The Human Extinction Survey: The Collapse Pundits Email Stream

Off the keyboards of RE & other Collapse PunditsTM

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on May 31, 2015

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extinction-buttonOne of the more interesting developments that arose as a result of The Human Extinction SurveyTM was an email stream between numerous bloggers who concern themselves with Collapse issues.  Besides myself, this included Ugo Bardi (Resource Crisis), Albert Bates (Peak Surfer, The Farm), Dmitry Orlov (Club Orlov), George Mobus (Question Everything), Steve Ludlum (Economic Undertow), Thomas Lewis (Daily Impact), Jason Heppenstall (22 Billion Energy Slaves) and Lucid Dreams (Epiphany Now).  These are just the bloggers that actively participated in the conversation, there were numerous on the list who were recipients of these emails as well, including Gail Tverberg (Our Finite World), Guy McPherson (Nature Bats Last) and many others.

I asked permission to make these emails Public, and with the exception of Dmitry Orlov, the participants in the conversation are OK with this (at least nobody else told me NOT to publish their emails), so in this latest Sunday Brunch Installment of The Human Extinction SurveyTM series, I am going to begin the process of publishing most of the email stream that came out of this exercise in Collapse Analysis.  However, there is so much material in there that publishing it all in one Blog is simply overkill, nobody would read through it all in one sitting.  So for today, just the first dozen or so responses.

Following the email stream are responses to Q3 in the survey by the respondents.  The survey itself is closed for the time being, since it appears to be making the blog unstable, we crashed the Diner Blog twice this week.  We're still working on figuring out where the exact problem is and how to correct it.

Even without another iteration of the survey and even though I am only publishing a small portion of the email stream, this is going to be one INCREDIBLY long Blog article nonetheless.  LOL.  Hope you have plenty to eat for Sunday Brunch while you read.

Here we go, from the very beginning…

Off the keyboard of RE:

This survey is designed to gather opinion and numerical data on belief about the possibility of Human Extinction in the Near Term.
I am inviting all people who write on or contemplate this topic to participate in the survey.  I will be publishing all the results as they come in, in bunches.
For submissions by known Authors on this list, prior to publication I will vet the information with you to make sure it came from you and is not falsely attributed to you by a troll.  Nothing you write into the submissions area will go up automatically without prior verification and editing and your final approval.
You may participate in the Survey either Anonymously or Publicly with your Name/Internet Handle, however I hope you will choose to identify yourself as this will increase the validity of the survey.
This is THE most important question of our time.  I hope you will assist me in getting this information out to the world at large.
If you run a Blog or Website, I also encourage you to tell your readers about the poll, to gather still more data.
Thanks to all of you in your work in developing an understanding of Collapse, regardless of what your opinion is on this topic.

Off the keyboard of Ugo Bardi:

Well, a short term human exinction is obviously possible. Unfortunately, it is not a measurable parameter; although we might extrapolate the population curve once it starts crashing down. But extrapolation is always very uncertain – so, it is an unsolvable problem


There is another way of looking at it, that is consider that human may or may not go extinct, but may become irrelevant in the greater scheme of things. For the "singularity" crowd, that's where we are going; it is trascendence, not extinction. For the followers of Richard Duncan it is the return to hunting and gathering. Either way, it is pretty much a possibility.


Finally, there is another possibility not usually considered: humans do not go extinct, but evolve into something else. The recent result of genomic research has opened up a Pandora's box of things that happened to humans during the past few millennia. They did evolve, oh, yes! They did. The idea that we are still the same guys who hunted wooly mammoths during the ice age badly needs an update. We are similar to them, but not the same; not at all.


So, if we can survive for a few millennia, we are going to change into something more adatpted to the world of the future, whatever it will be. And I think the key element of the human future is "eusociality." That is, collaboration, not competition – the human hive, in short. It wll be an interesting future, even though much different than it used to be. No flying cars, no robot butler bringing you the margaritas on the edge of the pool. Nothing like that. I, for one, welcome our new hive masters.  



Off the keyboard of George Mobus:

I just posted my latest blog. It's titled Civilization Collapse 3.0 and is basically a reminder that things are coming to a head soon.












I am in the camp that Ugo mentioned. Humans will eventually go extinct outright, meaning that the whole genus Homo will too. Or the current species will evolve into a new one, hopefully Homo eusapiens! I agree with Ugo that the key will turn out to be eusociality. The pattern of cooperation trumping competition is an evolutionarily old one – the emergence of collectives that are more successful than individuals goes back to the auto-organization of complex organic molecules to form primitive cells. See: The Major Transitions in Evolution by John Maynard Smith and Eörs Szathmáry.







