Future Earth

The end is nigh – or is it?

0 Comments 19 March 2012

According to Mayan mythology a cataclysmic or transformative event will occur on 21st December, 2012. Exactly what is open to some debate but interpretations range from mankind undergoing ‘a positive physical or spiritual transformation’(whatever that is!), through to Earth’s collision with a black hole or passing asteroid, or with a planet called “Nibiru.” Regardless of what will happen, we are clearly obsessed with the prediction as Hollywood’s 2009 blockbuster proved. Grossing nearly $800 million, it is the 37th most popular movie of all time.

It got me thinking about what exactly will end our existence on this little rock of ours. Rather dark musings I acknowledge but if 2012 isn’t the year when such thoughts can be expressed I’m not sure when is. Plus this blog does have a bright ending so bear with me here!

When I was growing up I remember very clearly the threat to continued life on earth. Mutually Assured Destruction dominated end of earth scenarios through the proliferation of warheads as a result of the Cold War. Thankfully that spectre diminished over time. Obviously not the possibility. Russia and America still have tens of thousands of war heads and have been joined by many other nation states with similar technology and unfortunately less stability. Since then other doomsday scenarios have periodically reared up – think SARS. Thankfully we are not quite at the stage where Contagion strikes.

Of course the one that dominates current thinking is global warming. You cannot escape the threat and is what prompted me to write The Human Race back in 2009.  I remember very clearly during the research phase which started back in early 2000 that global warming wasn’t even part of our every day lexicon. Sure we knew about it but only in scientific circles. Fast forward to 2012 and you cannot move for doomsday scenarios predicated on global warming.

So will it end mankind’s stay on earth? If it does it won’t be for lack of us trying to reverse it. I know that might surprise regular readers of this blog. I’ve been a big critic our collective inaction but over the last year I’ve noticed a sea change. Global warming has crossed the ‘chasm’ — to emply a popular phrase used to describe the point at which a product enters everyday usage. It dominates our daily consumption like nothing else and very slowly we are responding to the messaging. Just take the VC money pumped into the industry over the last few years.

In 2005, VC investment in clean tech was measured in hundreds of millions. In 2006 it was £1.13Bn according to the National Venture Capital Association. By 2008 it leapt to $4.1Bn and in the US alone the government pumped in a further $44 billion through loans, subsidies and tax breaks. And the output is there to see. At the end of 2006 the total capacity of all wind turbines in the US was 11,468 megawatts. By 2012 it had quadrupled. In the UK the same has happened across the clean energy sector. From solar to wave power to battery innovation. The list goes on. The market has global warming in its sights.

I find that very comforting even if the doomsters claim it is all too little, too late.

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Reviews of The Human Race

Unputdownable. Yes, I know it's not a word, but it definitely applies here, anyway. That's the word I'm going with, to describe The Human Race by O.C. Heaton. - Hira N. Hasnain

An outstanding first novel from O.C. Heaton that catapults him into the Best Seller league… - Justine Bond

"This is an exciting, fast-paced read. The Human Race is a book that is very easy to forget to put down. Bring on part two!" - L. H. Bowers

"If you are looking for a well-plotted and well-written thriller to while away the hours of a long flight, this offering might suit you very well." - David Bryson, Amazon Top 50 Reviewer

For further reviews of The Human Race by O.C. Heaton click here.

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Charles Heaton British thriller writer O.C. Heaton, author of The Human Race, is fascinated by the past, present and future of human evolution. (Image credit: Ross Parry Agency) Read More>>

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O.C.'s bookshelf: read

The BeachThe Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-timeLife of PiOuter DarkThe FirmAlexander 3: The Ends of the Earth: A Novel

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