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Don’t worry about the Sun, worry about the flu

Scientists recently concluded that the world will come to an end in 2 or 3 billion years, as the increasing temperature of the Sun finally causes all water to evaporate.

But Britain’s Royal Astronomer, even though he fully appreciates the threat from the Sun, isn’t particularly worried about it. If you ask Royal Astronomer and Oxford Don, Martin Rees, what’s most likely to eradicate humanity, he’ll tell you it’s germs.

“I’ll give you one example: We had the SARS epidemic a few years ago. Fortunately, that didn’t spread beyond places that had prepared fairly well (Singapore, Hong Kong, and Toronto). But had that spread to the mega-cities of the developing world, say Casablanca or Mumbai, then of course, it would have had disastrous consequences.”

Lord Rees is part of a group of scientists trying to anticipate unexpected threats to human survival. And now that technology is making it easier to alter microorganisms, he says it’s only a matter of time before someone’s basement experiment ends up having far-ranging consequences.

“The global village will have its village idiots and they will have a global ravaged future because we are an interconnected world.”

We are in an interconnected world. That’s why he’s sounding the alarm, so we can be prepared. Because how lame would that be – if in 2 or 3 billion years the world ended… and there were no humans to document it?

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