The Human Extinction Survey: Early Results


Off the keyboard of RE

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on May 24, 2015

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(the survey is at the bottom of this very long page)


survey-says-2The Human Extinction SurveyTM has been a remarkable success in terms of collecting up data from the Doom Community. In under a week as of my last download, it has collected up 277 opinions on questions related to the Extinction of Homo Saps. When I dropped it on, I thought it would take a couple of weeks just to get a few regular Diners to take it!

As you might expect if you take a survey of people who read Collapse websites, the bias toward an early end to Homo Saps is quite evident.  It's also skewed heavily towards the Uber Doom scenario of Guy McPherson (e.g. Extinction by 2030), because I wrote a Plug Article for the survey on NBL, and many of the Batters took the survey, prior to Guy himself bashing the survey later on.  So even though Guy himself refused to take the survey, you get an understanding of what the Group Think on Nature Bats Last is by reading the explanations made by the Batters on NBL for why they believe Human Extinctinction will come to pass in VERY short order.

Do I agree with these rationales?  Some I do, some I do not, but I am not going to identify my own responses to the survey at this time. Nor will I pick out the responses from other Collapse PunditsTM such as Dmitry Orlov (Club Orlov), Albert Bates (Peak Surfer), Steve Ludlum (Economic Undertow) etc at this time. For this Early Results article, we will look at a table for the First Question sorted by Time to Extinction of ALL the responses so far which have some text explanations in them.  You the reader can make your own analysis after you read the responses.  The number of responses with text explanations is less than half the total number of survey submissions, most people just click the Radio Buttons with the Multiple Choices.  However, the distribution of these responses is not a lot different than the total responses made to the survey so far. as counting up all the numbers through the whole database and doing a data analysis, I'm not going to do that, our back end support The Database Cavalry from CaliforniaTM is going to do it, in his spare time which he doesn't have a lot of these days.  It will take a while for this to get done, because this is unformed data and requires the kind of tricks Google uses for text analysis to decide what Ads to drop on your screen while reading sites OTHER than the Diner which have Ads on them. STILL AD FREE ON THE DINER, DUE TO THE GENEROUS CONTRIBUTIONS OF DINER READERS AND LISTENERS! šŸ™‚  TDCFC will be using DeepSee for the Data Analysis.

Insofar as the structure of the survey is concerned, what questions and choices were included etc, I have received plenty-o-criticism of this already.  LOL.  I created the survey while I was testing out a new Plugin for WordPress.  I asked some Diners for suggestions of what to drop in there, but by no means is this a "scientifically" designed survey.  Since getting all that criticism as well as engaging in a very entertaining and informative email discussion with numerous other Collapse PunditsTM I have asked said critics to help me design a new and better Survey v2.0.  Has anybody stepped up to the plate on this?  Jason Heppenstall of 22 Billion Energy Slaves offered up one possible question with some Multiple Choice answers in the email stream, and HnH a Professional Psychologist who criticized the survey in the Blog commentariat came up with the suggestion that the v2.0 should have an Education question included.  THAT'S IT for suggestions on creating a better survey here.

Here for your entertainment are a few of my recent responses in The Human Extinction Survey: The Controversy article in the Commentariat.

RE says:

Let me begin with my latest response in the email stream amongst the Pundits:

The reason I dropped a text area after every question is because Multiple Choice never can give every possible answer every Tom, Ugo and Dmitry wants to give.
Insofar as what questions should have been asked, I put out a request for questions on the Diner, Joe D came back with one and then conversation led to a few more being added from what originally was just the first 3 questions while I was messing around playing with the new WordPress Plugin.
Are there many other questions that could have been asked?  Of course there are.  You got some suggestions Tom?  Dmitry?  You got some Multiple Choices to drop in there for answers?  Please, feel free to drop them on here in the email thread and I will create Survey Version 2.0.  Maybe with all the Pundits, Cassandras and Nostradamuses contributing questions the next survey won't be so STUPID. LOL.  Everybody's a critic, but when you ask for some constructive help you get the sound of one hand clapping.
The v2.0 Survey doesn't have to be focused on Extinction, because I agree, if we are going Extinct in the next 20 years and it is irrevocable, it's a rather pointless question to dwell on. The conclusion to that isn't very complicated, it's OVAH, the Fat Lady has Sung and nobody will be around to worry about it!  LOL.
So, perhaps we can call this one the Human Survival Survey and focus on the question of how Homo Saps might survive, whether we will turn Feral or adapt and evolve into a Eusapient creature, whether John Michael Greer's Crows or Raccoons will take over, yadda yadda.  I am open to suggestions here, we can go any way at all with this.
Anyhow, for a STUPID survey with STUPID questions, this one sure got plenty of responses, and I didn't even have to pay anyone to take the survey!  Up to 231 Respondents now and still climbing the charts.
Do I know this Survey isn't perfectly constructed?  OF COURSE I KNOW THAT!  Good Grief, I was just messing around with a new Plugin for WordPress and threw out a few questions to test it, and then the idea popped in my head to use it for grist for the mill, so to speak.
If some Professional Shrinks would like to drop in here and add questions they think will do a better job of  of surveying attitudes about Collapse & Extinction, please feel free and make your contribution!  I'd rather not write it myself, copy/pasting your stuff would be much easier!  LOL.
Far as the controversy it engendered with Guy and the crew of nihilists on NBL, that was to be expected.  If you don''t sing with the choir on NBL, you get Napalmed.  Always.  Fortunately, I find such things entertaining.


RE says:

40 years as a professional shrink and the best you can do to make a new survey more valid is to add a question about education level?

Far as the names go, it's optional to drop in your identity.  Anyone who did drop their name in is willing to have their information attributed to them.  No emails will be published however.

