Thursday, June 11, 2009
Its the end of the world as we know it...
We're all gonna die and apparently its going to look like this!
According to this report, Venus is going to collide with Earth and its going to be ba-bye to everything living on the planet. Pretty scary... except its not going to happen for another 1.5 billion years. I think this is where long range projections get a bit silly.
Anyhow, the reason I bring this up is that my favourite astronomy story of the last year was that this guy discovered this star which is on the verge of exploding. It could be tomorrow, it could be in 10,000 years (short time universe wise) BUT if its in the right orbit a huge blast of gamma rays will race towards us and destroy everything living on Earth (sound familiar). But here's the interesting part: the star is six light years away so we will know for approximately six years that the world is going to end.
So, if we did know the world was going to end in six years (if we make it past 2012), what would happen to society? Would it descend into anarchy, a Mad Max-esque wasteland with everyone racing around in V8 Interceptors and wearing leather? Would it be a crazy Utopian state of drinking, sex and ultimate pleasure until the end? Would it be the (further) rise fundamentalist doomsday cults? Or would it be (as I suspect) everyone would continue on as normal hoping the Government will fix it so there's no need to panic? Trains would run, stocks would trade and we'd see out our remaining days as if nothing was happening.
I don't know about you but I'd probably buy a lot of gin, a West Wing box set (still haven't watched it) and head to the hills...