- Khin Maung Myint
Some of you may have watched an American TV series called the Doomsday Preppers. As for me, when there was nothing else better to do, and there were no other interesting programmes, I sometimes watched them. Though the themes of the shows seem to be absurd and the actors are real life characters who genuinely believe the notions of the looming Doomsday, and their anxieties seem to be far-fetched, they are quite entertaining.
For the benefit of those who haven’t watched them, I will describe them briefly. Doomsday preppers are people who believe that some sort of catastrophe would befell and the end of the world is nearing. They are preparing themselves to endure and survive all the eventualities in case that should happen. They fortified their houses or build underground dwellings and stock them up with foods and other necessities to last for at least six months to a year. They armed themselves with assortment of weapons to defend themselves. Different episode have different themes as to the concepts of how the world will come to an end or destruction.
At the beginning, I watched them just as entertainments to while away my time, but never had given serious thoughts about the Doomsday. I viewed the Doomsday preppers as paranoids. However, as of late, I am starting to believe that the coming of the Doomsday could be real. Have paranoia set in me or have I become a doomsday cultist myself? It’s neither. However, I have very sound reasons to believe thus. So, what are those reasons?
Well, of all the various concepts concerning the Doomsday, I’ll be mentioning only three of the most plausible ones. First: if a very large asteroid of the magnitude similar to the one that impacted the Earth in the Caribbean Basin, off the Yucatan Peninsula in what is Mexico today, which wiped out the dinosaurs 65 millions years ago, should strike the Earth, all living creatures would be exterminated. Second: an all out nuclear war that could cause an equally devastating effect as a huge asteroid impact would also bring about the end of the world. Third and last, but not least is the climate change getting out of control giving way to extreme rises in temperatures leading to extreme global warming could also be a cause for concern about the end of the civilization, which is considered as the Doomsday.
To depict a clearer picture, I’ll attempt to analyze the afore mentioned threats one by one. To begin with, the chance of a huge asteroid impacting the Earth is quite remote. According to the renown physicist Stephen Hawking’s forecast, it could only happen about a thousand years from now. Thus, this threat is not so worrisome for the time being.
The threat of an all out nuclear war and the climate change getting out of control are becoming more imminent today than a few months ago. My statement may sound strange or absurd, but I can prove my stand. After the Cold War that spanned over many decades, the world is enjoying a retrieve from the threat of another world war, until lately. However, with the emergence of unpredictable, undiplomatic and undisciplined leaders who don’t watch their mouths, in some countries today, though there may be only a few, are real threats to the world at large. War could breakout anytime and with more countries in possessions of nuclear weapons, an all out nuclear war is quite imminent.
According to the scientists, if such a scenario should emerge, the world would face destruction on a scale equal to that of the asteroid impact at Yucatan Peninsula. All living beings and vegetations would disappear from the surface of Earth. The nuclear explosions would give rise to a thick layer of radioactive dusts engulfing the Earth and block out the sun rays from reaching it for a very long duration. There would be drastic decreases in temperatures making it extremely cold for living things to survive and without sunlight all vegetations would also be unable to thrive. Thus, even those few who managed to escape death from the direct effect of the nuclear explosion, wouldn’t be able to survive the extreme colds and starvations. They even have a name for such a condition—“The Nuclear Winter”.
Then there are the threats of the climate change due to the global warming. Their destruction wouldn’t be as quick as in the case of an all out nuclear war, but they would create chaos and havocs that would last for years or even decades. It would be worse as the world have to face it for a long term.
So, how will the climate change affect the world? The rise in average temperatures due to global warming are already causing the glaciers all over the world to melt. These melting ice caused the ocean levels to rise, which in turn shrank the land masses. Furthermore, the global warming combined with frequent draughts are causing the disappearance of lush grasslands and turned them into deserts, depriving grazing grounds for cattle and other animals that are bred for domestic uses and food for human consumptions. Arable lands have also decreased due to desertification and lack of water for agricultural purposes.
If such situations get worse, people would scramble to get hold of whatever habitable and arable land remained, for their existence. These would lead to widespread social unrests resulting in armed conflicts, looting and plundering that would create chaos and wreak havocs. Eventually the world will be devoid of humans and animals and the civilization would cease to exist or in other words the world would be doomed.
This would be the worst case scenario if the climate change and the global warming issues cannot be addressed in time. So, if one or more of the large carbon-emitting nations reject the threats of the climate change, accusing it as a hoax and withdraw from the Paris Agreements reached in 2015 and had recently come into force, the above mentioned scenario could become a reality.
Thus, if any nation does not recognize or rejects the threats of the climate change and withdraws from the Paris Agreements, that nation must be made responsible for the adverse consequences that would ensue. The individuals who are in position to make such decisions should be mindful that if they decide to withdraw from the Paris agreements they will be making a very grave mistake. No body in a normal state of mind will commit such inhumane act. If they do, they would be committing a grievous crime, not only against humanity, but also to all living beings and the Mother Nature too. Such heinous acts would tantamount to waging a war on the whole world and is absolutely unacceptable by any means.