I am not going to do the data analysis.  Doomer Support will do that utilizing DeepSee.  All I am doing is counting up some of the numbers and publishing some of the text responses.

Survey now at 234 Respondents.



RE says:

Any survey dropped on a Collapse Blog is OBVIOUSLY only going to capture attitudes from people who actually read these things.  So you have to tailor your questions to what their concerns are if you expect any responses.  Considering I am a STUPID, non-Professional Survey Designer, I did pretty good with figuring out what kind of questions would get a response.  Honestly, I figured it would take a week AT LEAST just to get 10 Regular Diners to fill it out.  It's freaking LONG.  Instead, in UNDER ONE WEEK there are currently 256 Respondents to the Survey!  So clearly it touched a nerve in the readers of these Blogs.

What do I want to KNOW?  I want to know what people think about Collapse and where we are going and why we are going there and what they think the outcomes will be.  As a Professional Shrink, design me a survey that is Bulletproof and will gather that data correctly, and you can be damn sure I will publish it.

Everybody's a CRITIC.  When it comes to actually doing constructive work to make a dent here though, nobody steps up to the plate.



It's very EZ to criticize, not so easy to constructively help in building understanding.  There will be a Survey v2.0 eventually, and it will be better than Survey v1.0, but I can pretty much guarantee I will have to construct it myself again, because the Critics aren't going to help.  If you're not going to help, then next time you got no right to criticize, because you were given the opportunity to improve it.

That issue now being addressed, time to get on to the Survey Answers themselves.  For readers who have not yet taken the Survey, it's included again at the bottom of this post, you can still take it.

Originally while I was testing the Plugin, the Survey just had the first 3 questions in it.  For this week, I'm just going to publish the Text answers that were given to the first question in the first 277 Submissions to the survey.  Publishing all 3 questions in one article is overkill, it's just way too much for just about any Blog Reader to wade through in one sitting. Even the first question by itself has more text in it than most people will read, but if I Edit it I will be accused of Cherry Picking my Data the way Guy McPherson Cherry Picks his.  So I will publish all of it, over time.   It's going to take a while to chew through everything that is in this database already, and it keeps accumulating more also.

The numerical distribution for the first question is

survey-says20 Years:  38

50 Years:  59

100 Years:  59

In the Year 2525: 23

In  1000 Years: 24

When the Sun Goes Red Giant: 33

When the Universe Ends:  9

Never:  14

Yes, there are people out there who believe Homo Sap can outlast the Universe itself.   To be fair however, these folks mostly look at the question in a more Spiritual manner, not in the corporeal sense of physical people.

This doesn't add upp to 277 because a few people answered with text but did not check one of the radio button choices.


Now, for you folks who got a lot of time on your hands to waste, here's the text answers to the First Question on the Survey, sorted by how much time left before Extinction the respondent believes is likely.  These are only the 128 responses that had a Text explanation, there are 277 records in the database  at this time.

Draw your own conclusions.

Homo Saps will go Extinct in: You can explain your reasons for your Extinction choice here (optional)
100 Years 20 years ago when studying overpopulation in college, I came to the conclusion that human beings would be extinct in my lifetime given the alarming data. Now that I realize how short a decade really is, I understand that "quickly" doesn't mean what I thought it meant when I was only 20. Things can happen "quickly" and still take 100 years.
100 Years 6 degree temp rise baked in to existing levels of methane and CO2. No humans lived on this planet at temps of 3.3 degrees above baseline which was earth temp at launch of so-called "enlightenment" industrial revolution. That is the end of the equation for me. Natural negative feedback loops to potentially remove carbon and methane do not have nearly enough energy or possible effectiveness to even slightly mitigate the effects of temperature rise. Nobody is coming to the rescue, and the autos, planes, trains, boats, hot showers, beef boigers and bideo games are here until they cannot be. Caput fino. Dinosaurs' revenge.
100 Years Abrupt climate change, resulting in loss of habitat, food shortages and meltdown of nuclear power plants
100 Years Appears we are not wise enough as a species/society to change course and I put it as a low probability. We may have already passed one or more tipping points. We definitely are in overshoot and will see population decline radically. But it's conceivable some people may survive. But I think Homo sapiens may be an evolutionary dead end. It's impossible to predict the timeline.
100 Years At least 100 years – unless the nuclear missiles leave their silos, in which case less than 2 weeks after launch. At least some people are bound to survive even a swift fall from the loss of fossil fuels and rapid climate change. The existence could be miserable, but what does Guy McPherson think would wipe out 7+ billion people, all over the globe, in 5 – 15 years? Remote communities still exist, not dependent on industrial products – Tierra del Fuego, New Guinea highlands, others I don't know about. Somebody is bound to carry on. He doesn't have any scientific legs to stand on.
100 Years Climate change alone will probably thin human numbers radically before the century is out. In addition, there are many other serious and steadily worsening problems that appear to be converging at a point slightly beyond the average human lifespan horizon. Barring a sudden climatic shift that prohibits the continued existence of large multicellular organisms, there will almost certainly be some humans 100 years hence.
100 Years Economic, ecological, resource collapse starting in the next 5 years. Industrial societies go fast.
100 Years Extinction of ALL humans (that what extinction is right) will take longer than most think.
There will be very small pockets of comments notices living in primitive ways for a long time.
100 Years Full Doomer: You believe Homo Saps will undergo a massive Population Knockdown but will not go Extinct in this century.






















Certainly, most of the population is doomed but , like rats or cockroaches, pockets of stubbornly resilient people will survive. If the earth is lucky, they will be too few to fuck things up again on a global scale for a long, long time.,

100 Years Global warming leading to collapse of biodiversity and thus ecosystems and all major food supplies.
100 Years I don't believe natural resources will last that long. It maybe possible for some people to beat the odds, but they will be living at a subsistence level, and that is not my cup of tea.
100 Years 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 more (but they never were, anyway).
100 Years I think all the charts, graphs, reasons, etc are correct, except for the timeline.






