The rise in levels of organization and hierarchical complexity is a recurring theme in evolution. No reason it shouldn't apply to hominid evolution as well.








Off the keyboard of Jason Heppenstall:

Obviously, nobody has a crystal ball, so what we have are only tentative feelings, best guesses.

For what it's worth I don't think that humans will go extinct anytime soon. Barring  some cataclysmic turn of events that would make all vertebrate life impossible (such as a lack of oxygen) I would place my bets on pockets of humans hanging on around the globe in various ecological niches. We are a tough and adaptive species, and once the pressure valves of overpopulation and resource over-exploitation have been released then it will free up a lot of natural capital for the 'survivors'.
That said, it may FEEL like we have gone extinct, by today's standards of modern communications. Certainly the genus of (HT to Mike Ruppert) Petroleum Man will go extinct, right alongside with Gadget Man and a few others. Eventually, of course, we'll all go – probably due to a super volcano or something similar. Near term, though? I doubt it.

Off the keyboard of George Mobus:













Best to not mix biology with sociology when talking about evolutionary bottlenecks. Petroleum Man, whatever that may be, is not a real species. Homo sapiens is bound to go extinct in the biological (Darwinian) sense because all biological species do eventually. It may be that they go extinct by evolving into a new species, preserving the basic plan of the genus Homo. But that still counts as extinct. Regardless of total genus extinction or just the species, the selection pressures resulting from huge declines in net free energy will operate to cull the herd as it were.







No crystal ball is needed. Just a measure of free energy per capita and its decline tells the story well enough. You don't have to feel anything one way or the other. All you have to do is recognize physical reality when it comes to the per capita requirements for free energy to survive. It is science, not guessing.

Off the keyboard of Jason Heppenstall:

That's true, George. The question we are being asked though is if all humans everywhere will go extinct in short order. What with all the bottlenecks and declining per capita energy availability it's inevitable that a large proportion, if not most, of our number will be heading off the cliff, and leading them will be so-called petroleum man (shouting "Forwards!" as he plunges off the edge).

I think timescales are too short for any meaningful evolution to take place (e.g. for a genus of humans to evolve who can live off eating plastic), although in the long run, if we make it through the bottleneck,  I'm sure 'we' will evolve into something unrecognisable to what we are today. So, I remain skeptical that homo sapiens will die off in the next 30 years or whatever constitutes 'near-term', but open to the possibility that we might.

Off the keyboard of RE:

Interesting email conversation you gents are having on this topic, but it doesn't get recorded in the Survey.
Astounding number of people have dropped in to take it on the first day, now past 130 respondents.
Hope you folks are among them.

Off the keyboard of Ugo Bardi:

I marked 100 years because I had to mark something. But the answer is none of the above. If the sapiens survive for another century (not granted at all), then they have the possibility to stick around for several hundred thousand years – perhaps a few million. In this period, they will probably speciate and create several new, different hominid species. They won't be "sapiens" any moe (but they never were, anyway).


Off the keyboard of Ugo Bardi:

Evolution is well known to be a misnomer. The correct term is "adaptation". During the Holocene years, the Sapiens quite some of their cranial capacity in comparison to the earlier forms. From wikipedia: "The cranial capacity has decreased from around 1,550 cm3 to around 1,440 cm3 in males while the female cranial capacity has shrunk from around 1,500 cm3 to around 1,240 cm3.[7]


This you wouldn't call "evolution", but it was a necessary adaptation to a new situation. I can imagine that our hunter/gatherer ancestors needed to be smart and creative. The peasants of neolithic times had to develop different skills and different capabilities: they didn't need to be so smart and creative; they had, rather, to be stubborn and dependable. Being too smart was a negative feature (it is still so, today).


So, the future will bring more adaptation. If we go back to hunting and gathering (I figure that's what Dmitry means with "going feral") our cranial capacity may increase again. If we maintain an agricultural civilization, instead, we'll move along the lines started during the Neolithic. More and more adaptation to social specialization and quite possibly more reduction in cranial capacity. The hive will think for individuals, not the reverse!


The end result could well be a civilization which is simple (stone age) in technological terms, but much more complex than ours in social terms ("ultrasocial" or "eusocial"). We may well see some humans going hunter/gatherers in parallel; but the two kinds might survive together since the hive might not have the kind of technological weapons able to exterminate the independent hunters. The two might "speciate" and become mutually infertile; just like Chimps and humans are today, even though they descend from the same ancestors. We may think of a relationship not unlike that of bees and hornets; bees are social creatures organized in hives, the second are independent hunters that sometimes prey on bees. Sometimes bees kill hornets and sometimes it is the reverse. It is co-evolution.


