|Credit: Russian Emergency Ministry via Space.com|
In view of the meteor exploding over Russia last month and the asteroid that scooted past Earth a few hours later, it makes me wonder how do you prepare for such a disaster. Most of us who live in “tornado alley” or along the hurricane coasts have a preparedness plan. We hit the basement (or interior room with no windows) or evacuate. Meteors, comets and asteroids are a whole other thing.
In 1998, Hollywood captured movie-goers’ attention with two films about catastrophic disasters, Armageddon and Deep Impact. An asteroid and a comet will collide with Earth. In Armageddon, the world has less than a month to prepare; in Deep Impact, about two years. If you had time, what would you do to prepare for basically the end of the world?
A couple of years ago, I came across a YA novel that piqued my interest because of its end-of-the-world scenario. Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer chronicles the life of a teenage girl and her family as they try to survive after an asteroid hits the moon, knocking it closer to Earth, which then sets off a series of increasingly calamitous events. If you had advance warning, would you think to stockpile canned foods and seeds to plant a garden so you would have food after all the stores were depleted?
End-of-the-world stories (in books and movies) capture our imagination because we know the main character survives. Entertainment value aside, they also make us think about what would happen if the story was real. I’m guessing most of give it a moment’s concern then stuff it into that region of our brain where we don’t have to think about it. Just call us ostriches, sticking our heads in the sand.
Pollyanna, here, likes to think that if faced with an impending global disaster our brilliant scientists would have already devised ways of preventing total Armageddon. Or maybe not. Maybe their budget was cut.
On this gorgeous sunny day, I’ll play like Scarlett O’Hara and think about it another day.
How about you?