A Yellowsone Super-eruption? - Elsewhere?
Terrorists trigger it?
A waiting holocaust?
Or, humanity's finest hour?

Yellowstone super volcano


Yellowstone super eruption - Intro

Yellowstone super eruption - The Book

Yellowstone super eruption - The Author

Yellowstone Super eruption defence

A waiting holocaust without civil defence in place?

Prof. Bill McGuire asks:
Could a future super-eruption wipe out the human race? It is highly unlikely that any eruption would be of sufficient size to completely obliterate today’s teeming millions, but ... in the absence of ... forward thinking, the impact of a future super-eruption is likely to be appalling ... how would they cope with perhaps another six years without the possibility of replenishment? In the world’s poorer countries, where famine and starvation are never far away, the situation would be magnified a thousand times, and death would come swiftly and terribly ... maybe a quarter of the current population would have died through famine, disease and civil strife ... when the skies finally cleared.

Other scientists too point to the probable consequences of a super-eruption: billions dead; billions starving and cold; civilisation’s collapse globally for years.

As for any super-eruption civil defence plans, let alone organization, no one has any: not the US Government (Fema); not the UN; not any other state; not any prestigious Geology Society ... There is also no fictional book or film on how to cope well with a super-eruption – though there are several on its probable apocalyptic results.

The nearest by way of a civil defence idea, is a London Geology Society’s Working Group recommendation (2005) to the UK Government for a multi-disciplinery Task Force – to study the problem. The LGS group claimed that a super-eruption’s odds are five to ten times higher than those of a meteor impact doing comparative damage yet meteor impacts are taken seriously. In its obvious wisdom the UK government kicked the LGS’s modest advice – into the long grass where it remains. So far there has been some activity against meteors only: exposure by Hollywood; some measures by the US and the UK.

A natural yellowstone super-eruption ?

Yellowstone evidently has an enormous magma chamber with some 25,000 cubic kilometres of molten rock. On the face of it, Yellowstone thus has five times the magma of the Earth’s biggest super-eruption. In addition, there are some crucial unknowns:

  • The exact amount of the volatile liquid kind of magma (the melt) and its distribution are uncertain.
  • Unknown are the magma channel/s from the Earth’s core and mantle, or their flows and surges.
  • No one has seen a super-eruption and there is no data from past ones to aid prediction. It follows, it is unknown whether or not the precursor signs will actually last decades to enable due civil defence for the Earth’s billions of people, never mind other life. Might too, a high magnitude earthquake trigger it, as one such does happen occasionally.

As a result of the unknowns the actual how–when–magnitude–intensity of a super-eruption can only be modelled without certainty. And it deserves taking precautions.
Further, scientists hold a super-eruption certain somewhere; even tomorrow, and possibly at a place unknown.
For this reason too minimum civil defence would be wise considering humanity’s future is at stake.

Triggered by a terrorist’s nuclear device ?

Many knowledgeable observers believe that terrorists aim not only to kill and exile millions of Americans as retribution but, by nuking a Yellowstone eruption. Insofar as they can, it is believed Yellowstone would make for the most devastating target around to settle scores with the US.

The current terrorism threat is arguably US policies fuelled: due to US Middle East occupations; support for Israeli ethnic cleansing; and for the area’s despotic regimes. The vicious conflict is primarily not existential or historic of civilisations, but due to the US’s imperial and violent tyrannies. The terrorists as a result hold themselves to be various factions of a national resistance with just causes energised by Islam. This is how too they are viewed by the majority of the 1.5 billion Muslims, and are a growing force, despite the internal rifts within Islam.

Only one or two enraged Holy Warrior cells may access nukes from the many and growing sources even in the short term. In a longer period this might be inevitable.

Further, Jihadis know the virtues of patience and protracted struggles: the first crusaders were expelled after warfare lasting 175 years. A nuked eruption could be in 5/10/15/20 years ... The terrorists are unlikely to give up attempting it. Too much resentment has built up and too much blood spilt. Nor is the US about to humbly offer real restitution or compensation beyond some verbiage plainly devoid of justice.

This makes for an all-human tragic probability via a nuked eruption at Yellowstone or elsewhere.

As US policies guided by US pressure groups – Israel, oil, arms, feudal princes – appear deep set, and reasonably responsible for the terrorist blowback, the US is equally morally obliged not to Katrinaize the world’s billions without super-eruption civil defence.

Humanity’s finest hour – IF civil defence is in place ?

There are convincingly the sciences and technologies to thrive past a super-eruption’s major consequences. Most are deployable at once – if there be the will. Some are proven or mature working hypotheses. Civil defence would not be mission impossible.

A spin-off benefit would be that a lot of the proposed science and technology could have multiple uses to tackle other crises substantially: to reverse global warming; ecocide; meteor impacts ... .

As a super-eruption will transform the world like it or not, civil defence efforts could change it wisely to our liking at our time; have humanity’s finest hour in non-explosive disguise. An incidental advantage might be the motivation to address some pressing problems and challenges; to proactively use a probable even certain catastrophe to:

  • Sublimate human warfare: have non-violent beneficial struggles, i.e. use the causes, mobilisations and energies of war, devoid of deaths and destructions, for an epochal sea-change;
  • Resolve the intractable problems of E-meltdown;
  • Help eliminate ecocide, poorcide and improve human basic and higher development. In the process yield helpful answers for some pressing problems: for the rises of food, fuel, and energy prices; the 800 million world hungry; the rural mass migrations sought to the cities and to the north; growth of slum cities; to the increases of mental health;
  • Motivate a deep space outreach to the lands, resources, energies, metaphysical purposes of humanity.
  • Prevent ecocide and the destruction of wildlife for bush meat, bio-fuels or logging.

As civil defence would have a deeply ethical purpose (to avoid nature’s cull), and also processes for civilisation’s renaissance, peoples’ support and mass activities are proposed to get it going. The dual prospect of rejuvenating human civilisation’s purposes as well as processes, may also motivate those aware of a need for a gearing agent – considering today’s problems and the exhausted ideologies around that cannot cope. [read more...]

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humanity's finest hour Copyright © 2008 Kamal Singh Yellowstone National Park
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