Lots of fun these thoughts. I would love to be here in a million years from now and see what the hell has happened to humans. Is there any place where you can sign for this reincarnation thing?




(preparing a post on this matter, of course!)

Off the keyboard of Albert Bates:

Ciao Ugo –
If you are preparing a post on this you might have a look at my post 2 weeks back on the subject of brain mass. ( While I also used the shorthand of decreasing brain mass equating with loss of intelllect, I am not wedded to that concept and included some illustrations of the brain size of elephants and numerous varietals of dolphins and whales to cast some doubt on the correlation. Having had some eye contact with elephants and whales, I know them to be intelligent but am not convinced they are _more_ intelligent. There in Firenze you doubtless run across any number of pocket toy poodles and chihuahuas whose cortex is the size of an almond but are exceedingly intelligent and have complex emotions. They also eye-vibe.
My own theory runs to the electric field side of things. Our brains have cloud intelligence, most of which is local and holographic but some portion is remote and exhibits quantum effects. How much biological substrate is necessary to create that kind of neuroelectrical field? The chihuahua may be representative, the elephant may not. (
Thinking of the brain cybernetically leads to utopian fantasy. The problem with digitizing our memories and porting ourselves into an AI format to circumvent death (and reduce the footprint of all the wetware) is that most philanthropists working towards such ends (Kurzweil, Gates) see transhumanism arising from machine tech and Moores Law. But did you ever get a blue screen? If that is what was left of your memories, ouch.
Better and more enduring cloud computing might be a biological evolution, provided enough time. Looking around, tho, I think the luxury of time is not something we have.

Off the keyboard of Ugo Bardi:

Wow…. that's what I call an interesting discussion! Must thank RE for having started it. Really, RE, you are spectacular!!!


Apart from this, yes, Albert, I understand your point about elephants and Chihahua. Yes, we have them in Firenze (I mean, more chihuahuas than elephants, at least for what I can see in public parks on Sunday afternoons). It is known that brain size correlates with intelligence, but weakly. So, the fact that Neandertals had bigger brains than us doesn't mean that they were brighter (although they might well have been)


The specific point I was making in my ramblings on this question is that it makes sense to me that the small shrinkage of the human brain may be correlated to a certain degree of loss of what we call "intelligence" at the INDIVIDUAL level. In other words, social intelligence may well replace individual intelligence at an overall profit for the survival of the species.


It is something that struck me in "Guns, Germs, and Steel" by Jared Diamond. He noted how "primitive" people are often individually smarter than Westerners, and yet westerners normally have the upper hand. It is an observation that I also made with my Roma (gypsy) friends. Individually, they are extremely smart, but they are at the lowest rung of society's ladder. I think it is the same effect: their social intelligence is less developed than ours; it is the opposite for their individual intelligence.


And, of course, there is the utopian idea of the "singularity". Yeah, yeah…. sure….


Very humbly,



That I think is a good spot to end the Collapse PunditTM Email Stream for this article.  Plenty more to come on this however.

Prior to getting into the results of the main Human Extinction Survey, I'll publish the results from the Joke Survey of Human Extinction Surveys 😀 I did after Dmitry published HIS Human Extinction Survey, after calling the one I dropped on a "Waste of Time" in the email stream.  Not too many respondents for this one as to be expected (most people should have got that I was doing a parody joke), and of those who did respond, they are mostly favorable to the Diner Survey since it's probably Diner readers who responded to it rather than Club Orlov readers.