There is a problem with Prophecy, which is what this is.
One can look in the future and see a series of foothils to mountain peaks, each higher than the next.
And one can say "Look at all the stuff comming. Peak after Peak"
But what one can not see is the valleys between each hill and peak.
That there are gulfs of time before each peak, where things will settle back down.

Therefore all doom theories are correct, except that they will take much longer than predicted.

100 Years I think it will take a few generations for our actual culture to collapse. People need each other, no peoples exist without a culture. If the environment is hostile enough, culture will not survive…
100 Years I think they are making those underground bunkers to last a while. Who knows how much food they have there. If people can make it to the poles, they might survive a while.
100 Years I think we're all on shaky ground when we prognosticate along these lines. Although I can accept that there might be very significant reductions in population within the near term future, I just can't see 100% extinction within less than 100 years, because not all areas of the planet are going to be impacted the same, and I think it's logical to expect some locales to fair better than others as climate change takes its toll.






















And lets face it. We're talking about geologic time. In geologic time 20 years and 100 years are both infinitesimally short periods of time, and in the same range.

To me climate change is the most serious threat to Homo saps, and is the likeliest to result in NTE. Other existential threats such as war, economic collapse, loss of fossil fuel energy, and population overshoot, are all likely to result in population decline, but generally don't threaten mankind's continued existence.

So I said 100 years. I'd add that if we make it through the next hundred years, or perhaps two hundred, that would indicate we might hang on as a species for some additional millennia. Because it would mean that we've learned to cope, and found a more sustainable path. Or reduced our numbers to a level the planet can easily support, anyway.

100 Years I'm thinking the same way like Guy McPherson does, but with a longer timeframe for extinction. Climate Change and resource depletion will lead to a severe decline of human population and collapse of industrial civilisation within the next 30-50 years. It will end with a complete loss of habitat for humans some time later, I would say in about 100 years, when the effects of climate change are entirely felt, and thus lead to extinction. It might come a little earlier in case the global impact of the exposed nuclear fuel rods (after collapse) on human health will be too big to survive.
Still it could be that a few humans survive in very special communities that were able to adapt to the changing ecosystem and withstand the new conditions with the limited resources they still have, but only in case there is no radiation problem. This could then turn out to be a new "bottleneck" for human evolution with just a few thousand surviving globally and a slow recovery over thousands of years back to a level of a few million people.






















So I'm not completely sure about the "100 years", but how could one be?
I would consider myself being 50:50 between either extinction in about 50-100 years or survival of a few thousand people followed by a slow recovery with humans then going extinct in a few million years when the earth gets wrecked by some astronomical event or very severe climate disruption.

100 Years If Kevin Anderson, head of the Tyndall Center says only 1 billion people will survive a 4C rise above 1980 temps, that means 6 billion humans – minimum, die off between now and a 4C rise. That much death and turmoil from climate change will trigger human frailties and propensities towards violence and hoarding that will knockout many more millions.






















A 4C rise by 2080 seems quite probable when feedback loops and methane from thawing Siberia begin to ramp up. A Canfield ocean will be the coup de grace in 2115. Hydrogen sulfide will kill most plants and animals on land and in the sea. Permian Bye Bye Part II, coming soon to a theater near you.

100 Years Irreversible climate change and collapse will bring on the extinction of the human race before 2100
100 Years MIT nuclear radiation fallout maps = some survivors in Patagonia.
100 Years nice survey. thanks for running it RE. it was a toss up between 50 and 100 years for me, so i chose 100 years to be 'on the safe side' lol. resource depletion and climate change will have ushered in the four horsemen long before then, of course, ie before the year 2100, which still leaves a decade or so longer for a still exponentially warming world to wipe out any survivors of the main die off period that have managed to linger on somewhere. guy macs 20 year methane wipeout scenario is just too short a time frame for total extinction IMO, (as long as the FSOA can keep its itchy finger off the big red nuke button of course lol). although i expect things will be heating up tremendously in the old wicked problems department, saps will still have enough fossil energy to keep the industrial heat engine turning a while longer and mostly hide from natures fury. but its only a matter of time. it will just take climate change and peak oil collapse a bit longer to work their magic thats all haha. so although im not in the ultra doom camp, we definitely seem to be tracking the limits to growth business as usual projection quite well and i also think its highly likely that at least a limited nuclear exchange will happen at some point as a consequence of the USA (especially) wanting to control what is left of oil resources. so i doubt civilization (at least globally) will go on much longer than 2030. but i would not bet that humans will become actually extinct for collapse/climate reasons (we are pretty adaptable species, up to a point, living 'wild' as some people do in habitats as diverse as tropical rain forests to the arctic) but its theoretically very likely civilization, and hence at least 99% of the population dependent upon it will go away in the next 50 to 100 years. which is 'Armageddon' by any biblical standards considering we are taking about up to 7 billion human dieing in a short period (so actually far worse than any biblical scenario) lol.
100 Years Nope, can't explain it other than being as optimistic as i can!
100 Years Nuclear plant leakage will kill most , but in a few pockets of the world some will survive for awhile
100 Years nuke meltdowns and methane bomb
100 Years The current systems in place won't change.
100 Years The trees are dying, the bees are dying, the seas are dying…all large mammals are going away, we will too.






















You can see it everywhere….the Everglades are drying up and have a plastic coating. Near Flagstaff, AZ the trees all have brown dry needles…same near Silverthorne, Colorado.

Hornets abound, but honeybees are very rare…….used to be the opposite.

