Last night, while indulging in my latest craving--dark chocolate dipped potato chips--I watched a show on the history channel called "Final Days on Earth." Fascinating in a depressing, apocalyptic kind of way, but the countdown investigated all of the catastrophic events that could lead to the end of life on our planet. Number four: an asteroid colliding with the planet.
The most thought-provoking moments in the documentary involved real people articulating how they'd spend their final days knowing the equivalent of the impact that led to the extinction of the dinosaurs hurtled toward them.
In the year 2029, an already-name asteroid will enter the Earth's orbit, narrowly missing an impact with the planet's surface. Seven years later, ironically on the same April 13th date, that asteroid will collide with the Earth with devastating effects. The number of world scientists working on ways to avert this collision? No more than could fit in an elevator.
If scientists are unable to find a way to divert the first orbit path, the planet's civilizations will have missed the window to stop the impact. People would know definitively they had seven years left on Earth. Some might use the time to burrow underground--construct massive subterrainian communities to try to preserve some form of human life. Some would keep their families close at hand and seek out an understanding and belief of what would follow the end. Others might embrace it, party, live to the limits without heeding the law. A total breakdown of the structure of society--the final days plunged into looting and chaos.
I, myself, have infinite hope, but it does beg the question. How would you spend the next seven years knowing they were your last?