The End Of The World Is Coming, But Not From Nibiru
You may have heard by now that the end of the world will begin on Saturday, September 23. How exactly it will go down depends on which bizarre prophetic YouTube video you’re watching on the subject. Most involve some combination of Christian numerology, a story about a five-headed dragon and a pregnant lady and a fictional planet named Nibiru that will come out of hiding this weekend just before smashing into the Earth. Just to be clear, there is no hidden planet in the inner solar system and new worlds don’t appear instantaneously on any given weekend. Even if Nibiru were somehow lurking about out of view of countless telescopes, its presence would be otherwise detected because an object of that mass would perturb the orbits of the other planets, as NASA explains.
I get that things are seeming a little apocalyptic right now with the catastrophic storms, floods, earthquakes and wildfires of recent weeks. But consider that the history of our planet and one other planet we’ve visited (with robots) suggests that existential, potentially life-extinguishing events happen in super slow motion rather than just popping up one Saturday in September with a planetary chest bump that initiates our immediate annihilation.
On the cosmic time scale, the end of times for Earth is a reality that has already been set in motion: eventually our sun will expand to become a super-giant and either boil, burn or engulf all life on our planet. But the whole process is going to take billions of years.
By that time, the planet may well be dead anyway because the magnetic dynamo in Earth’s core that generates a protective magnetic field to shield us from the fatal radiation of space may given out, leaving us as dead and desolate-looking as Mars.
That end times scenario is also likely eons into the future, though. What about more near term threats we hear about, like climate change? A new mathematical model out just this week warns that carbon levels in the world’s oceans could rise to a point as soon as the year 2100 that it triggers a mass extinction event.
That apocalyptic scenario also doesn’t play out over the course of just a few weeks or months as the Nibiru predictions do. It would probably be a slow die-off that would take thousands and thousands of years, perhaps giving rise to new dominant species.
Humans are currently setup to be the species most likely to be able to adapt to these changes, although an ecological collapse could certainly lead to famine, food and water shortages, violent conflicts and plenty of other human suffering and nastiness.
These are the real nearer-term problems that we can and should work to prevent right now, rather than worrying about the apocalypse, be it the one that won’t happen Saturday or the slow end of days that’s already happening.
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