100 Years There are too many Critical Menaces in separate areas (Oil, Climate Change, Nuclear, Financial System, Soil, etc…) that are attacking in parallel. Additionally there are probably bunch of Black Swans we even have no idea about behind the corner.
100 Years Too much stress, and too many breaking points will eventually walk us into an uninhabitable planet.
100 Years When the economy breaks and people that are dependent on for survival realize there is NO plan B. War will start because we have no alternative.
100 Years When the global atmospheric temperature increases by more than 5° C or so, extinction is likely due to lack of food.
20 Years As goes the arctic so goes the rest of the world. The arctic is going extinct before our very eyes. So goes the rest of the world.
20 Years Economic collapse followed by social net collapse, medical crisis followed by pandemics, collapse of food system due to transport, water and cost, bird flu equals no chicken or eggs, energy collapse and manufacturing collapse from loss of demand coupled with high EROEI, re-collapse of energy economy, termination of public traveling or roaming, global warming, release of clathrate methane, loss of New York, Boston, Florida, Panama, and resource competition will cause a nuclear war. And more. Checkmate. Without knowledge, without tools, we succumb to radiation and disease.
20 Years feedback loops now in play (CH4, Ice Cap Melt, etc)
20 Years Full blown collapse has already begun.
20 Years Guy Says so….
20 Years Humans have created 300,000 tons of nuclear waste with no way to keep it out of the environment. No viable solution has been proffered in the 58 years of commercial nuclear power. This in itself will cause genetic extinction of 9 million known species, since It will also complicate any power grid failure, war, social unrest, or any any natural disaster.






















Global temperature rise is already causing accelerating release of methane from clathrates and permafrost melt, and sea ice and glaciers on land look exponentially worse with every satellite picture, survey or radar study. Radical climate change in a very short period of time is assured. Drought, violent weather, destruction of the ocean food chain, starvation and wars over remaining resources will ensue. Clandestine programs by world governments already have been taking place for 30 years; their <mad> scientists know the extent of the problem and are stabbing at poor solutions which are worsening the problem.


20 Years HUmans need water at least every three days and food at least every week or so. People can survive after rapid temperature increases but getting those two items will not be possible. Methane also kills immediately when breathed in and if there is a methane burp or it continues to go exponentially it will cover the Northern Hemisphere and most of Southern hemisphere in rapid order. Geoengineering is also affecting the health and brain capacity of all living organisms including humans and this will affect the decision making and survival skills of any humans that do "survive" in a negative way
20 Years i believe in Guy Mcpherson and Dennis Meadows.
20 Years I think humans in civilization will go extinct, and it may appear all humans are gone in 20 years, but who can say for sure
20 Years May of course be lots sooner than 20 years, or might be 30 to 50 years for the remnants of what will probably be at least a massive die-back of population. I have found basically nothing that contravenes Guy McPherson's collected data and conclusions. If abrupt climate change itself does not bring about our own extinction, then our own hardwired firmware in our hunter gatherer brains will insure that we finish ourselves off. The reason being is that of all the major players on the planet, i.e. the US, Russia, China etc. The military's of each probably have a very good idea of the implications of abrupt climate change and I've already constructed a scenario to attempt to ensure that each ones populations are the last to go. It is been said quite famously that no military has ever failed to use its arsenals. If I left anything out I'm quite sure you can fill in the blanks yourself.
20 Years Maybe sooner. Too much severe negative stuff going on.
20 Years Oh, let's see now. Scenarios. Methane bomb = any day now, hence no breathable atmosphere within the course of year. Antarctic melt = sea level rise = Washington DC is history, hence world disintegration. Global financial disaster = civilization crumbles, hence nuclear energy meltdowns on the order of 300+ Fukushimas.
20 Years once the bubble bursts and society breaks down due to not enough food. water or the comfortable lifestyle we took for granted warring tribes will replace families, cannibilism, raping,pillaging and kill or be killed mentaliiy & suicides will be the order of the day. A 99% die- off is on the cards. The bubble is in the house,commodities,wages,food products it will no longer be produced think capex.
20 Years Tend to agree with McPherson, but "extinction" is an absolute. It may "merely" be a population decimation event. I simply can't imagine that all pockets of habitat will disappear.
20 Years The climate will change exponentially as global warming increasingly sets off positive feedback loops. (Arctic methane will be the biggest kicker!) Because there is a time delay of the greenhouse gas effects, it's already too late to slow down this run-away train. Besides that, the monsters that run the world (the wealthiest of all) won't allow it any way.
It will be impossible to produce enough food, and eventually any food at all.
The final blow will come from the 430 nuclear power plants that all blow up because nobody can keep them going.
20 Years We can't even get along now with ability to have 24/7 McBullshit availability.
When the 96 hour foodchain eggtimer runs out of clicks & ticks, all hell brakes
loose & the 1st responders head home to be with their loved ones. Game over.
Methane fueled fireballs WILL rain down on us regularly by 2020 for the finale.
50 Years 1.) I believe changes in the atmosphere and soil (not just warming) are killing off creatures we can't see and that we take for granted. It is not just soils that are over-tilled and over-drenched with chemicals which are losing fertility.






















2.) Exponential loss of sea ice and glaciers => exponential ocean temp. rise (plus a lot of other bad things). Exponential tree-cover loss => exponential land-temp. rise (plus a lot of other bad things). There's no way around this. People seem not to grasp the implications of the exponential.

50 Years A combination of resource depletion (fresh water,oil,coal) and climate change (no food) will create a competitive situation so intense, mankind will wipe itself out in large-scale murder. It's inevitable.We are not able to cooperate on a planet-wide,or even continent-wide scale. Not without huge energy surpluses.Either someone's gonna hit the red button or we will go tribal and the tribes will battle to the death. Let's not forget about the 400 + nuclear power plants falling into neglect either…..
50 Years After arctic ice loss and a blue ocean event, a methane burst will rapidly warm the planet and cause mass crop failures in the northern hemisphere. Society will collapse and 90% of the population will succumb to either violence or starvation with a year of the crop failures.






















