just graduated as an agronomist and was a member of the AGR fraternity also.

Mr. College Boy spent last summer working as an intern for a seed company on test plots. They happened to be growing/testing drought-resistant varieties of corn. Which is at least ten years from being released to the market.

Barring a total collapse of the world's economy, wide-spread killer diseases and the four horsemen, human ingenuity is still at work, in the background, finding ways to do more with less.

Jcomp
06-20-2010, 07:24 PM
well.... that would suck. Although I'd imagine that we wouldn't necessarily go extinct in the posited scenario so much as suffer a severe population decrease due to war & famine until eventually a relative handful of millions would say "okay, that's quite enough, thanks."

Don
06-20-2010, 07:27 PM
I dunno about the whole human race, but I've got a little list, they never would be missed... ;)

Jcomp
06-20-2010, 07:34 PM
I dunno about the whole human race, but I've got a little list, they never would be missed... ;)

Having the kind of mind that I do... this immediately made me think of how far we'd go to "save" mankind. Would we purposely enact measures designed to eradicate humongous blocks of the population to lessen the effects of overpopulation and consumption? Don't know how that would effect the "climate change" element that the article in the OP brings up, but hypothetically it could potentially postpone our extinction at least. Say in the next 50 years the science shows extinction is imminent unless something drastic and morally reprehensible is done. How would humanity respond?

If anything, that seems most likely to lead to the chaos and devastation that would promote extinction.

Synonym
06-20-2010, 07:45 PM
How did humanity respond to Y2K? Some hoarded, some dug in, some partied like it was 1999. An awful lot crossed their fingers and hoped nothing would happen.

It depends on how the media played the information. If they sensationalized it and stirred the sheeple into hysteria, it could be a self-fulfilling prophesy. I can see the larger population centers going up in smoke.

I heard an advertisement for free-dried food the other day. A company devoted to providing goods, guaranteed to be fresh for twenty-five years. At first I thought the radio station screwed up or were having a little fun, but...maybe not.

Vince524
06-20-2010, 07:49 PM
This is all important information when considering a new long term wireless contract.

donroc
06-20-2010, 08:08 PM
Lemons into lemonade????

Forgot the name of a SF short story I read in a Derleth collection back in the 1940s. A dying lone survivor of the human race crawls through man-made desolation to the sea, immerses himself and drowns. His body will disintegrate into micro-organisms and begin the process of evolution again. The tag line was that the constellations had not not yet formed into those we know today.

Plot Device
06-20-2010, 11:48 PM
The current population of this planet is not sustainable. We're already in trouble with the endless droughts in Africa -- been that way since the 1960's. If anyone here at AW -- a web site of intellectuals and pen-wielding writers extraordinaire-- is comfortable and complacent (maybe even bored and indifferent) with the fact that drought in Africa simply will not come to an end, then we probably deserve to die.

We're running out of absolutely everything, not just the oil I'm always harping about, but also something as simple as drinkable water as is evidenced in Africa. To deny that we're running out of absoluetly everything --especially the potable water-- is ignorant. And trying to MAKE water potable requires boatloads of energy, which we are also running out of.

The prediction of 100 is not unreasonable. I say we'll be in undeniable trouble and clearly at risk for a planet-wide extinction before the year 2020. Deaths by the milions due to famine and disease will begin before 2025 with a slow and painful yet ongoing attrition to the human population. All it will take after that is for one or more nuclear plants or nuclear waste piles to get loose in the form of a meltdown, and there'll be no turning back. The planet's surface will then be dead, and that's when our days will be numbered. That 100 years won't come quickly enough at that point. Barring the Second Coming and/or an alien intervention, we're truly screwed.

Xelebes
06-20-2010, 11:56 PM
Predictions of extinctions have their foundations in politics as opposed to having their foundations in science.

William Haskins
06-20-2010, 11:58 PM
humans have been around a long time and have endured a lot of substantial changes and adaptations.

barring a major cosmic event, we'll be around for a while, but not in the numbers we are now (or are projected in the near future).

war, genocide, famine, sickness and environmental change will certainly reduce human population over the next few centuries, but humanity will hardly go extinct.

Synonym
06-21-2010, 12:52 AM
Plot Device, why is there drought in Africa? Continent wide shifts in weather patterns? Mass deforestation and unsound farming practices? Grinding poverty and lack of leadership by every nation in Africa that won't allow it's people to elevate themselves to the levels of the rest of the world? That place has more people trying to help it with less results than anywhere else on the planet. I'm sorry to say that the only way I see this changing is divine intervention or alien invasion. Because no one, in their right minds, wants the impossible task of imposing martial law and forcing these people into the modern age so they can help themselves.

