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Asteroids, war, economic collapse! Is the world heading for imminent disaster?

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The other evening, in search of some entertainment, I stumbled upon a film by Australian director John Hillcoat entitled, The Road (2009). This riveting post-apocalyptic drama focuses on the travails of a father and son as they set out on foot across a devastated American wasteland following some cataclysmic disaster.

What motivates the characters to persevere in their impossible journey, which presents them with every sort of imaginable and unimaginable nightmare, is simply the quest for survival. Why anyone would want to survive amid such total devastation is another question.

An interesting element of the film is that we are never told what caused so much destruction. All we know is that some overnight event turned America, and possibly the entire planet, into a scorched wasteland. Hillcoat plays on our modern fears that some uncontrollable event, either by force of nature or man-made, is lurking just around the corner, waiting to devour us. The media is certainly culpable for giving life to these fears.

For example, it seems that every month or so NASA discovers some new asteroid or, worse, a gang of asteroids that will "just miss" hitting earth by millions of miles, sparing us yet again the fate of the dodo bird.

But if death by asteroid isn't your cup of tea, you may tremble at the thought of the supervolcano bubbling just below the surface in America's Midwest.

Known to scientists as the Yellowstone Caldera, America's largest volcanic system last blew its magna some 640,000 years ago. That 'super-eruption' was estimated to have been more than 1,000 times larger than the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens. Scientists estimate the odds of another eruption at about 1 in 730,000, which is, by the way, about the chance of an asteroid collision.

Although the chances of such disasters actually happening are low, just the possibility that they could........

© RT.com