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The most survivable scenario

bass_slave
Struggling Scientist
bass_slave
Struggling Scientist
Joined: 1:50 PM - Jul 15, 2010

2:43 PM - Jul 15, 2010 #1

What would you say is a devastating but most survivable end of the world scenario?

Is a scenario even considered an apocalypse if human life survives, it is just greatly changed?

How about the difference between the words Armageddon and apocalypse...does an Armageddon more refer to a religiously driven possibility of the world's end?
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Kalkin
Disgraced Dictator
Kalkin
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6:52 PM - Feb 08, 2012 #2

ZOMBIES!

p.s. The difference between Apocalypse and Armageddon is that Armageddon is the name for the last war. Apocalypse is name for what you have after its been resolved.
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Sanders
Crazy Doctor's Apprentice
Sanders
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9:21 AM - Feb 09, 2012 #3

I would say the supposed supervolcano, or if you don't consider that an apocalypse, a nuclear war.
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Kalkin
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5:58 PM - Feb 09, 2012 #4

Actually - historically speaking - supervolcano is the least survivable scenario. Some 250 million years ago a super volcano eruption ripped open Siberia and caused the greatest mass extinction in the history of this planet. 95% of all life in oceans died, because eruption released enough CO2 to trigger global warming. That resulted in sudden increase in ocean temperature that dislodged all the methane in ocean floor and that melted all ice caps. Change in ocean temperature and acidity nearly sterilized oceans. Of course something like a collision with a planetoid - one that created the moon - was more destructive, but there wasn't any life here then to be killed by it - and there aren't that many planetoids around either.
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Sanders
Crazy Doctor's Apprentice
Sanders
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10:07 AM - Mar 01, 2012 #5

Hehe, oops.

Still sticking to nuclear war, though. Not only in terms of possible overestimation of damage (there's really no way to know, s'pose, but I personally believe that it would be more like Jericho and less like Fallout), but also in terms of probability. Sometimes, you just have to wonder if we really got that close in the Cold War. I mean, sure the US and Russia had the nuclear weapons, and there were definitely people who wanted to use them, but the people in charge weren't generally that crazy and/or stupid. Maybe it was MAD, or maybe they were just basic enough humans to know that vaporizing an entire country of people is kind of a dick move. But I digress before this gets gets too political.

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Kalkin
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5:48 PM - Mar 01, 2012 #6

Well, the trouble with that is that most people are sane and competent most of the time. However a superpower in command of thousands of warheads has to have a complex system in place to handle a possible nuclear conflict. That means thousands of people, thousands of systems, thousands of places, thousands of circumstances and thousands of thousands of ways things can go wrong. The closest occations when mankind has come to nuclear war have not been intentional saber rattling with USA and Soviets, but rather insanely stupid accidents, when complex systems broke down by sheer coincidence. I read a Cracked.com article about close calls with World War III that listed five (that's right 5) different occations. Only one of them was more or less intentional.
1. During Cuban missile crisis, a russian nuclear submarine had been loaded with nuclear torpedoes and captain had been authorized to use them. He made the decision to launch, but his own XO and crew disobeyed his commands.
2. In the sixties a tree fell in an air force base on some cables that got wires crossed. This activated a simulation of russian missile launch towards USA and no one in the command room knew the difference, until someone started wondering, why there were so few missiles in the launch. The glitch was discovered in time.
3. An american airforce base responsible for launching bombers into Soviet union had a bear entering the base and cut some warning system wires. This caused a full alert and they started launching bombers. Some guy had to actually run into the runway to stop the planes from taking off.
4. 1983 colonel Petrov had a bad day. Russians also had that wires crossed scenario and the whole base panicked at the sight of incoming american missiles. The procedure called for Petrov to alert the whole russian army for counter attack, but he thought the incoming missile swarm suspiciously small so he decided not start a full nuclear retaliation. He waited, until forward observers visually confirmed the absence of missiles where they were supposed to be. He totally acted against the doctrine and in doing so saved mankind from nuclear war. If he had done what he was supposed to, he would have launched missiles. He was tried and fired for failing his duties. Praise former colonel Petrov. The only reason why you keep sucking oxygen is because he allowed you to.
5. 1992 the world came closer than ever to nuclear war. Norway had launched a new satellite into the orbit. They had informed russian diplomat of it in advance, but the word had not gotten around. The rocket caused a high alert among russians and this time there was a visual confirmation. Russians thought that this was a first strike EMP attack to disable russian radar systems followed by full nuclear assault. It is the only time, when the russian nuclear suitcase has been opened and president Yeltsin was only couple of minutes away from giving the order, when they found out the rocket was not an attack.

As you can see, only the first one of these incidents was more or less meant to be. Other times it was simply a case of glitches and mishaps in a complex system. There wasn't any particular maliciousness, madness or even stupidity involved in any of these incidents. None of these incidents was caused by mouth wrothing warmongers. MAD is indeed a powerful deterrant against intentional nuclear war, but it offers no protection whatsoever against accidents.
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Fake Astronomy
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Fake Astronomy
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Joined: 9:05 AM - Dec 15, 2017

9:08 AM - Dec 15, 2017 #7

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