And within the next century or so, such an event is looking highly likely.
Climate change will make some areas, such as much of Africa and the Middle East almost uninhabitable due to heat and drought. That, combined with the political situation in such regions, will result in wars over water and food. Millions of people will migrate north, putting huge strain on Europe and even Russia where water and food will still be relatively plentiful. The result could be the use of lethal means to protect resources. With North America also inundated the risk of global conflict, and the likely way such a conflict would escalate, would increase dramatically.
|Will this be the last technological act of our civilisation - its self destruction?|
|The effects of climate change could lead to nuclear war|
|The final hours of our civilisation mapped out on giant screens in command bunkers|
There are many possible answers to this, but many consider the self-destruction answer (the great filter hypothesis) the most likely.
Once a civilisation develops the ability to destroy itself, it will.
That is a chilling prospect.
It is possible that such a stage in a civilisation's development is insurmountable - there is no way, once a civilisation develops the ability to destroy itself, to avoid using that ability. A civilisation simply does not have the time to safeguard its species beyond its home-world before it brings on its own extinction.
|The ruins of a long dead alien civilisation - one of millions?|
There needs to be a massive political and social change in our world if we are to get through this seemingly insurmountable moment in our history. Governments need to set aside their petty squabbles. If that can be done we may well be one of the first, or one of the few, technological civilisation to progress to the next stage. And if that is indeed the case, we will be joining a very select club of civilisations.
We have a century, possibly only a decade or two, to ensure our membership.
Let's not blow it...