Which Human Extinction Survey is more informative? You may explain your reasons for your choice on Human Extinction Surveys here: Who is more Ethical? You may explain your Blogging Ethics choice here
Doomstead Diner Survey i think you are the first one to survey NTHE and the internet really never even have any discussion about this, just only because this is a deppresing topic, people are addicted to hope and good news, and the motto always "everything going to be alright". Both are Ethical don't sell out, always tell the truth and your opinion.
Doomstead Diner Survey   Bloggers who provide Links to other Blogs when they use their material  
Doomstead Diner Survey Who the fuck is comfortable with destroying the biosphere? Most folks….including Koch Bros. Bloggers who provide Links to other Blogs when they use their material But do you REALLY need the validation of asking these questions? EITHER of you? Public opinions on extinction are irrelevant, it will happen, or it won't.
Doomstead Diner Survey   Bloggers who provide Links to other Blogs when they use their material  
Both are a waste of time   Bloggers who provide Links to other Blogs when they use their material  
Both are informative Informative is probably not the right word. Thought-provoking and discussion-starting are better descriptors. Unfortunately, the whole endeavor DOES have a preaching to the choir vibe to it. Splitting hairs on how many will survive–if any–glosses over just how MANY will not (and that's only considering self-absorbed humans, which tragically ignores the great number of other SPECIES that sink with us.) Neither are Ethical Again, not the right word. Linking is more of a courtesy when individuals are pointing out their takes on other's materials. I think it's understood at this point that it's the receiver's responsibility to review source material under discussion, not the sender's. The sender produces a message–however derivative it may ultimately be, and the receiver needs to determine to their own satisfaction the amount of information in the signal. That generally means reviewing the source material (which, today, is generally resolved by a quick google.) Attribution isn't only about giving "credit"; it's most importantly about message veracity (trust).
Doomstead Diner Survey   Bloggers who provide Links to other Blogs when they use their material  
Doomstead Diner Survey   Bloggers who do NOT link to other Blogs when they use their material  


survey-saysNow let's get onto the KollapsnikTM responses to Q3 on the Survey.  First the Tally of all 354 Total Respondents by Proximal Cause for Extinction:

Alien Invasion:   2

Anthropogenic Climate Change:   193

Asteroid Impact:   7

Geological Climate Change:   28

Global Thermonuclear War:   48

Sun Going Red Giant:   48

Supervolcanic Eruption:   9

As you can see, the VAST plurality of Doomers who consider the Human Extinction question believe it will come about as a result of Anthropogenic Climate Change.  This should be no surprise also, because many of the respondents come from the Nature Bats Last blog, where I dropped a Plug Article for the survey.  That is the hypothesis of Guy McPherson, and readers of that blog are generally in agreement with Guy on this hypothesis.

It would be very interesting if you could get a sampling of how the general public would respond to this question, but alas I doubt that will ever happen 🙁 since only Doomers read Doom Blogs.  I'd also love to see the distribution of responses from CONgress Critters and other Pols as well.  Also never gonna happen.  Still, it is interesting to see how the Doomers themselves distribute out.

Finally, the 125 Respondents who provided a text explanation, sorted by the Proximal Cause they think most likely:

The Proximal Cause of Human Extinction will be: You can explain your choice of Proximal Cause here (optional)
Alien Invasion Humans will go extinct when we evolve into metal bodies and explore the universe.
Alien Invasion The preclusions to invasion have been prophesized for years, simultaneously unbeknownst to most the very seals and doomsday machinations were being constructed behind iron curtains and woolen eyes.
Anthropogenic Climate Change Civilization based on infinite growth on a planet with finite carrying capacity is unsustainable. Civilization the way it is practiced is driving the Earth into a new equalibrium point as positive feedbacks have been set into motion by carbon forcing. Even with questionably motivated carbon reduction schemes, if we were to sink (capture) more carbon than released, the point of no return was reached 40 years ago; there is a 40 year lag from when CO2 is released until its effect is felt.





Anthropogenic Climate Change – Of course, global nuclear war could take us humans + most other life down a bit faster if initiated by the 'real owners' as George Carlin calls them, or a large asteroid impact, but civilized human hubris takes the lead I believe. Again, habitat loss, water loss, ocean acidification, extreme heat + cold, etc. – Actually, nuclear war would be Anthropogenic, wouldn't it?
Anthropogenic Climate Change ACC may be not direct cause, but for sure it is main reason behind…
Anthropogenic Climate Change ACC may very well lead to Mutually Assured Destruction scenarios. On the other hand, the Ring of Fire has been very, very active as of late.
Anthropogenic Climate Change alien invasion? is this survey for real? I'm done
Anthropogenic Climate Change And, of course, only a trickle of useable fossil fuels by 2100.
Anthropogenic Climate Change Answers one and three although I can only select one. Answer one would be the surefire trigger for answer three…
Anthropogenic Climate Change Anthropogenic becomes natural runaway.
Anthropogenic Climate Change Anthropogenic Climate Change (with breakdown of necessary ecosystems, because climate change (incl ocean acidity etc) happens too fast) as ultimate cause, but proximate causes will of course be many: wars, pandemics etc. But still: a slow demise, is my guess.
Anthropogenic Climate Change As I said before, climate change is the most serious threat. Whether it's anthropogenic or not is a moot point in my opinion, even though I believe it is.








