Home Emergency Preparedness Guide
I have to put my cards on the table at this point and say that I am very pessimistic about the prospects for humankind's survival into the distant future. Unless there are major changes in the way this planet is governed, our planet may become barren and uninhabitable through war or environmental catastrophe. But I do think the future is in our hands, and disaster is, at least in principle, avoidable. In this respect I have to distance myself from a very strange argument that has been circulating among philosophers and physicists for a number of years. I call it the Doomsday argument, and as far as I am aware, it was first introduced by the mathematical physicist Brandon Carter and subsequently developed and expanded by the philosopher John Leslie. It also re-appeared in slightly different guise through a paper in the serious scientific journal Nature by the eminent physicist Richard Gott. Evidently, for some reason, some serious people take it very seriously indeed. The Doomsday...
Nearly 100 of these so-called Apollo asteroids have been identified so far, and a number of astronomers passionately advocate funding efforts to identify and track even more because the potential for a doomsday collision with Earth is all too real. With advance warning, some scientists believe, missiles with thermonuclear warheads could be exploded near an incoming asteroid, sufficiently altering its course to avoid Earth or shattering it into a large number of smaller asteroids. Your local movie theater or
Cosmic impacts of bodies with sizes of several kilometers lead to global catastrophes, threatening all or most of humanity. The number killed directly by such an impact is estimated to be millions to tens of millions of people living on about 1 of the Earth's land surface, while all the hazardous factors, including long-term consequences, will lead to the death of about 1.5 billion persons all around the globe. The probability of a global catastrophe is small however, even the small probability of such huge human losses necessitates the development of methods of danger mitigation, and first and foremost to search for dangerous objects that may approach the Earth in the near future. Ongoing search programs are mentioned in the Introduction. Hazardous cosmic objects that can destroy humanity, i.e., asteroids and comets larger than 1- to 2-km with orbits close to Earth's, have not been found. However, smaller bodies also may be hazardous. Search programs have been expanded to seek out...
The astronauts themselves also received an upgrade of sorts. Since STS-5, and up to the Challenger disaster, they had only worn light-blue overalls and a clamshell-like 'crash helmet' with a limited supply of breathing air. Afterwards, however, NASA decided to revert to sending its crews into space with the best kind of personal protection possible. When the STS-26 crew lifted off in September 1988, they wore bulky, bright-orange partial-pressure ensembles known as the Launch and Entry Suit (LES). From STS-28 until STS-73, all of Columbia's fliers wore an LES.
I believe that, barring a global catastrophe, we will continue on the high-tech road we presently travel. This means that we will continue to understand better how nature works and to find applications for this knowledge. Further, I believe that we need to understand the effects of the changes that are occurring to be better able to decide as a society where to go and what to do. For example, the Internet is presently a rapidly changing, nearly universal presence in our lives. Some aspects of the Web are very good it provides much accurate information and many constructive, differing viewpoints, more than were ever available to individuals using conventional media. You can often do more research in a day by surfing the Web than you used to be able to do in a week at the library. However, some aspects of the Web are very bad it also provides more disinformation and destructive viewpoints than ever before.
The well known 'doomsday argument' 69-71 illustrates the perils of the use of the PM. Someone begins it by stating 'I am a typical human being'. They may support that by noting the existence of some ensembles within which they are typical. Then they introduce a new ensemble H, consisting
Its visit to us here in the inner Solar System in the mid-1970s led members of one cult in the USA, The Children of God, to flee to communes around the world, convinced by their leader, David Berg, that doomsday was coming to America. But that's another story - a short one, but intriguing nonetheless in its revelations about the many-faceted relationship between the Cosmos and its people.
Unfortunately, if we use SSA with the universal reference class, the one consisting of all intelligent observers, we encounter paradoxes. One of these is the notorious Doomsday argument, which purports to show that we have systematically underestimated the probability that our species will become extinct soon. The basic idea behind this argument is that our position in the sequence of all humans that will ever have lived would be much more The most common initial reaction to the Doomsday argument is that it must be wrong moreover, that it is wrong for some obvious reason. Yet when it comes to explaining why it is wrong, it turns out that there are almost as many explanations as there are people who disbelieve the Doomsday arguments. And the explanations tend to be mutually inconsistent. On closer inspection, all these objections, which allege some trivial fallacy, turn out to be themselves mistaken 5,7,18 . Nevertheless, the Doomsday argument has some backers, and while the way in...
Many futurologists have predicted that we will evolve into machine-human hybrids with our consciousness intact or even enhanced. Some feel that this transition might come within the next century. Variations on this theme range from Bill Joy-type doomsday scenarios to utopian visions of uploading our memories and thoughts into an immortal, pain-free machine state and building for ourselves any bodies we choose. The biological stage may be a mere precursor to what technologist Ray Kurzweil calls the age of spiritual machines.
