Yeehaw! all you fatalists and fans of apocalyptical madness. Over the next month The Green Porch will be discussing all things end times from the fantastical to fanatical to depressing to hilarious, and how these things can impact the quality of our lives in the here and now.
So whether you are interested in which vegetables to plant in your end times garden or how to stave off zombie attack, tune in all month for pithy wisdom and to participate in reader polls, etc.
Today we’ll kick it all off by discussing the most common versions of apocalypse, and which you personally think is most likely to happen. From my exhaustive research (Google search) I’ve identified five basic categories of world ending chaos (in no particular order):
~ Economic (market collapse): The end stems from the collapse of speculative markets on a tidal wave of greed and incompetence. As financial systems implode people go nuts and panic unleashes full-blown chaos. Widespread inflation, looting and lack of access to basic supplies creates a global Mad Max-like Thunderdome environment. (Some say this one has already begun.)
~ Nuclear (geo-political/military/terrorist): The Cold War version of this one has evolved to include biological warfare, dirty nukes, etc., but the bottom line remains the same. The world will end due to humankind turning on each other violently. It may happen as nuclear agents take offense at being the brunt of late night television jokes and rambling monologues. Or it could happen as more and more Pampered Chef parties end in the creation of sleeper cells.
~ Biblical (rivers of blood, locusts, whore of Babylon): This one has been outlined by the Biblical Revelations According to John and popularized by Tim LaHaye’s Left Behind series. While Tim LaHaye’s interpretation is barely Biblical at best, it has become the common idea of Biblical apocalypse and continues to scare new generations into getting right with God before all hell breaks loose.
~ Ecological (ie. Climate Change): The percentage of people who believe in these last two are about the same. None the less, they both qualify as major categories for the apocalypse, and actually overlap just a bit. An ecological ending could include a virulent strain of Monkey pox or Influenza as well as rising sea levels or warming temperatures (whether you believe them to be man-caused or not). This one could be slow and painful or dramatic.
~ Zombie (including terrible mutant virus): due to a variety of potential reasons, humankind is wiped out by zombie-like mutants. These could originate from a terrible lab experiment gone awry, or a naturally mutating virus. Could result from biological attack, or even genetic manipulation. Or maybe even in conjunction with an Ape-enhancing drug. (“You Maniacs! You blew it up! Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell!”)
***edited 09/13/2011 to include the following omissions…
~ Extraterrestrial (comet, alien, asteroid): The best combination of these would be alien invasion using comets and asteroids (Where’s Ender when we need him?)
~ Artificial Intelligence Singularity: Ala Terminator and Matrix. I can’t believe I forgot this one. Or maybe it was just my computer overlord scrambling my– [signal breaks leaving nothing but static…][divider]
I’m sure you can see overlap here, but these represent all possible apocalyptic endings for humankind as we know it. The only thing to do now is comment below as to which of these ponies you’re putting your money on. When all the chips are down, how will we meet our end? We here at The Green Porch await your response.