But there are four horsemen of our current apocalypse:

Climate Change

War, with Global Thermonuclear War being the worst case

Currency/Economic Collapse

Decline in available energy

Anthropogenic Climate Change But I don't think extinction is in the cards – drastically reduced numbers of humans (deaths) yes, but that wasn't a choice given.
Anthropogenic Climate Change Civilization is a heat engine.
Anthropogenic Climate Change Climate change and peak oil will result in nuclear reactor meltdowns and possibly nuclear war.
Anthropogenic Climate Change Climate change is already happening, the arctic is warming much faster than the lower latitudes, the jet stream has slowed & is meandering bringing more heat to the arctic that's destabilizing methane which is another very potent greenhouse gas.
The arctic may have already heated enough to start a positive feedback between heating & methane destabilization leading to more heating.
When civilization collapses, 420+ nuclear reactors will no longer be maintained, their cooling pumps will run out of fuel, their cores will over heat then melt through their containment vessel releasing radioactive elements into the environment in huge amounts, enough to sterilize the planet if they all fail & they probably will.








Overpopulation by itself could cause our civilization to collapse as demand outstrips supply, climate change could do us in or nuclear powered resource wars could finish us off.

Anthropogenic Climate Change Combination of climate change, resources, political, worsening confluence of things.
Anthropogenic Climate Change connect the dots…and the methane releases are just ramping up
Anthropogenic Climate Change Contamination from abandoned civilian nuclear power installations will also play a role.
Anthropogenic Climate Change Could have gone with Geological but the trigger for that was Anthropological. The others are wild cards or black swans.
Anthropogenic Climate Change Geological Climate Change would probably take 100,000 years to happen.
Global Thermonuclear War is just too stupid even for humans.
Asteroid Impact would be the easy way out, but no such luck is likely.
The other three possibilities belong in comic books.
Anthropogenic Climate Change Guy says so…
Anthropogenic Climate Change I agree with the science supported by this group.
Anthropogenic Climate Change I read somewhere that C02 emissions trap heat like a greenhouse. We're emitting lots of C02.
Anthropogenic Climate Change I really don't think we will go extinct.
Anthropogenic Climate Change If there is an extinction event (of humans) it will be initiated by anthropogenic climate forcing that will morph into geological climate change as the earth tries to re-balance herself from the mess humans have made. We are the fuse, earth is the TNT.
Unintentional nuclear war triggered by geopolitical misunderstandings will render localized parts of the planet uninhabitable but life will go on for a short while with pollution induced cancer being the normal way to die early on (radiation and other toxic waste thrown into the atmosphere via nuclear detonations). The climate change forced migrations will mean that people move away from the nuclear destruction to less polluted areas but get high doses of poisons on there way to said destinations. Swathes of land will be dead zones from fallout. Any cooling from "nuclear winter" will be rapidly offset by exponential changes in climate forcing derived from methane already spewing out from the arctic and sub-sea clathrate explosions.








Its gonna suck if it happens.

Anthropogenic Climate Change If we can believe the data, it seems that we have enough carbon in the system (due to the effects of climate hysteresis and climate inertia) to carry us well over World Banks 4oC. IPCC projections have already been woefully optimistic, for example: we will probably lose all Arctic Summer Ice before 2020, and this was not projected to pass in earlier assesments until well after 2100.








How many other inaccuracies do we not know about.

All live depends on the hydrological cycles, so if that becomes screwed up (a'la Sao Paolo) worldwide, we will lose much plant life, and animals cannot survive without plants.

Phytoplankton also seems to be at a major downturn (jeremy Jackson), and it and plants are the source of Oxygen. Oxygen is the second most electronegative element on the periodic chart, so if the Oxygen cycle is upset by climate change, that will start its slow recession from our atmosphere as it reacts with other cations to form carbonates, sulfates, silicates, etc. Of course, this would be a much longer effect.

Anthropogenic Climate Change in short term, its a toss up between anthro climate change and nuclear war. i'd put climate change first because nuclear war is avoidable (in theory lol).








longer term, dangers are probably a super-volcano or an ice age, both which seem to happen every 60,000 years or so. followed by a big asteroid, which is more likely to happen every few million, to hundreds of million years, depending on size.

quite tempted by an alien invasion scenario (aren't we all), but i thats just a cop out to avoid taking responsibility for the very likely first two.

