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Risks to the Human Population

  • Posted on Jun 6, 2017

In the past several months you’ve gotten a crash course on the basic and essential aspects of the survivalist mindset and how you, whether a veteran  or novice survivalist, can think about short and long term goals. As a survivalist, you are not only aware of the threats that could befall your family, community, and country, you actively prepare against them.

 

We have looked at some of these survivalist scenarios in the past, and while some of them may seem far fetched to the mainstream community, they nevertheless warrant consideration and preparation. One aspect that you have not seen here at the Survivalist blog is the factor of time.

 

True, we have looked at short-term survival issues such as an all-out attack on America’s essential infrastructures including cyber attacks on the power grid (an issue that came up recently in international news between the United States and Saudi Arabia). You also read briefly about possible catastrophes such as the eruption of the Yellowstone Caldera super volcano, which scientists believe may or may not end life as we know it in the western United States and beyond. Even with their devastating effects, a well-prepared survivalist can effectively prepare against even the worst of these cataclysms. But what about the truly devastating? Will your survivalist instinct be sufficient to outlast and outsmart the truly apocalyptic?

 

You aren’t going to find a survivalist guide to navigating the zombie apocalypses or the rise of the mole-men or planet of the apes chaos below. What follows are what some believe truly will threaten life on planet Earth.

 

Risk Categories

To begin, let’s look briefly at a model created by the Oxford University professor of philosophy, Nick Bostrom. In a 2002 paper he created a system of classifying risks to human populations and finds six “risk categories.” Some of these categories are areas where survivalists live and thrive and some are where no one, not even the most survivalist-minded of us all will be able to make it through.

 

So, when looking at degrees of threat you first need to look at the scope of the population affected. You have three categories here:

  • Global
  • Local
  • Personal

You can imagine personal threats: a rockslide hits your brand new villa at the base of the mountains, or a roving band of vigilantes decide to break into your underground bunker and ransac your survivalist supply. Local is a degree higher. Here you will find national recessions and state crisis. think collapse of the U.S. financial markets or devastating Tsunamis on the coast of Japan. Finally you get to crisis on the global scale. Here you find the stuff of movie legend: Armageddon’s giant meteor striking Earth, or Interstellar’s global blight killing food crops across the globe.

 

Once the scale of the event is classified, there are two main subdivisions related to the intensity of the event: endurable and terminal. Obviously on the personal scale the example above is endurable since you can prepare for and survive a rockslide even if at great loss. Now, if you die during the event, that would obviously be an example of a terminal, local event. Dealing with the local and global scales, however, are essentially personal catastrophes with the intensity cranked up a few degrees of magnitude.

 

Survivalists generally see these as the rare events against which there is no real preparation. The local scale example given in the model is genocide but just as well could be those in the immediate vicinity of our Yellowstone Caldera eruption. Humans will live on at this scale and intensity, but local populations will not survive. Finally, you have the global terminal events. Let’s take a quick look at the things even survivalists will have a tough (or hopeless) time getting through.

 

500,000 Years – The Armageddon Asteroid Argument

 

Yes, unless the most intelligent survivalist/astronaut/drilling team is able to deflect it, astronomers and astrophysicists believe it is very likely that the Earth will experience a massive celestial impact. In order to threaten the whole of humanity, scientists believe that the asteroid would have to be more than a kilometer wide. Survivalists who (miraculously) make it through this impact won’t have to worry about a dino-sized asteroid (10-15 km wide) for another 100 million years.


1 Million Years – Super Volcanic Eruption


Here our caldera makes its mark, although it is not the only concern. Survivalists can do some research with the Geological Society to find out which of the hot-spots are likely able to spew out the 3,200 cubic kilometers of magma needed to wipe out life as we know it.

 

500 Million Years – Carbon Dioxide Levels Too Low

 

The world renowned professor of Geoscience and planetary habitability believes that around 500 million years from now we are going to experience a significant drop in the levels of carbon dioxide, rendering plant and animal life extinct. Once this happens, remember that you can live for three minutes without air so make sure you get off-planet before the three minutes are up.


600 Million Years – Gamma Ray Burst

 

If survivalists look forward another 100 million years, the end may come in the form of gamma rays from exploding stars located 6,500 light years away. The rays from such an event could potentially fry the ozone layer and cause a mass extinction like to one that scientists believe occurred 450 million years ago

 

Further Ahead…

 

Survivalists will not likely have to deal with any of the above scenarios because a lot can happen across generations, let alone hundreds or thousands or millions of years. But, just for the sake of the hard core survivalist let’s take it further: 10 duotrigintillion years to be exact. After a googol of years pass, the survivalist will have to deal with no movement, at all, in the entire universe.

 

None of our survivalist friends will be around if any of these actually happen, but it is sometimes nice to put things into perspective. Until then, Happy Trails.

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