If your link is correct, we're quickly approaching a sudden lurch into the past and we'd better get ready to take a crash course in pre-industrialized survival skills. I hope I've still got Grandma's recipe to make lye soap and we'd better start building the smoke-house.

Perhaps we'll be luckier than most. As some of the last to receive electricity in their homes, we have a few folks around that still remember how to manage without it.

DeleyanLee
06-21-2010, 01:38 AM
If we go extinct, it'll be our own damned fault and it'll serve us right.

Like any other dire prediction of impending doom, me and mine will survive or not and adapt if we have to. 'Tis the nature of our species. I'm not that worried about it. Nothing lasts forever and it's total hubris to think we're any exception to that.

Unique
06-21-2010, 02:08 AM
If we go extinct, it'll be our own damned fault and it'll serve us right.

Nothing lasts forever and it's total hubris to think we're any exception to that.

Who says Adam and Eve only happened once? Or something mighty like. I feel sorry for today's kids (I'm half way to dead). What a nasty world we're leaving to them. Sure, we can yuck it up and act like tomorrow never comes but it always does.

Whether we're around to see it is another story.

Now that I've cheered you up - ta`

Romantic Heretic
06-21-2010, 02:20 AM
Actually, we still have plenty of resources.

We just don't care enough to go into all those landfills and get them out.

MattW
06-21-2010, 02:51 AM
There have been a number of near misses in human evolution - bottlenecks of only a few thousand humans alive at once, yet able to thrive again.

This was during the stone age, so we might just have farther to fall. If a catastrophe even killed billions of humans though, there's still be hundreds of thousands who might survive. Enough to keep the species viable, and even retain some level of sophistication above flint tools.

Mr. Anonymous
06-21-2010, 03:00 AM
A new dark age? Maybe. Widespread war, famine, limited use of nuclear weapons? Perhaps. Total extinction? I doubt it. Human beings are the most intelligent species on this planet, which makes us, arguably, the most adaptable.

Plot Device
06-21-2010, 03:41 AM
There have been a number of near misses in human evolution - bottlenecks of only a few thousand humans alive at once, yet able to thrive again.

This was during the stone age, so we might just have farther to fall. If a catastrophe even killed billions of humans though, there's still be hundreds of thousands who might survive. Enough to keep the species viable, and even retain some level of sophistication above flint tools.

A new dark age? Maybe. Widespread war, famine, limited use of nuclear weapons? Perhaps. Total extinction? I doubt it. Human beings are the most intelligent species on this planet, which makes us, arguably, the most adaptable.

Things are different now because of the existence of scores of nuclear generating plants all over the world. If a societal disruption were ever to become severe enough that entire shifts failed to report to work at any given local nuclear plant, then a meltdown would happen within a week at that one plant, contaminating an area of many thousands of square miles for decades to come.

Extend that same scenario to ALL the nukes that humanity now has and the entire planet's surface will get poisoned, killing off what few existing bottle necks of humans (and any other creatures) that remain (and who may yet still be eking out a semi-tolerable existence).

Zoombie
06-21-2010, 05:03 AM
PD, I think by 2040, we'll have advanced nanotech that will be able to modify things on a molecular level, making scarcity a thing of the past. That technology will also be used to revolutionize industry, entertainment, medicine and agriculture, allowing most people to live in plenty than every imagined before. A.I may also have been created, and widespread genetic engineering will make us healthier, longer lived, and generally more capable.

Combine that with more efficient solar power to produce energy, and a widespread shift to a post-scarcity reputation based economy, and the future will be fairly interesting. The biggest problems would be runaway nanotech weapons, bioweapons, and the stratification of ability. Rich folks will be able to modify themselves to be better - mentally and physically - from poor folks.


Now, why is my prediction of the future most likely going to not be taken seriously? Well, I think its because we as a people have been indoctrinated into believe in the dystopian future. Starting in about the 18th century, people have been predicting a future that will be worse and worse and worse.

And yet, every single year, technology and humanity has made greater and greater progress towards a better tomorrow. Imperfect steps that did not do all that we would wish, yes, but the effort and the progress is THERE and if you say otherwise, you're stupid.

And probably ugly too.

And I bet you don't have any friends either.