Anthropogenic Climate Change It is already happening, and accelerating because of methane releases in the arctic
Anthropogenic Climate Change It will be the trigger to most everything else.
Anthropogenic Climate Change It will either be anthropogenic climate change or in case a few thousand people manage to survive that, those will then die by something like an asteroid impact, supervolcano or severe climate disruption later on.
Anthropogenic Climate Change It's a toss up between Anthropogenic Climate Change or Global Thermonuclear War. I think that Anthropogenic Climate Change will stress the already unstable World Political Mess and result in a Thermonuclear War. Chicken and egg stuff.
Anthropogenic Climate Change It's what we do.
Anthropogenic Climate Change Look out the window. Seems obvious and self evident.
Anthropogenic Climate Change NDE
Anthropogenic Climate Change No food no people
Anthropogenic Climate Change No food.
Anthropogenic Climate Change None of the above. The nasty Four Horsemen will do it, but they are caused by general resource depletion and the human reactions to it.








And what about plastic? Humans have made mountains of the nasty stuff – kills animals by clogging up their digestive tracts, poisonous when burned, has hormonal effects. I wish I was clever enough to dream up some scenario where we hoist on our own plastic pitard like those poor creatures that get strangled by the plastic rings used to hold together six packs of beer and soda cans.Rough justice much deserved.

Anthropogenic Climate Change Not just climate change but peak oil…
Anthropogenic Climate Change or Global Thermonuclear War as a result of conflicts due to Anthropogenic Climate Change
Anthropogenic Climate Change Our habitat cannot keep up with the pace that we're warming the planet. Food systems will start to collapse, probably in the next ten to fifteen years. Many such systems are already stressed. So, it looks like most of us–if we make it, are going to starve to death.. or end up in our neighbors stew pot.
Anthropogenic Climate Change Plus Fukushima
Anthropogenic Climate Change plus massive die-off from nuclear power plant melt-downs and other environmental factors.
Anthropogenic Climate Change plus nuclear plant meltdowns.
Anthropogenic Climate Change Proximal cause for rapid depopulation.
Anthropogenic Climate Change Runaway climate change and global economic collapse
Anthropogenic Climate Change Scientific evidence.
Anthropogenic Climate Change Seems obvious.
Anthropogenic Climate Change Self-evident self-immolation through inertia, sadly.
Anthropogenic Climate Change The habitat just becomes too hostile.
Anthropogenic Climate Change The main cause of death for the vast majority of humans will be the collapse of industrial civilization, food production, warfare, and attendant violence. But the ultimate cause will be anthropogenic climate change which will make the planet uninhabitable for humans.
Anthropogenic Climate Change The science is as settled as it can be. It is only denial which seems to be getting stronger.
A fact is still a fact no matter how many people deny it, or how unpalatable it is..
Anthropogenic Climate Change The war won't be nuclear, but it will be global and caused by water shortages and too high prices with too low wages.
Anthropogenic Climate Change too many bodies, not enough food, not enough toilets.








You may peg this to ACC should you wish, but truthfully ACC is a symptom of the core disease. It isn't the root cause. ACC is happening because there are just too many busy little bipeds out there.

Anthropogenic Climate Change We are already in the process of this extinction so it's a given. The others are unknowns with most being highly improbable, but it definitely won't be the last two.
Anthropogenic Climate Change We have sown the wind and will now reap the whirl wind. The goldilocks conditions under which we flourished will be gone.
Anthropogenic Climate Change We're a resiliant species, but we're not well adapted to the PETM-like world of the next 100,000 years. One of our descendant species will outcompete us, but will likely never achieve our industrialized peak, as we'll have used all the accessible fossil energy.
Anthropogenic Climate Change We've made major changes to the Earth's atmosphere.
Anthropogenic Climate Change What we can only have one? I change my answer. If I must pick only one I pick:








The real reason!!!


& human stupidity.

Anthropogenic Climate Change Whether climate change, war, or other foolishness, it will be man made, and self-inflicted.
Anthropogenic Climate Change You forgot "the rapture". If war beats habitat destruction due to climate to the punch, it will have had climate change induced stress as it's motivator.
Anthropogenic Climate Change You left off one: unmaintained nuke plants going Fukushima.. I think that has a greater possibility of occurring than global thermonuclear war. GTW has a less than 100% chance of occurring, while nuke facility meltdowns have a 100% chance of occurring.








I have a hard time predicting which will come first, though.. the worldwide nuke failures or the world-wide famine. Either one would exacerbate the other, of course.

Anthropogenic Climate Change You should be able have more than one answer. It won't just be one thing but a cacophony of events.
Asteroid Impact A large scale impactor would be enough to extinguish macrofauna, and us at our current stage of technology.








Supervolcanism is insufficient and global nuclear war nevermind climate change. Solar flux increase (and terminal climate change) would do, but we'd go extinct considerably prior to that due to natural or unnatural reasons.

