Tuesday, April 10, 2012

All Warm and Fuzzy

This article just leaves me feeling all warm and fuzzy.   What the heck, it's always better to ignore the big issues right?

We ignore the possible destruction of our civilization on a daily basis.  Mostly this is because we're evolved to look for the immediate threat and you have think and plan ahead for the big issues - we're not good at that.

  • We've done next to nothing about possible asteroid / comet collisions after being told it's 100% going to happen sometime (probably not soon).
  • We've done zip to protect against EMP from Solar prominence which has happened and will happen again.  We also haven't prepared for a Terrorist / China/Russia/? nuke airburst.   How hard do you think it would be to get 3+ small nuke tipped rockets on a container ship into the Gulf of Mexico, where they'd have plenty of range to blanket the entire US.   I'm guessing not that hard.  Although I do give credit to our black ops guys efforts to recapture nuclear materials stolen from Russia, Pakistan, well where ever.  But there is still some out there.  Not good.
  • We happily ignore the three Super Volcano's we have in the US   - Yellowstone is the one everyone knows about and ignores, then there's Valles Caldera in New Mexico, and Long Valley in California -  they are inactive but to trust mother nature to treat us gently is perhaps a bit optimistic.  And those are just ours.   Talk about Climate Change. 
  • We don't ignore the possibility of pandemic but we've done very little to prepare for it - how many people have a clue as to how to behave, or have done anything to prepare for the 100% chance that it will happen (probably in my lifetime) - 1%, 2% - probably less.
  • We've sort of given up worrying about an Nuclear War - which I'd put as a pretty low probability - but still,  I'd be surprised if a fallout shelter has been built or restocked in 40 years.
  • Can't do much about Earthquakes except build well - which we're doing, and prepare for long periods of almost no food, water, health services, transportation,  etc - which we have mostly ignored.
  • Since Economic performance is partially based on consumer confidence and, based on various polls over 50% of U.S. residents polled think that the economy is gong to collapse, I think that's grounds for concern.   The economy and the stock markets are essentially self fulfilling prophecy - if everyone thinks it's going to collapse - it will - and we're better than 50% of the way there - Oh joy.
  • Peak Oil leading to unaffordable gas, and a crippled transportation and power generation system - Maybe where close, maybe we're there.  Here at least our technological prowess might save our collective asses for a while.
  • Climate change - ok maybe you don't believe in global warming but there is WAY too much evidence for it to make me comfortable.   It's one of those problems with a negative feedback loop - the worse it gets the faster it gets worse.    Maybe we can do something about it - maybe not but it seems short sighted to not try.   Is it possible that it's a hoax - No, just look at photographs of glaciers in Alaska and Greenland and you can see it's happening.  Is it as bad as the media wants us to think - I have NO idea.   Is it our fault? I suspect it's partially our fault and partially a natural swing - the timing was just bad. 
  • Link to the Climate change thing is Deforestation - between desertification in Africa and the burning of the rain forests in South America, we definitely have a problem.   Both of which I think are still fixable if we just cared enough to actually do it. 

Are you feeling all warm and fuzzy now?

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