Still more, look at how many movies, books, video games, music videos, and so on portray the future as shit. Terminator, Freejack, Blade Runner, everything ever written by William Gibson EVER, on and on and on.

why is this?

Well, duh. Futures where people are happy and life is pretty good are really boring to watch and write about. Star Trek only worked because they were going around to places that were worse and humanity got to be insufferable pricks to the poor stupid aliens that we get to teach morality too. Wheee.

Anywho.

What are the chances that the future will be a spotless perfect place? Pretty damn low.

But what are the chances that the future will be a horrible, Mad Max style post apocalypse?

Pretty damn low too. And here is why: There are almost...what? Seven billion people on this planet. Every one of them has the potential to be another Norman Borlaug. Every ONE of them.

And I'm serious about that nanotech. We've already got the basics down.

Right here.

http://io9.com/5538320/behold-the-first-nanobot-assembly-line-in-action

See. The first nanorobot assembly line.

Pretty nifty, huh? Just imagine a box about the size of a desk. It's solar powered and stuffed full of industrial nanobots, controlled by a computer in the side of the box. You feed in raw material - which can range from trash to biomatter - and tell it to make you...I dunno, an I-pod. The nanobots inside follow a computer template and build the I-pod out of the raw materials you put in there.

Now, there are a load of steps between what we have now and that.

But even PD has to admit we're close enough to see the possibilities.

Magdalen
06-21-2010, 05:16 AM
PD, I think by 2040 . . . most people. . . live in plenty than every imagined before. A.I may also have been created, and widespread genetic engineering will make us healthier, longer lived, and generally more capable.

snip

Now, why is my prediction of the future most likely going to not be taken seriously?

snip

why is this?

Well, duh. Futures where people are happy and life is pretty good are really boring to watch and write about. Star Trek only worked because they were going around to places that were worse and humanity got to be insufferable pricks to the poor stupid aliens that we get to teach morality too. Wheee.

snip

Now, there are a load of steps between what we have now and that.

But even PD has to admit we're close enough to see the possibilities.

But will there be flying cars? That is the question.

Unique
06-21-2010, 05:17 AM
Soylent green IS people.

Human beings are the most intelligent species on this planet, which makes us, arguably, the most adaptable.

And the most stubborn, too.

Zoombie
06-21-2010, 05:17 AM
Actually, I think flying cars would be most possible on Mars. Lighter gravity...the only problem is the thinner atmo...

But hey, if we terraform it, then we could have flying cars on Mars.

Romantic Heretic
06-21-2010, 06:22 AM
But will there be flying cars? That is the question.
God, I hope not!

Considering the carnage on our roads I'd hate to add a third dimension to it.

Plot Device
06-21-2010, 06:25 AM
Zoombie, all that sounds great.

But do we have the energy to do all of that? And will we be able to keep on getting the energy to do it indefinitely?

Romantic Heretic
06-21-2010, 06:27 AM
As long as the sun shines, yes we will.

Kaiser-Kun
06-21-2010, 06:31 AM
I wonder what I'll do, all alone in this big world.

Zoombie
06-21-2010, 06:43 AM
Zoombie, all that sounds great.

But do we have the energy to do all of that? And will we be able to keep on getting the energy to do it indefinitely?


NEWS FLASH!

OIL IS SOLAR ENERGY.

It's just been delayed for a few million years.

mario_c
06-21-2010, 07:11 AM
Zoombie and PD, you guys are brilliant. Opposite sides of the same coin.
Humans have always created a scenario which allows Joe Citizen to play survivor - you are the hero, the last wo/man standing after something has obliterated all your family, friends and other people you hate. (I'll avoid the religious implications for the time being...) It's refreshing to imagine how you would cope and survive and maybe thrive. And some enjoy the prospect of all those annoying hordes who make your commute difficult being slowly devoured by some cataclysm.
There's nothing like a good apocalyptic scare to remind you how valuable life is. The green movement started because enough people were sold on considering how they used resources and how it affects the rest of the world. Disaster, whether it was real or not, is averted, and it can happen again. If you pay attention to the warning bells and do something about it.

benbradley
06-21-2010, 07:35 AM
Zoombie, all that sounds great.

But do we have the energy to do all of that? And will we be able to keep on getting the energy to do it indefinitely?
Well, there's this thing:
http://www.iter.org/
Someday the US may buy energy from France. Other European countries already do so.
We've got this, but my understanding is it's not really designed to ever become commercially viable:
https://lasers.llnl.gov/
The current population of this planet is not sustainable.
I think it's barely sustainable with current population and technology, and the main reasons people are dying prematurely can be traced to politics.

