Which MAJOR Disaster Event Will Happen First

Which Major Earth and Civilization changing event is most likely to happen first (even if you believe it will be thousands of years into the future)?

To frame this Poll, let us set the criteria for Major as killing at least 500,000 humans.

Unfortunately I think it will be a nuclear weapon targeting a major city.

I am rooting for plague!

I voted asteroid impact, though I think a mega volcanic eruption or mid-continental rift earthquake is more likely, both of them occuring in North America.

A nuclear strike or plague is also possible, though I’d think they’d be more terrorist-instigated than come from any other source.

Doh I had intended to include both Volcano and Earthquake/Tsunami but then my office phone rang :smack:


Killing 500K is a low bar. By that standard, a plague is happening right now: AIDS.

Hmm, I think I voted too hastily. But the criteria are set somewhat loosely: in the case of a plague, in what timeframe to the 500,000 deaths occur? Because I think that annually, even diarrhea (rotavirus) claims more deaths than that, and probably cancer and AIDS, too; and I know the flu sometimes gets up to 500,000—so there, we’d already be in the midst of a ‘disaster’ according to the OP. Not to mention things like simple starvation.

This is tough. Asteroid, climate event, and nuclear attack are all realistic. Depending on what you mean by ‘plague’ that’s already happened with AIDS, as someone said.

A nuke will go off at some point - but I doubt it will kill 500,000.

An asteroid will happen, but the odds that one comes soon enough (before we have the technology to find it in time and avert it ), big enough to kill 500,000, are slim.

So I went with climate change - but nobody will realize it. Drought will kill several million and deniers will say climate change had nothing to do with it.

“Major climate event” sounds pretty vague, so I went with plague. As noted, you could argue that plagues are going on right now.

That is a good technical point. You could add your favorite flavor of Cancer, Heart Disease, etc… heck why not add Gunshots :wink:

Obviously I should have added the caveat of those deaths coming in a very short and more importantly SUDDEN window.

Come on asteroid!..DAMN IT!! SO CLOSE!!

I took “plague” to mean either some form of biological warfare or a sudden natural pandemic, like the Spanish Flu that spread worldwide in the aftermath of WWI. There was absolutely no way of coping with it.

In the age of jet airliners, a readily communicable form of Ebola, for example, would make AIDS look like the common cold.