As they say, preparation is better than any resolution made after the fact. This applies to almost everything: when it comes to work, when we talk about conflict, with the topic of politics, and even on survival. Nobody wants to be the guy that didn’t think ahead, and absolutely no one wants to think they coulda, shoulda, woulda done something differently had they just planned better. Thinking ahead can become synonymous with stopping catastrophes, preventing disasters, and saving lives in certain scenarios. And while thinking ahead can entail foresight on a multitude of variables that could disrupt your future in the long run, the least we can do today is try to be informed.
Let’s face it, amongst all the possibilities and actual probabilities that could happen to us at some point in the future, somewhere there must be the inevitability of an end of the world scenario bound to happen at some point within the humanoid lifetime. Right next to the possibility of a 1 in 100 chance you’ll get in your car one day and die in a car accident, and the 1 in 83,930 chance you’d get struck by lightning in a thunderstorm, should be the 1 in 60,000 chance you wake up one day to a tornado breaking your house apart (think Dorothy still in Kansas), or 1 in 200,000 chance you die from the impact of an asteroid hitting the earth. Be it manmade, or natural, or even otherworldly, the risk is prevalent and imminent. Being unprepared for this catastrophe is a choice that every human being has the ability to make. There will be a disaster at some point in time, and this will have the capability of wiping out the human race. Or, at the very least, a significant percent of the human race.
No matter which way we look at it from, the threat is relevant, real, and entirely plausible. At some point in our lives, we could face a nightmare scenario, and we need to be prepared for it. Let’s look at manmade disasters, for example. Given the state that our world is in now, it seems that there is always some part of the earth that is in a perpetual state of war. It’s a sad reality, but one that we all have to be aware of even when we’re not directly affected at the moment. We never know when the whole thing could blow up, to both a metaphorical and literal issue. And with the technological advances the world has made over the past years, this could spread to other countries in the world, including yours.
There’s biological warfare (think World War Z or 28 Weeks Later) where someone could orchestrate a fast-spreading pandemic; chemical warfare and the threat of poisonous gas being simultaneously released into the air somehow; or worse, nuclear warfare, where all it would really take is one explosion that’s powerful enough to blast several countries at a time. It’s scary but possible.
Now let’s consider otherworldly causes for disaster. Taking the Zombie Apocalyptic paranoia one step further, the science world is in general agreement that otherworldly beings, or in everyday terms aliens, exist. Now, will they attack the Earth or conquer our planet? I’ll let the science fiction movies cover the details. But nonetheless, whether their intentions are peaceful or menacing, and whether it’s the earthlings or them, that initiate contact, we cannot discount the fact that the encounter will cause chaos, the mere possibility of threat will cause mayhem, and the whole meeting itself will probably happen at some point in the future.
But for the intent of conversation and argument, let’s remove the “controllable” scenarios. Let’s give faith in humanity, faith in our fellow alien men and women, and exclude all but the natural catastrophes and disasters that threaten our well-being. If you don’t want to believe someone’s out to hurt you, or think you could always outrun the other guy, what say ye to outrunning Mother Nature?
Natural disasters: A huge earthquake could wipe out entire cities, and tsunamis have already proven to be a very tough disaster to deal with. But did you know a solar flare for example, could wipe out life on earth? From a single natural phenomenon, all electronics on Earth could get fried, and massive magnetic fluctuations in the Earth’s magnetosphere could be commotion for chaos. Widespread power outages and magnetic interference on radios and satellite systems are just examples of the collapse that could happen, of which it could take weeks or months to repair the damage. In 1859, a similar solar storm hit the Earth and as primitive as technology was then, compasses and telegraph systems were shut down. Can you just imagine how much worse the implications to today’s technology would be? There’s actually a lot we don’t know about them, except that they vary and the potential is strong enough to wipe out entire power grids.
The solar flare phenomenon isn’t an uncommon one, as the Earth’s surface is regularly stricken with them. However, their strength and impact vary, and we’ve just been lucky enough not to have experienced any life-threatening ones so far. Caused by magnetic fields on the sun’s surface, which get sent to our Earth’s surface, this alignment of magnetic orientation between the Earth and the sun causes shock waves which at small levels, could cause you to briefly lose radio signal, and at larger quantities cause a geomagnetic storm that causes large electric currents and induces power outages. Armored cars and vehicles are equipped to withstand similar magnetic “impulses” or fluctuations. To make matters worse, most people don’t know much about these fluctuations or where they come from.
To think that this is merely one of several natural phenomena that could happen to threaten your life, and flip the modern world upside down. Put that next to tornados, earthquakes, tsunamis and meteor strikes (among others) and you could round up a handful of reasons to be prepared from natural causes alone.
We’re all going to die at some point, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t have the choice to stretch our lives out just a little bit longer. We can survive even the worst of the solar catastrophes, as long as we plan ahead. As the saying goes, “failing to plan is planning to fail.”