Here's a plausible future scenario: As the population doubles, the technology will improve and it will still be barely sustainable, in spite of technology and due to the continuation of political situations in Africa, the death rate could approach the birth rate, maybe half a billion people a year.

Here's a scenario. The unthinkable would be not to ship food to these hundreds of millions (perhaps a few billion) of starving people. The solution will be adding estrogen or whatever for birth control to the food shipped to third-world countries. Might cause problems with those who don't "need" birth control, but it would have to be done - You couldn't ship "food for men and children" and "food for women" - they would figure it out and no one would eat food for women - you'd have to put it in all food. Not pretty, but the alternative would be uglier.
We're already in trouble with the endless droughts in Africa -- been that way since the 1960's. If anyone here at AW -- a web site of intellectuals and pen-wielding writers extraordinaire-- is comfortable and complacent (maybe even bored and indifferent) with the fact that drought in Africa simply will not come to an end, then we probably deserve to die.

We're running out of absolutely everything, not just the oil I'm always harping about, but also something as simple as drinkable water as is evidenced in Africa.
Check out this TED.com video (Zoombie is gonna LOVE this, I have no doubt):Michael Pritchard's water filter turns filthy water drinkable
http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/michael_pritchard_invents_a_water_filter.html

To deny that we're running out of absoluetly everything --especially the potable water-- is ignorant. And trying to MAKE water potable requires boatloads of energy, which we are also running out of. The prediction of 100 is not unreasonable. I say we'll be in undeniable trouble and clearly at risk for a planet-wide extinction before the year 2020. Deaths by the milions due to famine and disease will begin before 2025 with a slow and painful yet ongoing attrition to the human population. All it will take after that is for one or more nuclear plants or nuclear waste piles to get loose in the form of a meltdown, and there'll be no turning back. The planet's surface will then be dead, and that's when our days will be numbered. That 100 years won't come quickly enough at that point. Barring the Second Coming and/or an alien intervention, we're truly screwed.
Can I vote for Alien Intervention? It can't be as bad as that "Intervention" TV show...
Things are different now because of the existence of scores of nuclear generating plants all over the world. If a societal disruption were ever to become severe enough that entire shifts failed to report to work at any given local nuclear plant, then a meltdown would happen within a week at that one plant, contaminating an area of many thousands of square miles for decades to come.

Extend that same scenario to ALL the nukes that humanity now has and the entire planet's surface will get poisoned, killing off what few existing bottle necks of humans (and any other creatures) that remain (and who may yet still be eking out a semi-tolerable existence).
That's interesting, I wonder if they're really like that, if they would melt down if left unattended. It's been a while, but I think Tree Mile Island and Chernobyl happened because "knowledgable" people were there who intentionally bypassed so many safety and auto-shutdown devices.
PD, I think by 2040, we'll have advanced nanotech that will be able to modify things on a molecular level, making scarcity a thing of the past. That technology will also be used to revolutionize industry, entertainment, medicine and agriculture, allowing most people to live in plenty than every imagined before.
And they'll efficiently get the gold, copper, iron, lead and plastics out of landfills, and for the one JFK Airport is built on they'll replace everything with rock or concrete so there won't be those sinkholes in the runways they have to fix.

The people who should REALLY be horrified at Zoombies's future are literary agents and publishers. Imagine a lot of well-off people with nothing to do, looking for creative outlets - unsolicited manuscripts could increase a thousand-fold!!!:scared:
But will there be flying cars? That is the question.
Perhaps, but the Really Good News is that they will fly themselves, and people will not be allowed to fly them. According to this video, we're about ten years away from commercially available self-driving automobiles:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lULl63ERek0
BTW, did you notice the component they took out of this vehicle:
http://twitpic.com/1v4n3d

Don Allen
06-21-2010, 07:36 AM
As the scientist who helped eradicate smallpox he certainly know a thing or two about extinction.

And now Professor Frank Fenner, emeritus professor of microbiology at the Australian National University, has predicted that the human race will be extinct within the next 100 years.

He has claimed that the human race will be unable to survive a population explosion and 'unbridled consumption.

Fenner told The Australian newspaper that 'homo sapiens will become extinct, perhaps within 100 years.'

'A lot of other animals will, too,' he added.

'It's an irreversible situation. I think it's too late. I try not to express that because people are trying to do something, but they keep putting it off.'

