I’m talking about things like the K-T extinction event, which wiped out 75% of Earth’s species, including all non-avian dinosaurs, or the Permian–Triassic extinction event, which killed off 96% of Earth’s marine species and 70% of its terrestrial species.
It’s not clear why these extinction events occurred, but the predominant theories seem to be that there were major impacts by meteors or comets, or an increase in volcanic activity. Either way, the resulting dust in the air would block sunlight, kill plants, and destroy ecosystems.
If such an event happened now, would humanity survive? Obviously civilization would probably collapse, and there would be widespread food shortages. But our species is spread throughout the world, are omnivorous, and are resourceful. Plus there are the paranoid survivalist types with several years worth of food hidden away.
Am I naively optimistic when I think that humanity could get through something like this?
I’m posting this in Great Debates because I don’t think there’s a factual answer.