Society faces rigorous challenges over the next century. We must confront the threat of climate change and forthcoming energy crises. We must find better ways of resolving conflicts peacefully lest nuclear or conventional weapons lead us to global catastrophe. We must stop large-scale pollution or systematic destruction of the biosphere that nurtures us. And we must do all of these things without abandoning Doomsday 191-8
Settings suggest that, among other things, leaders are alert and have good problem-solving abilities, have good interpersonal skills and the motivation to apply them, are democratically oriented, have high self-confidence, and are credible, flexible, and adaptable.22 Joseph Kubis describes the effective space crew commander as competent, goal or achievement oriented, and interpersonally sensitive, with an awareness of human needs and the importance of opportunities for their satisfaction.23 John Nicholas and Larry Penwell suggest that successful extended-duration crew leaders will be hard working, optimistic, and respectful of the crew. They should be able to take charge during emergencies but otherwise follow a more democratic approach that allows crewmembers to participate in the decision-making process.24
Thermonuclear reactions (called the CNO cycle ). The basic factor that makes these reactions happen is the increase in central temperature. As a result of this new energy source, the stars (mostly solar-type stars in this case) increase enormously in size. Subsequently, new thermonuclear reactions occur, in which helium burns and converts the stellar interior into carbon and oxygen during a few million years, while the envelope continues to expand. For instance, when it reaches that stage, 5.5 billion years from now, the Sun will become larger than the Solar System. In other words, it will engulf all the planets in a vast, expanding tenuous envelope, including the Earth this is Doomsday as astronomers see it
The marked events (Tunguska and K-T impact) will be discussed below. Let us do another example for the calculation of the probability that a person could be killed due to an impact event.5 A 105 megaton impact certainly would lead to a global catastrophe and such an event could be expected every 5 x 105 years. Let us assume that one in four people would be killed in such a global catastrophe. Then, the chances for any person dying in such an event during the next year is one in two million.6 The diameter of a crater that such an object would cause is between 10 and 20 km. In North America, as many as 57 of plant species may have become extinct. The Paleocene recovery of plants began with a fern spike like that which signals the recovery from natural disasters (e.g., the 1980 Mount St. Helens eruption). The effects were quite different for different organisms. Some trends can be stated
Soil moisture also is a key variable in water related natural hazards, such as floods and landslides. High-resolution observations of soil moisture lead to improved flood forecasts, especially for intermediate-to-large watersheds where most flood damage occurs. The surface soil moisture state is key to partitioning of precipitation into infiltration and runoff. Hydrologic forecast systems initialized with mapped highresolution soil moisture fields will open a new era in operational flood forecasting. Furthermore, soil moisture in mountainous areas is one of the most important determinants of landslides. Deeper understanding of ocean behaviour will help society better forecast and protect itself from catastrophic storms such as hurricanes, typhoons and tsunamis. Better ocean information will improve short- and long-range weather and climate prediction, thereby strengthening disaster preparedness and damage mitigation and strategies for agricultural and seafood harvests. As well, better...
Whatever did cause these climatic downturns, questions about their impact on the Earth's population at the time can only be addressed by carefully piecing together fragments of archaeological, historical, and environmental evidence. In the meantime, the popular wave of interest in meteoritic impacts that ensued in the late 1990s generated everything from theories of global catastrophe and revolutionary social change throughout the world in the mid-sixth century c.e. to totally unsustainable ideas that Stonehenge in England was built to observe and predict meteoritic impacts. Steel, Duncan. Rogue Asteroids and Doomsday Comets The Search for the Million Megaton Menace That Threatens Life on Earth. Chichester Wiley, 1995.
Our team wanted priority in the shop. So did they. Worse than that, Goddard (like many engineering companies) has what's called a ''matrix organization, in which everyone has multiple bosses who argue over who works on what. The matrix organization would be the death of us as we tried to claim our percentages of time from each person. It wasn't working. The only thing that broke the logjam was a national disaster. In January 1986, the Challenger exploded. Nothing would bring back the dead astronauts. Other rockets exploded in the ensuing months, both American and European. Things looked extremely grim everywhere. National pride stepped in, and people refused to let NASA die too. Congress gave money, and NASA would build another Shuttle. But what would COBE do in the meantime COBE was going to ride on a Shuttle, and so was practically every other NASA payload. That was the bargain with the White House and the Congress. So we were stuck.
During the last decades, many studies have shown that at this stage of solar system evolution, considerable danger still exists from close encounters of Earth with minor space bodies asteroids, comets and their fragments. Impacts from such bodies could cause local, regional or global catastrophes. Global catastrophes occur once every 100,000 to one million years these are the most dangerous, with consequences ranging from degradation of the human race to its total elimination. Regional events, such as tsunamis caused by falls of large bodies into the oceans, have higher frequencies (1 every 10,000-100,000 years) they may cause the death of up to hundreds of millions of people and huge economical losses. Even local events, like the Tun-guska explosion, may represent a severe threat. Such an event occurring over a large city causes the death of several million people and an economic loss comparable with the gross national product of some industrialized countries. These events occur...
Comets were viewed with alarm partly for astrological reasons and partly because it was thought that a direct collision between the Earth and a comet might mean the end of the world. In 1696 a book by William Whiston, who succeeded Isaac Newton as Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge, predicted that Doomsday would come on 16 October 1736, when a comet would strike the Earth. In France, in 1773, a mathematical paper by the well-known astronomer J. J. de Lalande was misinterpreted, and led to the popular belief that a comet would strike the Earth on 20 or 21 May. (Seats in Paradise were sold by members of the Clergy at inflated prices.) Another alarm occurred in 1832, when it was suggested - wrongly - that there would be a very near encounter with Biela's periodical comet. In 1843, at the time of a particularly brilliant comet, there was a widespread end-of-the-world panic in America, due to the dire prophecies of one William Miller. And in 1910, when Halley's Comet was on...
Initially, NASA administrators said they would stay with oxygen as the atmosphere in the spacecraft. But after a year and a half of testing, NASA was to settle on a formula of 60 oxygen and 40 nitrogen. NASA provided a spacecraft mockup at KSC for training the rescue and the operational teams. At complex 34 technicians put a fan in the white room to ventilate any possible smoke. They added water hoses and fire extinguishers and an escape slide wire. Astronauts and workers could ride down this wire during emergencies, reaching the ground from a height of over 60 meters in seconds.81
The Basic Survival Guide
Disasters: Why No ones Really 100 Safe. This is common knowledgethat disaster is everywhere. Its in the streets, its inside your campuses, and it can even be found inside your home. The question is not whether we are safe because no one is really THAT secure anymore but whether we can do something to lessen the odds of ever becoming a victim.