The zombie apocalypse
. Doomsday Preppers
. Post-apocalyptic pop-culture fiction of doom. What's it about? A Stanford scholar explains
The world has ended many times - a supercut of apocalyptic visions
Dystopian storytelling is pillar of Western narrative tradition
, but this decade has seen a significant shift in the way our apocalypse is told. Orthodox tales of government tyranny
are giving way to visions of humans running helpless
in the wake of environmental meltdown
. From the plausible to the fantastic
, most of this fiction remains hauntingly real while the non-fiction can get downright scary
. In 2008, the 20th anniversary of climatologist James Hansen's landmark speech before Congress
, popular art is beginning to reflect an increasingly bleak public sentiment on the future, playing out some of our worst nightmares. It may be that these writers and directors are wishing for the end of the world
, but even so, they are certainly giving voice to the creeping feeling that indeed, we might not make it.
The Pale Horse Percentage.
The demise of civilization has been predicted since it began, but the odds of keeping Planet Earth
alive and well are getting worse amid a breakneck pace of scientific advances, according to Martin Rees
, Britain's honorary astronomer royal. Rees calculates that the odds of an apocalyptic disaster striking Earth have risen to about 50 percent from 20 percent a hundred years ago.