will the world end on 12/21/12?
Debate Rounds (3)
Consider, for example, recent fiction. Comics, TV, hundreds of movies, and thousands of books weave tales of impending doom. There seems to be no end to the forces ready to pounce upon and lay waste to humanity"killer robots, monsters of all sorts, aliens, zombies, ghosts, dragons, apes, birds, mutant rats, and giant wasps. Hardly would anyone take such stories seriously!
Of course, other stories and theories make some people much more nervous. Some of these claim to be scientific. One foretells that the earth"s entire crust will experience a massive shift that will result in immense tsunamis, earthquakes, and volcanoes. Another holds that the planets will come into a straight alignment and that this will cause the sun"s solar winds to intensify and wreak havoc on earth. Still another asserts that earth"s magnetic poles will suddenly reverse and cause radiation from the sun to kill us all. Don"t worry. These things will not happen. Still, such scenarios continue to captivate the imagination of many.
What about the countless books and doomsday Web sites that predict that the world will end on December 21 of this year? One claim is that a supposed planet named Nibiru (or Planet X) is on a collision course with the earth and will reach here in December 2012. This and other theories unsupported by fact have been linked to interpretations of an ancient Maya calendar, which, according to some, ends at the winter solstice of 2012.
Persuaded by similar predictions of disasters, some have built shelters in their backyard or, at considerable expense, have reserved quarters in underground community bunkers. Others have moved to the mountains and have become self-sufficient, living "off the grid," independent of public utilities, such as water, heat, or electricity.
Of course, there are those who will have none of this. They scorn the idea of an imminent end of the world. Scientists at NASA, for example, assert: "Nothing bad will happen to the Earth in 2012. Our planet has been getting along just fine for more than 4 billion years, and credible scientists worldwide know of no threat associated with 2012."
In 1991, Mount Pinatubo erupted in the Philippines, killing more than 700 people and leaving some 100,000 homeless. A huge cloud of ash rose 19 miles (30 km) into the sky and then fell to the earth, burying crops and causing the roofs of buildings to collapse. Pinatubo and other volcanoes like it cause changes in climate for several years after erupting.
Super eruptions, such as those that have occurred in the distant past, would be hundreds of times larger and more devastating than any eruptions in recorded history and would do far more damage. Apart from the immediate destructive power, global climate change would cause crop failure, disrupt food supplies, and lead to mass starvation.
"Volcanoes kill plants and animals for miles around; supervolcanoes threaten whole species with extinction by changing the climate across the entire planet.""National Geographic.
Early one morning in 1908, a man was sitting on the front porch of a trading post in Vanavara, Siberia, when an explosion flung him from his chair. The heat was so intense that he felt as though his shirt were on fire. Ground zero for that explosion was some 40 miles (60 km) away. The blast was caused by an asteroid that was about 120 feet (35 m) in diameter and weighed approximately 220 million pounds (100 million kg). After entering earth"s atmosphere, the asteroid exploded as a result of the pressure and the heat of its descent. The explosion released energy equivalent to 1,000 Hiroshima-sized bombs and flattened some 800 square miles (2,000 sq km) of Siberian forest. A larger asteroid, of course, would do much more damage, generating immense firestorms, which would be followed by plummeting global temperatures and major extinctions.
"Throughout earth"s history, we have been bombarded by comets and asteroids from space. Impacts happened more frequently in the past, but they will happen again. It is just a matter of when.""Chris Palma, senior lecturer in astronomy and astrophysics at Penn State University.
Scientists believe that a rise in the earth"s average temperature, extremes in weather, the melting of ice caps and glaciers, and the death of coral reefs and important species all point to global climate change. Though the subject is debated, many hold the cause to be the burning of coal, oil, and natural gas"fossil fuels that emit high amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere"by cars and industry.
Some experts believe that those emissions act like a greenhouse, slowing the escape of heat from the earth into space and causing temperatures to rise. Because trees absorb carbon dioxide, large-scale deforestation may also contribute to climate change.
"If present rates of global warming continue and production of carbon dioxide is not curtailed, many scientists believe the Earth"s average temperature will continue to rise, resulting in wilder and more unpredictable climatic swings and higher ocean levels that could threaten the low-lying coastal areas where much of humanity makes its home.""A Mind for Tomorrow: Facts, Values, and the Future.
In the 14th century, the Black Death wiped out a third of the population of Europe in just two years. Between 1918 and 1920, the Spanish flu killed at least 50 million people. Slow methods of travel impeded the spread of those diseases. However, with the growth of cities and the ease of international travel today, a similar disease could rapidly spread across all continents.
Such a pandemic disease could be a natural occurrence. But there are also growing fears of biological weapons, man-made diseases. Experts in the field say that a small group of people who are trained in key disciplines could buy equipment on the Internet and produce deadly biological weapons.
"Naturally occurring disease remains a serious biological threat; however, a thinking enemy armed with these same pathogens"or with [multidrug-resistant] or synthetically engineered pathogens"could produce catastrophic consequences""The Bipartisan WMD Terrorism Research Center.
Extinction of Critical Species
Over the past five years, beekeepers in the United States have lost about 30 percent of their bees each year on account of colony collapse disorder, a global phenomenon in which entire colonies of bees abruptly and mysteriously disappear from their hives. Bees do more than provide us with honey. They pollinate key crops, including grapes, apples, soybeans, and cotton. We depend on bees.
We also depend on phytoplankton. Without it we would have no fish. Without worms to aerate the soil, we would have far fewer crops. The extinction of such key species would result in food shortage and starvation, leading to violence and riots. Pollution, overpopulation, overharvesting, habitat destruction, and climate change contribute to the extinction of animal species perhaps as much as 1,000 times more than natural rates.
"Every year, between 18,000 and 55,000 species become extinct. The cause: human activities.""United Nations Development Program.
Like a thief in the night, it will catch most people by surprise. (1 Thessalonians 5:2) Jesus warned: "As the days of Noah were, so the presence of the Son of man will be. For as they were in those days before the flood, eating and drinking, men marrying and women being given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark; and they took no note until the flood came and swept them all away, so the presence of the Son of man will be.""
Con's arguments are just adding skepticist twists to possible doomsday scenarios and he then lists of randoms methods of apocalypse sparsely related to his resolution and his position, I wait until he attepts to provide adequate arguments or at least rebuts his own R2 rambling.
tylersch96 forfeited this round.
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