Is y2k an ELE?greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
Is y2k an Extinction Level Event?
Recently I watched the movie Deep Impact, now out on video . For those readers who have not seen the movie, or have not rented it, in brief: Large comet (100 billion tons), is on collision course with Earth. The consequences of impact are considered an Extinction Level Event, hence ELE.
Some interesting similarities are worth noting.
A young women reporter is working on what she thinks is a story about the Secretary of the Treasury, resigning due to a rumored sex scandal. She gets a little too close to the truth, black cars force her off the road, FBI then escort her to a meeting with the president. Thinking SHE knows about the comet, he comments" we knew we'd have to go public once the budget is passed, there's no way to hide all the money we've spent." Trying to buy more time he then asks the question, " Would you sit on the story for two weeks if you knew it was in the best interests of the nation?" To which she replies, " I thought the truth *is* what's in the best interest of the nation." The president then gives her two days. Promises her a seat, front center, at the press briefing.
The President keeps silent for one year on the matter, while making preparations to save the planet.
At the press conference, " Well there was a remote possibility that the comet would make direct contact with Earth". After expaining the problem, he dicusses a solution and declares martial law.
No one is told by the President, to prepare.
The President announces the plan to save the Earth is a space craft (US/Russian constructed during previous year) will intercept the comet and try to break it apart with nukes.
The plan fails. Small chunk breaks off, two comets now enroute.
The president announces: 200,000 selected citizens and, 800,000 lottery winners (computerized using SS numbers), will move into caves underground, to live for an estimated two years.
Constructed in secret by the government, is an underground ark.
221 million citizens are left to fend for themselves. Time passes.
Rioting, price-gouging, looting, and arson, break out as the comet approaches Earth.
The back-up plan, a salvo of missiles, nuke-heads, are launched to try to steer the comet's away. The plan fails.
Small comet will impact on the eastern seaboard, no one in the cities is expected to live.
Reporter and many other people, decide to stand in the face of the tidal wave, and die.
With very little time remaining, The President now suggests people get out of the cities. " God Bless us everyone".
Roads choke with cars.
Comet strikes, everyone on the eastern seaboard dies.
Some people survive by making it to high ground.
Does this ring a bell with anyone else, or is it just me?
Best Regards, Tom McDowell
-- Tom McDowell (email@example.com), December 16, 1998
"Deep Impact" definitely rings a bell with me. So does "Independence Day", "Titanic", and "Men In Black". Why have all these movies been a hit in the last year or two? Do we, the public, know something about our near future that we aren't willing to admit to ourselves yet?
-- Kevin (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 16, 1998.
There have been quite a few disaster movies out in the last few years.
All the ones we saw showed how man's apathy, greed, stupidity, and first-knowledge-concealed to make a stealthy buck prevented timely preparation by the masses.
If Y2K proves an ELE, it will ring a remorse and memory bell in all before they die.
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-- Leska (email@example.com), December 16, 1998.
Will Y2K be an Extinction Level Event?
It was a friggin' movie. Stop being stupid.
-- a (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 16, 1998.
If Y2K becomes an ELE, it will be primarily because of people's reactions.
Even on this Forum, one can see the destructive tendencies of people rushing out at the tiniest perceived inconvenience or difference in opinion or style. Based on this, Y2K will cause war and obliteration.
xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxx
-- Leska (email@example.com), December 16, 1998.
According to a russian defector interviewed on FRONTLINE, there is a highly contageous ebola/anthrax hybrid with a kill rate in the 90th percentile. That means that if released, it would kill at least 90 percent of all humans on earth. The decomposition of the dead would kill the rest of us, through other diseases, or by enormous volume of gases given off. In addition to this there are many, many, other organisms and compounds that might be used, singly or in combination. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, the nuclear clock is closer to midnight that ever. Proliferation of Nuclear, Chemical and Biological weapons is rife. We're not talking about mustard gas, or dinky Hiroshima-sized explosions; there's been a whole lot of "progress" since then.
We're headed for a global economic depression. We're headed for an end to global economy and a resurgence of nationalism. Y2k will cause prolonged chaos, economic desperation and miscommunication in this environment.
I think a few people will survive. But our population is assuming a classic "overshoot" pattern. Like other species before us, we are the dominant organism in the environment, i.e., the one that is causing the most change. Environments are changed by dominant organisms all the time, and those organisms experience "overshoot" (massive die-off) when they have transformed the environment to the point where they can no longer survive in it. In this way, a pond fills with a dominant organism and becomes a swamp; the swamp fills with another organism and becomes a bog; the bog becomes a meadow, meadow becomes forest, and so on, each time being "ruled" by a dominant organism which, by it's very dominance, alters the environment to the point where it can no longer exist in high numbers - or any numbers. It's called "seral succession." Extrapolating from current genetic engineering techniques, combining that with our fascination with eugenics and the likely need for gene therapy and selective breeding in a radioactive/mutagenic post-war landscape, I do not think it far-fetched to expect a future humanity so adapted to the new environment that it constitutes a distinct, dominant species.
So, not an ELE in the sense of a total wipe-out. But this could be pretty darn big all right.
-- E. Coli (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 16, 1998.
I watched "Deep Impact" a few weeks ago and all I could think about when I was watching it was Y2K. One question: Why aren't we stockpiling "Ensure" like they did in that movie?!?!?!?
-- Diane (DDEsq2002@juno.com), December 16, 1998.
Is the Y2K bug an extinction-level event... Interesting question. Ask any two people and you'll get two answer that probably will only slightly overlap. And they'll probably run the range from "only a few problems will come along, most relatively minor and localized" to "massive, global failures of all critical and non-critical systems, total collapse of all government and economic systems, widespread anarchy."
The more religious folks might see Y2K as a potential trigger to the Biblical "Great Tribulation," a precursor to the mother of all battles, Armageddon itself. ("for then there will be great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the world's beggining until now, nor will occur again. In fact, unless those days were cut short, no flesh would be saved." - Matthew 24:21,22a, which is only a few lines after Jeses' famed description of the "sign of the times.")
The more philosophical folks might think of it as a possible turning point in how the collective "we" of humanity do and see and think. Whether this is a good turn or a bad will vary with the levels of pessimism or optimism present in the asked.
Humanity will move on. Odds are, it'll be a smaller, smarter, tighter, tougher form of humanity than the soft, gooey ooze of humanity that exists at present. Y2K won't in and of itself be the downfall of us all but there's little doubt that the effects will vary widely in serverity and scope. Some countries will come through it basically the same as they came in, others will be destroyed totally by the cataclysmic effects of everything going up in smoke all at once.
Y2K will mark the end of some, the beginning for others, but H. Sapiens will move on... Better for it in the long term...
OddOne, living up to the name once again...
-- OddOne (email@example.com), December 16, 1998.
Check out an old "B" movie the "Miricle Mile" Great Y2K like movie. The actor from ER is in it. He has a two hour head start on nuclear war. Worth a buck at the local video store.
-- Bill (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 16, 1998.
If you look at the relevent statistics you will see that the last 150 years or so of civilisation (especially the last 50, 20, 10, 5...)constitute an extinction level event. Y2k maybe can be a quasi-e.l.e. for us techno-monkeys, but that would be respite for the other creatures. Unless fix-on-failure for Russian nuke reactors proves to be Chernobylesque x 65, in which case the ongoing ele accalerates somewhat. Mutate now, avoid the rush.
-- humptydumpty (email@example.com), December 22, 1998.