The arrogance of humanity means that we feel like we will be here forever. Even though we are a transient species most of us feel like the day of our own death will never come. This is why we deal with death so badly because we refuse to accept that it is the only certainty of life. If we are this arrogant with our own lives just imagine how arrogant we are with the human race. We think life will exist forever when it clearly won’t. There are so many dangers that could potentially end the human race. Let’s take a look at what is most likely to cause our end.
These types of events are called Extinction Level Events and are defined as any occurrence that will result in the demise of the majority of species on a planet. They are the type of event that a movie is based on every year or so and we get to see John Cusack have the incredible ability to outrun a disaster that in reality would sweep across entire cities in mere moments. Some of these Extinction Level Events are guaranteed to happen at some point in time, others may never occur.
The one that we hear about most is climate change. While scientists continue to provide research that shows we are killing the planet we still have the ability to not really consider or worry about the consequences of our actions. While we hope that humanity can stop damaging the planet to allow it to recover from the damage caused, only time will tell. Even if we do better, climate change will still likely be the eventual death of our planet. Whether from a cooling or warming event the planet will eventually become inhospitable to life. This may take billions of years but the question is not if but when.
Humanity is a pretty notorious thing. While climate change is one tool we have at our disposal to cause an Extinction Level Event, we have many more. We saw during World War Two with the release of nuclear weapons the power that our arms possess. Some scientists believe that if we had another world war it could be the end of the world as our nuclear powers are now so great. Let’s face it, the men with their hands on the button at present do not fill us with the most confidence.
Of the natural Extinction Level Events that could take place, volcanoes pose the greatest threat. When you consider that there are these massive formations that can spew hot lava it makes sense that they could cause a lot of damage. History shows that volcanoes have caused the greatest number of ELEs in the past as well. Volcanoes have led to 11 ELEs in the past, all causing significant loss of life. Volcanoes have the potential to do immediate damage but also to play havoc with the climate, the atmosphere, the ecosystem, and more.
Space is a great unknown and what little we do know about it does not fill us with a lot of confidence. We rely heavily on this amazing star called the Sun. If that ever burns out we will die, it will do so in about a billion years’ time. Before that, though it may have some moments of anger that could also end our world. These moments are called Coronal Mass Ejections, they have happened in the past and if a big enough one takes place and is aimed at our planet, then we are doomed. Even if the Sun looks after us space contains so many meteors that one could ruin our planet at any time.
There are so many possible dangers that could cause Extinction Level Events that it would make sense for humanity to be a little bit more humble. However, the probability of any of these events occurring anytime soon is incredibly low. So you can be confident in your existence and your great-great-great grandkids too but somewhere down the line, it will all end.