how and when will the world end?


Well.end the end

I don’t pick up Atlantic magazine often but this was the “big question” in The Atlantic I did happen to pick up.

How and when will the world end?


I am not a big ‘end-of-the-world worrier’ <I do believe people are contributing to climate change but that it isn’t going to create an immediate apocalypse> nor do I spend a lot of time watching shows discussing how the world will end nor do I really admire those who bludgeon us with ‘watch out … that meteor will be here tomorrow’ folk.

That said.

As I read the responses to the big question one really stood out … about us humans as a species … and a reality:


“Life has persisted on Earth for nearly 4 billion years. The average mammalian species, on the other hand, lasts just 1 million. So for you, me, and our 7 billion compatriots, it will all be over by the year 2120.” – Natalie Angier, science writer, The New York Times



I am not going to have a lot of angst or even haggle over over the accuracy of the actual year <2120> because that isn’t really the point. The point is that historically everything, species included, has an end … and a beginning I may add.

We tend to look at us humans as ‘newly discovered’ and ‘advanced’ but you know what? We have been around for a million years or so.

Historically speaking … time is not on our side nor our friend.


I will not speculate on how our species particular ending will occur but I will take a moment and share my top 3 ‘human based’ apocalypse books:


–          Nevil Shute’s On the Beach

–          Pat Frank’s Alas, Babylon

–          Stephen King’s The Stand


All three are still great thoughtful reads <despite the fact they are all old books>. All three books are significantly better than the movies made for them <in case you have bad memories of the movies>.


I will include one movie because while I wasn’t particularly fond of the book, I am Legend, and absolutely hated the movie remake with Will Smith … the original movie based on I am Legend, The Omega Man <with Charlton Heston>, is incredibly good. Disturbing. Scary. Sad. Uplifting. And thoughtful.


Beyond what us humans can do to end the world … one of the quotes in Atlantic reflected a reality of the world itself …


“The world will be here, with or without us, until the sun dies, 5 billion years hence. At that point, the sun’s atmosphere will have expanded to engulf the entire orbits of Mercury, Venus, and Earth, which will have become charred embers spiraling, one by one, to the crucible that is the sun’s core. Have a nice day.” – Neil deGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist, American Museum of Natural History


Well folks.

That is a sobering scientific fact.

We don’t have to worry about it in our lifetimes … but someone is gonna have to worry about it.

We tend to worry about us … and our own little world … but earth’s destiny <or fate>, just as in Life itself, may actually be out of its own control.

Interesting Life lesson/reminder.


In the end?

I imagine it will just happen … and it will surprise us …


“Earbuds. We’ll have our own specifically chosen world at our own comfortably blaring volume, and we’ll never hear what’s creeping up behind us.”  – Max Brooks, author, World War Z


Just a thought for the day.

Oh. I just hope my favorite song is playing.

Written by Bruce