Sunday, 14 April 2013

The end of the world as we know it?

With the recent escalation in sabre-rattling going on on the other side of the world, thoughts briefly turned to what would happen if it all kicked off big style. What if NK did decide to do more than just shout a lot and actually started throwing nukes? Despite the distance, it would screw up the world for everyone else, and my thoughts have always been that if a nuke was coming I'd sit in the middle of a field with a bottle of scotch and wait to be vaporized because there would be nothing left worth living for.
However, a comment was made by someone I know that living in a post apocalyptic world would be a challenge he'd like to take on, and it's an interesting point of view.
If you've managed to survive the blast and the heat, the biggest threat is radioactive contamination. I've looked up about death by radiation and it's probably one of the most unpleasant ways to go, so at the very least you want some sort of fallout protection like a gas mask and some heavy impermeable protective clothing. And don't forget that uncontaminated food and water will be in very short supply - if you can find any at all.
On the up side though, it could be a time to wipe the slate clean of all the world's bullshit. A pressing of a giant reset button on life as we know it, and that's where the challenge comes in. How many people in western society now could survive without their centrally heated houses, electricity, oil, and trashy celebrity tabloid magazines? How many would die of starvation rather than kill and eat a rabbit or a muntjac deer? The whole scenario would be very primitive with the constant threat of violence from the inevitable savage gangs, but on the other hand it's unlikely that there would be any form of government or law enforcement trying to stop you living your life the way you want to with their petty rules and regulations. An opportunity for mankind to learn from its mistakes and regain a grip on the things that are really important in life. Family, friends, shelter, food and drink. That's what's important, and all the other crap that we've loaded our lives down with is all completely useless if the world goes tits-up.
If things in Asia escalate to the point of nuclear strikes it will be a horrifically devastating event that surely only the most insane individuals on the planet would fail to back down from, but if the unthinkable did happen and we were caught in the crossfire I may rethink my idea of welcoming oblivion with open arms.