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1287643/Human-race-extinct-100-years-population-explosion.html##ixzz0rLyNFy9c



Fuck this guy!

I'm going with the Mayans,,, A whole race of people with the balls to cut the calendar at 2012.....

LOG
06-21-2010, 08:08 AM
I have a vision of the scene from Kingdom Come at the statue of liberty in my head now...

Zoombie
06-21-2010, 08:12 AM
I know, producing art is going to be SWAMPED.

benbradley
06-21-2010, 08:21 AM
Zoombie, I heard this a few weeks ago over lunch so I don't have a link for it (maybe someone could do some net.research on it), but there's this guy that did some research with microwaves ... you know how a microwave oven works, it outputs a frequency that's the same as what the water molecule vibrates at, and so that's how it works, it increases the vibrations (heats up) water molecules in food (thus making bread hot and soggy). Well, the guy researched different materials, and what frequencies different molecules resonate at. He made a microwave that heats up scrap plastic, the stuff destined for landfills, and out of his microwave pours the crude oil the plastic was made from.

Zoombie
06-21-2010, 08:35 AM
AAAAAAAAHAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAAH!

IN YOUR FACE PEAK OIL!

Ruv Draba
06-21-2010, 11:42 AM
NEWS FLASH!

OIL IS SOLAR ENERGY.No, it's not. Energy changes forms when it changes matter. Our decisions on what energy to use are based on how it's stored, how much of it there is, and what happens when it's released.

Zoombie
06-21-2010, 11:44 AM
I was referring to that it, and all energy on our world, is from the sun. To bawl about an energy crisis while there is a massive nuclear fireball beaming out unfathomable amounts of raw energy into space every microsecond, just strikes me as kinda silly.

Ruv Draba
06-21-2010, 11:52 AM
Population explosion and diminishing natural resources will affect us, but total extinction of the human race within one hundred years? Absurdity.Developed nations take food security for granted -- it's a side-effect of our infrastructure, but food security depends on having a climate predictable enough to let us grow surplus. We make jokes about the Irish potato famine the way we make jokes about cavemen rubbing sticks together, but for most of humanity's agrarian history, a society couldn't survive two or three bad harvests. These days, because we've managed to stockpile better, create bigger food surpluses and trade further, developed nations can potentially survive dozens of bad harvests as long as someone else has surplus they're willing to trade.

But if global climates become unpredictable, global food surplus inevitably diminishes. Moreover, the further you transport food, the greater the wastage (wastage on fresh food in supermarkets can be as high as 33% before it hits the shelves), so the further afield you need to get your food, the bigger the nett food surplus needs to be. Without climate instability, a growing population is bad enough, but we could potentially manage it by tapering off birth-rates and consumption. But add global climate instability and we can predict the train-wreck generations in advance, even if we can't say exactly when.

Our cities can't work without food surplus to shuffle around, and without cities our economies can't work. If we don't have food surplus our cities will starve, our economies will collapse and that will mean a lower tech-base and more starvation over time -- not to mention war and cultural collapse. I don't know for sure that it will lead to species extinction (that may depend on what happens to climate), but there's no question that diminishing food can kill off civilisations and wipe out populations; archaeology has real examples.

SPMiller
06-21-2010, 12:46 PM
I was referring to that it, and all energy on our world, is from the sun. To bawl about an energy crisis while there is a massive nuclear fireball beaming out unfathomable amounts of raw energy into space every microsecond, just strikes me as kinda silly.There's plenty of stored energy in the planet that didn't come from the sun--or, at least, not from the sun after the accretion disks condensed into planets, if that theory is true.

That said, most of the useful energy we have access to has solar energy as its source.

GeorgeK
06-21-2010, 03:26 PM
Now I'm gonna go shit in the woods, kill a tiger with my bear hands, skin it with a rock, then starve for a bit.


I'd buy a ticket for that (to set up my remote camera since otherwise I'd have to sit by a real person and that's no fun) and btw I'd bet on the tiger because tigers are...well...tigers.

GeorgeK
06-21-2010, 03:29 PM
I was referring to that it, and all energy on our world, is from the sun. To bawl about an energy crisis while there is a massive nuclear fireball beaming out unfathomable amounts of raw energy into space every microsecond, just strikes me as kinda silly.

It's a crisis to those who haven't figured out a way to charge for it.

Diana Hignutt
06-21-2010, 04:01 PM
As the scientist who helped eradicate smallpox he certainly know a thing or two about extinction.