After the initial methane burst, more will follow, making high yielding agriculture impossible. The remaining population will continue to decline a further 90% in the second year after.

In 10 years, 99.9% of humans will be dead due to lack of food. The remaining 0.1% will trudge on for some years in tiny groups in hardy places, but as run away climate change proceeds, even these places will invariably turn into desolate lands that can bear no food for the time being, and eventually, I think within 50 years of now, humans will have gone extinct, or will be on the unavoidable verge of it.

50 Years Arctic/tundra methane bursts leading to accelerated warming
50 Years Die-off (net world population reduction) within 10 years, accelerating until most people dead within 20 years, after 50 years the final bunker-dwellers who were positive that their preparations would be good for centuries dying as their spare parts are exhausted and the technicians needed to repair things are already dead.
50 Years From all the data/info I've read, and from my own observations, I can only conclude that 'things' are moving rapidly towards the loss of all life on Earth. Whether this takes place within 20 – 50 years, no one really knows for sure but as said, things are not looking well for all life – not just humans.
50 Years I believe that some super rich people will find a way to survive must longer than the middle and lower classes.
50 Years I wish you could have broken this down in "between" increments. I think humans will go extinct between 2040 and 2050…so that puts it around 35 years from now, give or take. I think 20 years is a bit too soon. Hence, I chose 50 years.
50 Years If I could select a range of 20 to 50 years, that would be preferred. Cause of extinction: 1) abrupt climate change due to methane release from permafrost, 2) thermonuclear war bringing about a nuclear winter lasting several growing seasons culling back most of the population, 3) nuclear fall out from burning nuclear power plants (Dr. Helen Caldicott estimates a 1 in 3 death rate from cancer by 2036 due to Fukashima , 4) depletion of top soil and fresh water, 5) resource depletion, 6) destruction of ecosystems and 7) population overshoot.
50 Years It's complicated.
50 Years maybe 30…..all the feedback loops point to sooner than later
50 Years Methane, Nukes, Ignorance
50 Years Nuclear war
Ebola airborne edition
Antibiotic immune pathogens
Skynet for realz
Global Religious war
Global Racial war
Global Currency war
50 Years Oil & Grain Consumption
50 Years overshoot
50 Years Probably enough inertia in the system for the Hitlery Clinton's of the world to continue to eat long after the proletariat have died out due to starvation, disease, local turf wars, and suicide. They will be able to rely on compounds built for that purpose.






















I would expect climate change to render agriculture more or less (more) impossible within half a century, and the survivors that make it to my 50 year timeline will be the ones surviving on food/energy/medicine storage. When that runs out, it is unlikely that any of those functions (eg; modern chemistry required for pharmaceuticals, etc.) can be maintained. It seems that we have evolved in the last century for a soft life of cheetos, shitbook, and twerkfests.

Generation twerkbook cannot produce hydrogen peroxide, sodium hypochlorite, and sodium carbonate today, let alone in the future. Hygene will quickly resort back to pre Lister times, and coupled with water shortages (such as playing out in Sao Paolo and Calif. today), I expect much of the congeries to be wiped out by disease alone. Childbirth will revert back to the days of Puerperal Fever. Of course, right before collapse, with no contraceptives avalible, Climate Change dictating the crops, and lots of folks waiting on Jeebus to save them, we can expect a massive increase in starving babies. We won't have to send Sally Struthers over to Ethopia to get a picture of little Damiani ("It may Already be too late") with flies crawling in and out of his mouth, we will be able to see it right here on our own cracked pavement.

Silly assed considerations such as Carz, the Economy, and Electricity will be non-starters, of course. The requirement of more than 12 calories of fossil fueled thermal energy inputs just to get 1 calorie of foon on the table in Murica would be a major bottleneck in my opinion.

Small flowers crack concrete.

50 Years Uh duh!
50 Years We'll lose civilization within 10 years, but it will take awhile for the isolated settlements to fail.
50 Years We'll lose civilization within 10 years, but it will take awhile for the isolated settlements to fail.
50 Years When everything crashes, people will quickly learn that we can't just have jettisoned 6000 years of culturally handed down technical knowledge, and then pick it up again at will like a piece of Chinese junk at WalMart. It's irrevocably gone, and will have to be re-discovered on a planet that's been thoroughly plundered of all easily accessible resources. A surviving culture based on wood and glass is possible — but not in any numbers. Are there any more Melks in our future? — Melk and honey? — I really, really doubt it. By extinct, I mean worth living, not just biologically alive.
50 Years Within the next 10 years the global economy will collapse and that will lead to widespread grid failure and the uncontrolled meltdowns of all nuclear reactors. Grid failure alone will lead to the immediate deaths of most humans who are highly dependent on electricity for their survival. It will also cause food production to plummet. Nuclear war is also highly likely. While most humans will die within 20 years it may take 50 years for total extinction from all the radiation, catastrophic climate change, war and disease.
In 1000 Years Actually, I think from 1000 to a 100.000 years, the catastrophic methane release feedback spiral is probably not gonna happen, so
we will muddle through – for a while (geologically speaking)
In 1000 Years Although I don't feel 1000 years is accurate, the supernova option is too far off. I believe that many people (1 million to 500 million perhaps) will survive the collapse of the habitat. I think we have ample evidence this has occurred at least once in history. I guess I am Full Doomer.
In 1000 Years Degradation of planetary biosphere due to massive nuclear and chemical and GMO pollution leads to extinction of many vertebrates, including humans.
In 1000 Years Even when most resources are gone and the climate changes, I think there will be small pockets of people surviving on, say, rat stew? But the carrying capacity of earth will go way down I think and it will not be life as we know it today. I think more than 1000 years but before the sun goes red giant
In 1000 Years Fukushima is fairly localized, so nukes won't be a global problem. Yes, I know, I know, meltdowns will be a lot LESS localized after industrial collapse, but still not global, even in aggragate. There WILL be safe zones big enough for even nuke-ignorant posthistoric cavemen to maintain breeding populations. The strays might die, but not the stay-at-homes.






















