For my Monday Mayhem post, I’ve written a lot in the past about zombies, aliens and anything else, really, that could cause the downfall of humanity. In some respect, I’ve documented how the world left to its own devices could collapse.
For instance, an antibiotic-resistant virus could either appear from an accidental release from a lab, or spawn from a myriad of other origins. The last known incident took place a number of years ago when swine flu (H1N1) originated in a rural area in Mexico to make its way to the Americas. The other notable event happened in 2014 when the Ebola virus, a malady that causes the internal organs to liquefy, surged in Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia to affect thousands of people. Surprisingly, an experimental drug just happened to be waiting in the wings to help Americans affected by the brutal condition.
Then there is the notion we are not alone. For years, scientists have sent all sorts of messages into space in the hope that another sentient civilization might respond to the greeting. Yet, should a alien presence exist, and should it be of higher intelligence than humans, can you blame it for not revealing itself, given the mess we humans have made of this world we call home?
In all this, a movie captures my greatest concern. How can a motion picture do this? The film has nothing to do with the environment, such as The Day After Tomorrow where the earth plunges into another ice age due to global warming. It also has nothing to do with a piece of entertainment where the earth becomes a launching pad for an escape due to a predicted destruction of the earth, such as depicted in the film 2012.
That stuff doesn’t frighten me.
What really scares me is the premise to the film Live Free or Die Hard where the idea of a fire sale comes to play. In financial circles, a fire sale is a liquidation of assets performed by creditors in order to pay off debt accumulated by a now-bankrupt company. In the film, hackers gain control of the stock market, public utilities and transportation system as a means to erase all of America’s wealth with one single click of a button. The same idea comes to play in the movie Sneakers where a little black box could in essence decrypt websites throughout the world yielding control to malevolent organizations wanting to usher the destruction of America.
Of course, the whole idea of “everything must go” is fiction, but it would be reasonable to say the opportunity exists that such a fictional scenario is possible. Look at what happened with the blackout of 2003. In August of that year, the entire eastern seaboard went dark for three days all due to a power surge that tripped relays designed to prevent such a thing from happening.
That was an accident.
Imagine if such a thing were to take place, but not because of it being an accident. As horrifying as it sounds, and given the fragility of an aging infrastructure holding our systems together, again I ask, what’s to say it’s not possible?
What do you think about an entire North American blackout? Do you think we can survive without power for a week?