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Dave Ross

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

FILE - This Jan. 27, 2016, photo provided by the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office shows Ammon Bundy. The leaders of an armed group who seized a national wildlife refuge in rural Oregon were acquitted Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016 in the 41-day standoff that brought new attention to a long-running dispute over control of federal lands in the U.S. West. A jury found brothers Ammon and Ryan Bundy not guilty a firearm in a federal facility and conspiring to impede federal workers from their jobs at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, 300 miles southeast of Portland where the trial took place. Five co-defendants also were tried one or both of the charges. (Multnomah County Sheriff via AP, File)

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?

Dave Ross on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM

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About the Author

Dave Ross

Dave Ross hosts the Morning News on KIRO Radio weekdays from 5-9 a.m. Dave has won the national Edward R. Murrow Award for writing five times since he started at KIRO Radio in 1978.


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