McPherson's so-called "clathrate gun" is a crock of malarky. Hydrates can't melt faster than methane's short atmosphearic half-life.

I say the only human-caused threat of total extinction results from extincting everything else, surviving on rats, cockroaches, and each other, and speciating into a new improved windigo.

In 1000 Years Fukushima is fairly localized, so nukes won't be a global problem. Yes, I know, I know, meltdowns will be a lot LESS localized after industrial collapse, but still not global, even in aggragate. There WILL be safe zones big enough for even nuke-ignorant posthistoric cavemen to maintain breeding populations. The strays might die, but not the stay-at-homes.






















McPherson's so-called "clathrate gun" is a crock of malarky. Hydrates can't melt faster than methane's short atmosphearic half-life.

I say the only human-caused threat of total extinction results from extincting everything else, surviving on rats, cockroaches, and each other, and speciating into a new improved windigo.

In 1000 Years Human beings are extremely resilient. There are enough of us that we will be able to survive in a hot world, a polluted world, a radioactive world. An enormous die-off in this century does not mean extinction. Furthermore, we are a thinking species. We know how to dig our way out of holes. We have all sorts of reasons to live and survive and are not limited by the failing technological dreams of today. I think 1000 years is actually pessimistic. I would put human survival at another 5,000-100,000 years, however long it takes for people to consider all future activities futile or get knocked out by a random natural event. We will definitely not survive until the end of the planet.
In 1000 Years Humans are incredibly resilient. Even with war, famine and plague there will be pockets around the world that are isolated enough or tough enough to survive. Extreme climate may change that eventually.
In 1000 Years I think if we can manage to survive the next century (die off due to overpopulation, climate change, economic collapse), we will probably keep truckin' for a good long time. However I don't think we will last 5 billion years until the sun goes red, and if we do, we may not be "homo sapiens" any more.
In 1000 Years IMHO Civilization will go extinct in 50 years or so. Pockets of human beings will continue in isolation for quite a while.
In 1000 Years In a few thousand years, the environment will have markedly changed from the present, with a temperature profile mimicking the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum with 6 °C (11 °F) temperatures increases. Present temperate climates will become desert (most below 40° latitude), coastal plains flooded (Greenland + West Antarctica = 12 m = 40 ft) and portions of continental interiors will become uninhabitable above ground due to summer heat waves.






















Surviving human settlements with a few tens of millions will be distributed around Arctic and Antarctic shorelines, mostly as hunting/fishing settlements, as boreal forests and permafrost leave very poor soil.

Thats a small enough, and widely enough distributed population for natural selection to take hold. Some isolated groups will speciate, and will outcompete H. sapiens, as we outcompeted H. Neanderthalensis. So some descendants will survive. They probably won't have another chance at an industrial revolution, as our generations burnt all the fossil fuels.

In 1000 Years maybe not 1000 maybe 5000 or 10000 or 100000, but evolution guarantees our current iteration will have lost out to a "better" homo, or what George Mobus at Question Everything terms "Homo eusapiens" (to quote from his October 05, 2013 post "I don't write this stuff to point out what the problems are and thereby find solutions anymore. I have long ago realized that the system simply is what it is and it will continue in a dynamic that was set in motion by the evolution of Homo callidus and will lead to, I think, the evolution of Homo eusapiens in the distant future. You and I and our whole human-culture system are just milestones along the path. We can't be saved, preserved forever. We should not be saved in the sense of preserving the population and going on with business as usual. The essence of humanness, the sapient, abstract symbol processing, tool making, creatures that evolved on this planet does not depend on the current species existing forever. But that essence needs to be saved (if we can). Some of our kind need to succeed in persisting beyond what will surely be a massive population bottleneck event so that the seed of a new, emergent species will be available when the time is right."
In 1000 Years Most likely measured in hundreds of thousands of years.
In 1000 Years There will be a period of upheaval where large numbers of humans will die off leaving a few billion or so to fight over the scraps. However, because of the collapse of "industrialized" society there will be a rapid decline in aerosol pollution leading to an immediate uptick in human caused heat forcing driving temperatures in the arctic up further speeding methane release creating a Permian style atmosphere in very short order. There will be large droughts and storms that will decimate agriculture, while productive lands capable of supporting agriculture will be inundated by rapid sea-level rise. Those who are not able to migrate by foot to more suitable climate zones will perish. Eventually there will be so few humans left that we may as well be extinct.
In 1000 Years There will be a serious knockdown of the human population within 100 years. That is baked in the cake Already due simply to climate change factors alone. pockets of humanity, particularly those living more sustainably and primitively will survive the first onslaughts, but will themselves also be knocked down as climate continues to change and habitats disappear.






















If you go with the evidence takes you, the scorecard shows that humanity is well behind.

A significant number of animals have become extinct or had their populations knockdown in the last 60 years. Along with 40% of the oceans plankton. Currently, Humans and livestock are 97% of earth's land vertebrate biomass; 10,000 years ago humans and livestock were a mere 0.01% of land vertebrate biomass. To that add the fact that 1,000,000 humans (net) are added to earth every 4½ days. How long can that go on on a finite planet?