And now Professor Frank Fenner, emeritus professor of microbiology at the Australian National University, has predicted that the human race will be extinct within the next 100 years.

He has claimed that the human race will be unable to survive a population explosion and 'unbridled consumption.

Fenner told The Australian newspaper that 'homo sapiens will become extinct, perhaps within 100 years.'

'A lot of other animals will, too,' he added.

'It's an irreversible situation. I think it's too late. I try not to express that because people are trying to do something, but they keep putting it off.'

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1287643/Human-race-extinct-100-years-population-explosion.html##ixzz0rLyNFy9c


Ridiculous. What would the Reptoids eat?

Plot Device
06-21-2010, 06:55 PM
Ridiculous. What would the Reptoids eat?


The bear that Zoombie killed with his tiger hands.

Smileycat
06-21-2010, 07:08 PM
Damn! I was so looking forward to my 148th birthday.


You're 48?

Smileycat
06-21-2010, 07:12 PM
In all seriousness, maybe.

Good luck to us all.

Ruv Draba
06-21-2010, 07:15 PM
Ridiculous. What would the Reptoids eat?The sense of the credulous.

Kaiser-Kun
06-21-2010, 07:17 PM
Ridiculous. What would the Reptoids eat?

Daltoids.

benbradley
06-21-2010, 09:36 PM
Zoombie, I heard this a few weeks ago over lunch so I don't have a link for it (maybe someone could do some net.research on it), but there's this guy that did some research with microwaves ... you know how a microwave oven works, it outputs a frequency that's the same as what the water molecule vibrates at, and so that's how it works, it increases the vibrations (heats up) water molecules in food (thus making bread hot and soggy). Well, the guy researched different materials, and what frequencies different molecules resonate at. He made a microwave that heats up scrap plastic, the stuff destined for landfills, and out of his microwave pours the crude oil the plastic was made from.
Here we go:
http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn12141-giant-microwave-turns-plastic-back-to-oil.html

Torgo
06-21-2010, 09:44 PM
PD, I think by 2040, we'll have advanced nanotech that will be able to modify things on a molecular level, making scarcity a thing of the past.

I am prepared to bet you a hundred bucks (or whatever the equivalent, adjusted-for-inflation sum will be in 2040 - at this rate, probably five litres of fresh water) that we will get nowhere near this.

Shadow_Ferret
06-21-2010, 09:53 PM
They've been predicting our extinction due to overpopulation and overconsumption for a hundred years or so, and the voices became exceedingly shrill when we reached 3 billion in 1960.

Obama picked a bad time to cancel the space program.

MGraybosch
06-21-2010, 11:04 PM
A hundred years? I'll be dead before then, so it's not my problem.

MelodyO
06-23-2010, 10:48 AM
It seems to me that if the world truly goes to hell, as countries get more and more desperate they'll stop all aid to other countries and let them fend for themselves, with calamitous results. Nothing like culling a few billion of the herd to make the ol' resources last a while longer.

Sometimes I despair for the future, but there's definitely a part of me that still believes there's always going to be someone smart enough to help us wiggle out of whatever mess we've gotten ourselves into THIS time. Like the water filter that takes the most putrid swamp water and filters out everything including viruses, we've still got a few species-saving tricks up our collective sleeves.

If you compare what our world was like 100 years ago to what it's like today, I don't think it's a stretch to say that we can't even imagine the amazing advances that will come about in the next 100 years (or even ten years). Don't count us out yet!

Torrance
06-23-2010, 05:49 PM
I have complete faith in our ability to erradicate 80% of the population with biological weapons, prior to this extinction date. Viva humanity!

Kaiser-Kun
06-23-2010, 08:46 PM
I have complete faith in our ability to erradicate 80% of the population with biological weapons, prior to this extinction date. Viva humanity!

My money's on the nukes. The nuclear standoff the world has been at since the 70's will be broken sooner or later.

mario_c
06-23-2010, 10:10 PM
My money's on the nukes. The nuclear standoff the world has been at since the 70's will be broken sooner or later.Oh, nukes are so 1950s. Electro-magnetic pulse bombs (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electromagnetic_pulse) are the hot thing now. ETA That's a High Altitude Electromagnetic Pulse device, ironically abbreviated HEMP.

Wayne K
06-23-2010, 10:15 PM
In 100 years the food, air, and water will be so polluted that anyone who is still alive will wish they weren't.

2old2pb
06-23-2010, 10:46 PM
If you're tired of it all, I can start working on the problem. It won't take me 100 years, either.