Film and television shows typically present us with the same old ways the world will end. Robots, zombies, asteroids and wild weather are the usual go-tos.
Thing of it is, filmmakers aren’t that far off when imagining the coming apocalypse. Stroll about some real science and you’ll discover some familiar scenarios, including:
Wild weather: Scientists believe climate change could lead to global instability, famine, drought and ecosystem collapse.
Pandemic: We won’t turn into zombies, but experts are just as terrified we could all pick up a deadly fungal infection and kick the bucket all at the same time. We can battle bacteria and viruses. Fungus? Not so much. And if that doesn’t get us? There’s always SARS, MERS and more. Or some man-made thing that sneaks out of the lab and snuffles up our nose.
Acts of god: Asteroid. Big friggin’ asteroid.
Robots: Yep, this is a real thing. Plenty of super smart folks, like Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking, are a little unnerved by the thought of artificial intelligence gaining enough sentience to decide we are obsolete.
A little bit of everything: A lot of researchers imagine a combination of catalysts will tip the scales and send us over the edge and welcome us to our brand-new post-apocalyptic world.
Now that we know movies are kind on target when it comes to our final days, how do you plan for the apocalypse? How will you survive it? For real?
Who will you team up with to make it through the honest-to-goodness end of the world?
Here’s who you should start making friends with:
Pete Nelson, ‘Treehouse Masters’
You’re going to want three things to get through the apocalypse. The first thing you’ll need is shelter. Pete Nelson, host of Treehouse Masters, can supply that in spades. The carpenter could construct a safe and secure shelter in less than a day or two.
And the best part? He’ll build it 20-feet off the ground. You’ll want to maintain the high ground to dissuade both menacing marauders and the neighborhood’s new feral dog population from killing you for your stash. Having to shimmy up a tree while you drop hot oil on their heads (and rocks and stones and machine gun fire) will do the trick.
Pete’s post-apocalyptic tree house will protect you from most climate catastrophes and will be safe haven from raving fungal lunatics.
Andrew Zimmern, ‘Bizarre Foods’
Once you have shelter, you’re going to almost immediately need food.
Expect every canned good in a 100-mile radius to disappear within days. Perishables will do just that - so eat ‘em if you got ‘em. What you need to do now is hunt.
But what are you going to hunt for? And what’s worthwhile eating - you know, if you have to make the choice between rat and raccoon?
Andrew Zimmern, host of Bizarre Foods, can lend a hand here. This guy has tasted - and stomached - just about everything the world has to offer. His description of grilled rat? “Like sweet, young pork shoulder.”
So while you may gag at first when he hands you a fistful of dung beetles, you’ll be amazed when you discover they taste nutty and crunchy, “And not buggy-tasting at all.”
Les Stroud, ‘Survivorman’
You’re going to want a leader, too. And who better than Les Stroud, from Survivorman. The guy who makes a living out of surviving in post-apocalyptic situations.
This is the guy, after all, who spent a year alone with his spouse in the Canadian wilderness, pretty much just to see if he could do it.
The man is going to make sure you have water, fire, materials, a safe place to stay before Pete can build your tree house, and edible bits of bark and robot tread before Andrew can suggests cooked sparrow.
Les is going to keep you calm, relatively warm and adequately entertained with his harmonica …
… At least until your new robot overlords find you and imprison you. Because no one is beating the robot overlords.
All hail the robot overlords!