The Diner Forum includes some people who cultivate land, and who worry about an unseen menace, the depletion of tillable soils. Even the most optimistic assessments for human survival depend on no worse than status quo agricultural production. Generating three centimeters of top soil takes 1,000 years, we are told, and if current rates of degradation continue all of the world's top soil could be gone within 60 years.

Yet the real driver for doom may well be peak water. Drinkable water shortages in California and around the world are already well-known, and will continue to get worse. We make a bad situation worse due to the fact that we do not avoid polluting our own scarce water sources. Locally, we've seen the effects of drought and limited snowpack, and the resulting water shortages in California and Washington state; imagine the dislocations that will ensue when, in the fullness of time, rivers long fed by glacial melt go dry. As mountains lose glaciers, people will lose their water supplies. The entire Indian subcontinent will be fighting for survival. Water shortages and famine will be the result, destabilising an entire region including India, Nepal or Bangladesh, and nuclear-armed Pakistan. Thirsty people will go in search of water; en masse if necessary. Or take it from their neighbors. The citizens of São Paulo Brazil are actually pretty polite compared to what will happen when the Ganges runs dry.

Likewise coastal flooding is bacon the cake, as is a 1 to 2° rising global temperatures. As we have seen, Greenland is warming much faster than the rest of the world — 2.2 times the global average. One glacier has thinned by 15 meters every year since 1997, and its speed of flow has doubled. we've already seen the effects that Greenland's freshwater melt has had on the Gulf Stream and weather patterns. investors to northern hemisphere; the Antarctic is also experiencing catastrophic glacier melt. The best case scenario for all this melting the resultant rise in sea levels will be extensive coastal flooding, and probably half of humanity having to move to higher ground. A higher ground already occupied by the other half of humanity, who will not be expected to receive them with open arms.

An interesting set of graphs tracking the great acceleration of climate change and human-induced toxicity:

And to climate change and loss of biodiversity, add the usual list of self inflicted wounds, such the policy of the FSoA to foment wars all over the world, the provocation of russia, the Fukushima existential debacle… colony collapse disorder among honeybees, the threat of pandemic from newly loosed pathogens, Biological /Nuclear Terrorism, earth changes and volcanism, the rise of self-aware machines… the hits just keep on coming.

In 1000 Years There's no multiple-choice answer that's between 1000 years and red giant. I really think in between, but closer to the 1000 years than to the red giant.
In 1000 Years time delays
In the Year 2525 100 years is too short to get them all, although 500 years is probably too long.
In the Year 2525 Althoug we have many problems which assure a large population knockdown, EXTINCTION of every last Homo Sap will take a while.
In the Year 2525 climate change combined with overpopulation combined with habitate distruction & possibly a nuclear exchange.
In the Year 2525 Host humans have already been dust across desolate empty plains for hundreds of years now but a remnant had survived. In their native highlands aboriginal New Guineans had survived a long time while the climate of the coastal plains climbed the hillside over the years. Now with the mountaintops sometimes too hot even for scorpions they too are all gone.
In the Year 2525 I like that song
In the Year 2525 I think that there will be small pockets of populations remaining…






















You should have put a line for "to many variables"……

In the Year 2525 If we fail as a technological society our half life time is commensurable with other species, counted in megayears.






















If we recover after the population bottleneck in this century as a technological society we will go extinct or amalgamate with machines as Anthropocene transitions to Mechanocene.

In the Year 2525 It will take quite along time for the biosphere to simplify to the point where human life is unsupportable everywhere.
In the Year 2525 My assumption is that 4C of global warming is unavoidable this century, which means higher temperatures are reasonably unavoidable given potential climate feedbacks. It should be easy to reason why this amount of increase will kill billions. This climate won't be stable enough to allow much technological infrastructure, and access to technology sustaining resources will be greatly reduced in any case. Our chances of fighting disease will be compromised, and new diseases will be rampant given the ever-changing ecological niches a harsh, unstable climate will rapidly cycle around. Humans will not be able to cope with living in a disease-evolving blast furnace. Within 5 centuries, we will be extinct.






















But we should leave stone plaques around the world with the names of those who are most responsible for killing us, along with pictures of their mansions.

In the Year 2525 Not every last sustainable clan of humans will disappear everywhere on Earth in the case of a semi-global catastrophe such as crop failure (Guy's scenario). But eventually, because humanity failed to be clever enough to get off this planet, and ELE sized asteroid will hit, a major volcanic event will occur, the last of the fish will have been baited hooked and eaten and our species will go the way of the dinosaurs.
In the Year 2525 That was an arbitrary choice in the distant future.
In the Year 2525 While I recognise there are some scenarios such as large scale ocean acidification and the release of methane that could result in a near-term human extinction I believe the odds of such events being of sufficient magnitude to kill mankind is less likely. The fact there are so many humans today and they occupy almost every part of the globe means it is likely some community somewhere will survive. This diversity in location means it will take a very dramatic event to kill all of mankind in the near-term future and this event will only be bigger if you account for human extinction events occurring in the 21st century (nevermind 2030). With that said, you can never say never, so there is a possibility this could transpire but I think the probability is low say 10-20%.






















P.S. I choose 2525 because it is a random number and it always good to be a little wacky and random. XD

Never I chose "never" because I don't know the answer. Whatever is going to happen will.
Never I don't believe in human extinction. Our souls are immortal and will go on in some form in some way. As far as this world is concerned the population will be much reduced; probably 70 to 80 percent, but will go on, living a more rural and live a life more simply based on local agriculture.
Never If one means completely extinct, never. Collapse will happen soon enough to save the remaining few. If you mean a 90% population reduction (to 700 million or fewer), then it will happen within one hundred years.
Never It is not a single answer it is a distribution of probabilities. I go with 10% chance extinct by 2100, 30% chance extinct by 3000, 90% chance extinct by universe ends.






