Asteroid Impact It really doesn't matter and this is a false choice menu. What about toxic oceans no longer producing oxygen?
Asteroid Impact Most likely some large scale planetary disruption like asteroid impact or super volcano will finally dislodge all higher homo genus from the earth.
Asteroid Impact other possibilities not provided as a choice : human caused changes to biochemistry of our environment. Viruses, nanotech, germ warfare etc.
Geological Climate Change Again, paleontological data would seem to imply that the most common cause of extinction events is climate change. But this can be influenced, or perhaps even caused, by a variety of different things; volcanic activity, plate tectonics, asteroid impact, etc.
Geological Climate Change I don't like any of these answers. Disease isn't there. Food supply disaster isn't there. Other resource depletion isn't there. So I just picked the best of the multiple-choice lot.
Geological Climate Change If a human extinction were to occur it would probably come either by the release of methane or the acidification in the world oceans causing the death of phytoplankton. Both these events were largely influenced by the amount of waste and energy humans have been producing.
Geological Climate Change Methane release, hydrogen sulfide release from oceans, temperatures increased to extent that food can not be grown, violence between humans that do manage to "survive"
Geological Climate Change Most of the charts & graphs are now in hyper parabolic ascent stage.
CO2 CH4 etc.
Geological Climate Change none of the above, but any one will be trouble without causing mass extinction. We will provide mass extinction toold all by ourselves. Our wasteful extravagance will impoverish the planet that few will survive long term.
Geological Climate Change Not sure…
Geological Climate Change While I think Homo Saps are exacerbating the problems of Climate Change, I think they are mainly Geotectonic in nature. We also may engage in Global Thermonuclear War, but the reason for getting into such a conflagration is the conflict that results as the food sources run thin and the economic system Collapses.
Global Thermonuclear War Chose nuke war because of lunatics in Washington, but it seems likely (and maybe should have been included as a choice) that a collection of these will do the deed.
Global Thermonuclear War Climate change brings frequent droughts, floods, and storms








Severely affect supply of food, water, infrastructure of civilization across the globe.

Bonus diseases to affected regions

Struggle for basic resources among nations

Conflict ensued, ceasefire ignored

Nuclear Launch Detected
Nuclear Launch Detected
Nuclear Missile Ready
Nuclear Launch Detected
Nuclear Launch Detected

Global Thermonuclear War Does not need to be global war — reactors and weapons will produce more than enough radiation to cull all population, especially humans.
Global Thermonuclear War Greed will make us fight.
Global Thermonuclear War Human stupidity?
Global Thermonuclear War Humans have considered themselves above nature for a long time now.
I don't see Humans allowing Nature to do themselves in.
We would rather nuke ourselves off the planet than go extinct by 'natural' means.
So I would say the "Planet of the Apes" was correct, we will do it to ourselves, somehow.
Global Thermonuclear War I lived with nuclear war all my life. I was born in 1954. With so many weapons on a hair trigger alert there's no way that the greatest mistake will happen. So it goes.








Cheers Anthony

Global Thermonuclear War If humans do not get off the earth they will find a way to kill themselves. It will be technological most likely bio.
Global Thermonuclear War If not nuclear war it will be nuclear pollution from lack of maintenance and/or decommissioning all of the power (1) nuclear power plants, (2) nuclear aircraft carriers, (3) nuclear icebreakers, (4) nuclear submarines and (5) other, such as experimental nuclear systems.
Global Thermonuclear War If we as a species survive a die off (due to current overpopulation) and recover a global society, I think our most likely avenue of extinction would be war with each other.
Global Thermonuclear War It's something we know how to do.
Global Thermonuclear War Limited nuclear war is very specifically planned in great detail, however, RFDI (H+) chips will be much larger de-pop factor due to viral event. Control parameter = H+ for safety & medical security. 20 major corp contractors have been working on on H+ for decades. Already in use at Disney. 3 million implants now being tested in 30 nations. NIH study groups.
Global Thermonuclear War Not 100% Sure
Global Thermonuclear War Nuclear war is a shoo-in. Nations are even now casually bandying about threats of nuclear strike where just a decade or so ago this would have been unthinkable. The situation can turn on a sixpence.
Global Thermonuclear War Probably, first event US gets destroyed by Russia, China & other countries. Then other countries attack each other like China & Russia go at each other. Maybe India & Pakistan go after each other with nukes, etc.
Global Thermonuclear War QU7TRC <a href="">xpucrrohwwqj</a>, [url=]lrpracxeqlms[/url], [link=]rihljphswelz[/link],
Global Thermonuclear War Republicans® + Bonesman Kerry® + [Bush3® or Clinton2®] = war with Russia.
Global Thermonuclear War The next war is over religion: USA is christian, Europe is muslim. Unlikely that China will be involved in this.
Global Thermonuclear War The others all lead to competition for resources and living space, but in the words of TS Eliot: "I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope, For hope would be hope for the wrong thing."
Global Thermonuclear War This is a faulty question because there is not 1 cause. Anthropogenic climate change is going to kill off a great percentage of the planet in the next 50 years, but the real reason we'll be finished off with no hope of return is nuclear. Whether wars or simply the inability to maintain cooling and storage of 424 nuclear plants worldwide plus who knows how many nuclear weapons, the genie will not stay in the bottle sans electricity. What climate chaos doesn't do, radiation will finish off.








