HYPERLINK ” ArticleWe are all familiar with movies depicting the end of the word. Be it in Interstellar, or in World War Z, we all know about the marvellous imagination and thought which goes into processing the apocalypse’ in a tangible, exciting manner. The action and the created suspense are fantastic. But what if it happens in real? What if the Earth actually ends? You might be thinking that I am talking about something purely hypothetical and far-fetched. True, it is hypothetical, but the chances of it happening now, are greater than ever.
Recently, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists announced that they had shifted the so called Doomsday clock’ by thirty seconds, resulting in it being only 2 minutes to midnight, the closest it has ever been since its inception in 1947. The doomsday clock, which was formed by scientists who developed atomic weapons in the Manhattan Project, acts as a symbolic measure of when humanity is going to be destroyed. The reason cited for this alarming change has been the failure of President Trump and other world leaders to deal with looming threats of nuclear war and climate change.
’ The last time the minute hand of the clock was this close to midnight was in 1953, in the peak of the Cold War, when the US tested the first hydrogen bomb. The previous change had been last year, owing to reasons such as nuclear danger and excessive climate change, which still persist today, and have thus, caused the shift in the clock. The bulletin says that the world is becoming more dangerous’. Nuclear stockpiles of nations all over the globe are constantly increasing. Technology, as convenient as it has made our lives, is now destroying whole organizations and businesses. Resources are rapidly disappearing of the face of the Earth. It also claims that there is nothing substantial being done to help alleviate these problems. The clock has now been moved 23 times, which has led many skeptics ask questions about its validity, and its necessity in today’s world. Although the lock is not a very accurate representation of humanity’s demise, it is more relevant than ever, as it now takes five factors into consideration compared to previously, when it was only one. Adding onto nuclear threats, it now also looks at important issues such as climate change, biosecurity, bio terrorism and other issues of concern. The board which decides the position of the minute hand of the clock consists of renowned scientists. Therefore it is safe to assume that although it is a bit exaggerated, it is definitely relevant. Although it does not provide us any solutions to the growing problems of the world, it’s very significant as well, as it displays the raw fear some intelligent people exhibit for the planet’s healthy existence. It acts as a crude, yet brilliant demonstration of humanity’s devastating effect on our planet, and thus, helps spread awareness about our uncountable misdoings, and encourages us to correct them. We cruelly dump around 8 million tons of choking plastic into the sea every year. An estimated 55 billion tons of fossil energy, minerals, metals and bio mass are extracted from the Earth every year. We have already lost 80% of our forests, while it’s estimated that we have lost half of our wildlife in just the past 40 years. While we are damaging the planet ecologically, we are also destroying ourselves as a species. Inequality is widespread. As many as 2.8 billion people on the planet struggle to survive on less than $2 a day, and more than one billion people lack reasonable access to safe drinking water. The situation of our planet looks bleak, which explicitly justifies the board’s decision to move the clock closer to midnight. Our Earth looks to be on the brink of utter destruction, with no one but us to blame.But if the earth really does end, how? There are countless ways in which the Earth could cease to be, some really improbable, but some, dangerously possible. Some of the unlikely ones include an asteroid striking the Earth just like in the end of the Mesozoic era, or a blast of gamma rays released from a supernova incinerating the Earth. Some people also fear that scientists at the Large Hadron Collider (machine which recreates the Big Bang) might mistakenly create a black hole, which will suck the planet up. Extraterrestrial contact could also be risky, as an advanced species could defeat us using powerful, destructive weapons. Events we cannot control, such as massive solar storms, or a super-volcano eruption can also threaten to destroy the world as we know it. These events are pretty far-fetched, but there are a lot of genuinely alarming ones as well. In this ever-connected world, an epidemic could easily develop, which could even obliterate humanity. Overpopulation has been rampant, which has resulted in climate change around the world, as now resources are being devoured in a ridiculous amount. Sea levels are rising along with global temperatures, as food production constantly dwindles, creating even more difficulties. Climate change has also reportedly led to do methane getting released from thawing permafrost. This could accelerate global warming, and increase average world temperature by more than 12 degree centigrade. Scientific experimentation may also prove to be fatal, as a mistake in genetic engineering could create something unfathomable. As tensions amongst nations rise, the use of biological weapons or a nuclear war looks inevitable. There are estimated to be currently 16300 nukes’ in possession of just 9 nations. If only 100-200 of these dreadful weapons are used, the Earth will undergo a nuclear winter’, in which temperatures are going to plummet to the lowest in the last millennium. We will then surely have faced our end.If the Earth miraculously does manage to survive all of this terror, it will be destined to die 4 billion years later, when the sun will blow up into a red giant, and engulf our planet, our only home. Humanity till then will have surely faced its doomsday’ long back, probably having left nothing but its unpleasant ashes of a futile existence.