It would take a strong bioweapon to kill all humans by 2100. I am not as frightened by nukes in all their forms as some. We must get of the earth for long terms survival as many have said.

Never Most will die but some will leave forever.
Never Never is a long time, but you haven't really provided me with an option that meets my criteria. First of all, who knows…? I expect some serious shit will happen, within 100 years or less, but whether all homo saps will disappear in that time frame…who knows? On the other hand, even more serious shit has happened, over the course of the 5 billion years or so that life has existed on this planet, and the likelihood that homo sap will survive "forever" is pretty low. If you had 100,000 years as an option, I'd have taken that one. Not that "civilization" would survive that long…but we lived in the trees long before we built cities.
Never Petri dish scenario. The future is strife but out of strife will come some smart tough fellows. They will be standing on a mountain of dead and walk toward the future in a whole new world. I used to think the aristocracy were breeding to quality because they intermarry and the offspring breed within their social circles. But it taint so… They are the modern Sodom and Gomorrah. Totally wicked and corrupt. They will be devouring each other like no animal that exists. Except.maybe some insect. The first hint of trouble and the pack will full weak ones and then divide against it self til the destruction and losses devour their wealth,family and homes. Good riddence to modern humanity. Did you ever watch a documentary on Eskimos hunting whale. Those dudes are some tough people and they work together then share the wealth. We are divided and the wealth is given to foreigners and deadbeat scum. Starving the productive class is fine til you need produce.
Never Physical reality is a creation of human beings (and other conscious entities), so the question is: when will humans no longer see a need for creating physical reality.
Never Some will survive and continue in harmony with nature as in a modern caveman existence if we have a global disaster.
When the Sun Goes Red Giant Extinction means no humans left; I think there will be pockets of humans for a very long while. I honestly don't think we have the ability to predict accurately past about a thousand years, since so many black swans await, but the world is large, with many micro climates – I think some humans will survive. Civilization? Nope.
When the Sun Goes Red Giant Homo Sapiens has been so capable of adapting to extreme conditions, from the Artic to the Sahara, that a few will be able to survive the coming collapse. Whether a tribe in the Amazon forest, or a couple in the high Hymalaias, there will be a few survivors who will be able to use flintstone again…
When the Sun Goes Red Giant How about a nice "don't know" answer. IE, nobody knows what is going to happen. Nobody!
When the Sun Goes Red Giant Humans are survivors. I can see an epic die-off, but one way or another I believe small groups of scrappy humans will find a way to survive no matter what, even if it means morphing into subterranean bug and slime eaters who go ten thousand years before re-emerging into the sun. By then, will they still be "human"? Good question.
When the Sun Goes Red Giant Humans have become weak due to climate control and iphones, but we still have the genetics to survive in nature, and many of us still possess the skills necessary to survive without petroleum energy.
When the Sun Goes Red Giant I think that our civilization as we know it is due to end in less than 50 years. And I know the data on nuclear plants, etc, but I think it's possible that small numbers of humans will survive in remote places. It's happened before – there may have been as few as 5,000 humans at one point in pre-history. So it can happen again.
When the Sun Goes Red Giant Likely sometime before, but certainly beyond 1000 years.
When the Sun Goes Red Giant Most people gonna die but not all. A lot depends on whethet tactical or full strike nukes go off as to how many do survive. Rural and remote Subsistence communities will carry on when their overall numbers have have lowered to what the livestock and land can sustain. Urban areas are going to be nothing but salvage scrap sources.
When the Sun Goes Red Giant My choice here represents my opinion that humanity will go extinct due to a cosmic calamity of some sort in the (hopefully very distant) future.
When the Sun Goes Red Giant 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.

When the Sun Goes Red Giant The collapse and the following extinction event will mercilessly cut down a huge number of humankind. Nevertheless, we are far too many and, with or brain, far too well adapted to go completely extinct. Until a better predator comes along. That will not happen anytime soon.






















With the collapse, the whole climate change enchilada will be´come a non-issue.

When the Universe Ends I wish you had an answer of "WHO Knows"? We may make it through the mess we have created. If fact I believe this is the curial turning point for all industrial Civilizations. I wonder if any make it through it with some tech in place to move them along.
Anything could happen but I have the terrible feeling Guy is right.
Thank you for the survey and listing to me
Cheers Anthony
When the Universe Ends In response to impending doom, elites will send out ships to colonize other planets (probably mars first) and the rest of us peons will struggle to survive on a crippled planet.
When the Universe Ends In response to impending doom, elites will send out ships to colonize other planets (probably mars first) and the rest of us peons will struggle to survive on a crippled planet.
We don't know enough about extinction to make judgments, what we do is apply religious thinking and hope nobody notices. (If we have eternal life then nothing goes extinct.)






















The other side of extinction is speciation, we don't know anything about that, either.

Humans have been around for +5 million years and are likely to be around another 5 million years, after all, we have been busy creating a world just for us.

  don't know , human going extinct would mean very serious climate doom, and I'm not an expert there
  Don't know.
  Hard to know, depends on how abrupt climate change and nuclear plants meltdowns happens.
  I cannot possibly give a date, but extinction has always operated and 99% of life's creatures have gone extinct. Previous to homo sapiens all our predecessors have gone extinct. We will go extinct but it may not be for centuries as some survivors will escape the main extinction and be able to survive in a future more hostile world. The best option is that some of the "first peoples" retain survival skills. But recovering anything like the energy based societies we have seen will be next to impossible, at least for the next 200 million years which it will take for the planet to heal
  nobody knows, extinction is possible in near term, but not likely even if probable, in this century, after tioba 3k to 10k people left, humans made it to our days
  unknown. not really important because i'll be gone

For those of you who have not yet taken The Human Extinction SurveyTM, here it is again.

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