Prophesies of Doomsday

Season 1 Episode 3

Doomsday Tech

Aired Unknown Oct 22, 2009 on The History Channel
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Episode Summary

Doomsday Tech
Modern Marvels: Doomsday Tech looks at the technological threats to human civilization, as well as the technology that may one day save us. The doomsday threats range from very real ... (our nuclear arsenals) controversial (global warming caused by fossil fuels) ... to futuristic: nanotechnology, cyborgs, and robots. Despite the end of the Cold War, we still live very much under the shadow of nuclear weapons. The U.S. and Russia still have enough warheads on hair-trigger alert to end human civilization as we know it, even as Pakistan and India embark on a new arms race. We'll look at the potential for accidental launches, and examine near-disasters that have happened before. We'll also look at the nuclear threat in the age of terrorism. From Russia to China to the American heartland, safeguarding the raw material for nuclear weapons is a deadly serious task. We will look at the techniques used to keep plutonium and highly enriched uranium out of the wrong hands. And we'll see the technology used in turning nuclear swords into plowshares: dismantling a warhead and converting its deadly fuel into electric power for homes and industry. Doomsday Tech then takes on an even more heated topic: global warming, fossil fuels, and the connection between them. We'll look at the Age of Oil, and see how dependent we are on cheap fossil fuels for everything from food production to plastics... and of course, the cars we drive to work everyday. We'll see why there's more carbon in the atmosphere today than there was when dinosaurs walked the earth, and look at the technology used by scientists to measure just how warm global warming has become. We'll examine two very possible doomsday scenarios: a global economic breakdown when oil begins to run out, and a global climate catastrophe that could threaten human civilization. A sudden, new Ice Age is even possible. Then we'll see the technology that may save us from such a grim fate. We'll see how carbon emissions can be cmoreless

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