Science and technological developments: article

M.V. Rodkin1,2
1 Institute of Earthquake Prediction Theory and Mathematical Geophysics of the Russian Academy of Sciences
2 Institute of Marine Geology and Geophysics, Far East Division, Russian Academy of Sciences
Journal: Science and technological developments
Tome: 97
Number: 3
Year: 2018
Pages: 33-48
UDK: 504.056 + 577.346
DOI: 10.21455/std2018.3-4
Keywords: geopolitics, the Fermi paradox, the SETI problem, crises and mega-catastrophes in the history of mankind, scenarios of emergence of the nuclear war, the probability of self destruction of mankind
Аnnotation: The growth of international tension raises both the likelihood of an accidental nuclear war as a result of a technical error and mutual fear of the adversaries to miss the first disarming strike, and its emergence as a result of the escalation of the conventional conflict. Recently, the perceived barrier to the fundamental inapplicability of nuclear weapons, albeit only tactical and low-power, has been significantly reduced. Hence the danger of the Great War increases in the course of the escalation of the next conflict. The Fermi paradox and the negative result (at the present time) of programs for the search for extraterrestrial civilizations (SETI) are interpreted as an indication of the shortness of the average lifetime of technological civilizations (no more than several thousand years, rather much less, a couple of centuries). At the same time, natural disasters that could lead to the death of civilizations have a much longer period of recurrence. The likelihood of the death of human civilization as a result of the development of the global environmental crisis in the next few centuries also appears to be small. Such a crisis, it seems, is now receding into the background. The death of the ecosystem of the planet is possible as a result of a large-scale nuclear war and the nuclear winter (nuclear night) caused by it. Such a war can arise in a random way - against the backdrop of a high level of international tension. At least four cases are known, when such a war nearly erupted in the past, and the order for the use of nuclear weapons was twice given. The list of such cases is obviously not complete for reasons of secrecy. It is interesting in this connection, and the observation that if the “impossible” catastrophes on civilian objects (Chernobyl, Sayano-Shushenskaya HPP, “Bulgaria”, and other such cases) were caused, as a rule, by violations of operating instructions, then several nuclear war just because the officers deliberately violated the instructions, preferring a sense of personal responsibility and common sense.