All the above does not even begin to factor in laboratory diseases and nanotechnological organisms.

Global Thermonuclear War This was just the closest approximation. Most will die because of the four horsemen: war, hunger, pestilence and, obviously, death.
Sun Going Red Giant Again humans are resourceful. Some will cope with whatever happens as long as the Earth has an atmosphere.
Sun Going Red Giant Again, I see a dramatic reduction in human numbers – but do not foresee extinction until there is a cataclysmic cosmic event.
Sun Going Red Giant Humans are stubborn but also adaptable. It's going to be ugly, but our species will survive.
Sun Going Red Giant Humans are stubborn but also adaptable. It's going to be ugly, but our species will survive.
Sun Going Red Giant Humans have evolved during a period of climate change and it hasn't slowed us down in the least, geologic climate change has a chance because it doesn't depend on idiot humans but only the frequency of geologic events, war is just the stupid mans excuse for doom because they don't understand the others, asteroids are only a small part of the cosmic reasons for end of humans, super volcanic is a geologic climate change argument primarily, and alien invasions are only for the really stupid doomers. That leaves the physics of the sun being the most reasonable, and certain.
Sun Going Red Giant I dont believe we will go extinct although most people will not survive so not until the sun size dictates.
Sun Going Red Giant I really have no idea.
Sun Going Red Giant Oh – it's hard to predict that one! Of course we can have asteroids or nuclear war… perhaps I still have too much hopium inside… in fact hoping that civilization collapses to where we can't launch the buggers anymore, and the nuclear power plants will only deaden the areas they are in…
Sun Going Red Giant The sun will go Red Giant eventually, and that is game over for all life on Earth. We're not going to the stars to live…at least not with our temporal bodies.
Sun Going Red Giant Unavoidable
Sun Going Red Giant We know the red giant outcome is a certainty; all of the other options are probabilities
Supervolcanic Eruption H bombs won't kill more than a couple billion. Sun at 500my is not red giant, but will remove liquid water. Disease could kill 30 – 90% any time
Supervolcanic Eruption H bombs won't kill more than a couple billion. Sun at 500my is not red giant, but will remove liquid water. Disease could kill 30 – 90% any time
Supervolcanic Eruption Human beings will continue to survive after any die-off in this century, so I think the most likely cause of human extinction will be either a random cataclysm or unwillingness to survive.
Supervolcanic Eruption The most likely scenario IMO is humanity emerging from the collapse of industrial civilization in a very primitive state from which it can never recover again due to lack of resources. But that state can persist for quite a long time, which will end either through some geologic catastrophe (most likely a giant eruption) or geological climate change,
Supervolcanic Eruption to be honest i think it is going to be from multiple factors such as a climate change, nuclear war and viruses. i cant see humanity being wiped out by one factor, i think it is in multiplicity where the answer lies.
Supervolcanic Eruption Volcanic eruption is more likely long term, thermonuclear short term. But I figure if it doesn't happen soon we probably won't let it happen. I guess it's possible
Impossible to speculate. Humans will certainly survive all of the above.
  Cultural implosion, and despair.
  Don't know.
  nobody knows, extinction is possible but not granted at this stage, atmosphere, biosphere, temperature modifications, asteroids, wars, volcanoes, plagues and diseases, all possible, what is granted is the collapse of the current civilization, unless some radical measures are taken
  none of the above peak cheap oil will get us and the accompanying economic collapse
  See above.
  The word "proximal" doesn't make sense in this context. Please explain, without making me read anything.
  The word "proximal" doesn't make sense in this context. Please explain, without making me read anything.
  Why not resource constraints ? (peak oil and other)
Will be the proximal cause for me, Anthropogenic climate change a major second



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