Tweeting the Apocalypse
Information is power, and telecommunication unites us across vast distances. Too bad we put all of that stuff on the Internet, right? When society collapses and the zombies roam the streets, will the World Wide Web collapse into ruins as well?
Surprisingly enough, the answer is "no." Data hosts around the world have taken their servers deep underground -- into the sort of bunkers normally reserved for Earth's seed wealth and the British royal family.
Norway's Green Mountain Data System holds up in a former munitions storage site, protected from electromagnetic pulses and fire. The data center uses hydroelectric energy for power and depends on water from a fjord that's close by to cool everything down [source: Hudson]. Sweden's Pionen Data Center is a former military command center buried deep in the heart of a mountain, fortified enough to withstand a thermonuclear bomb. It's cooling system depends on mountain water and naturally cool mountain temperatures.
So, even if the world as we know descends into a living hell of atomic firestorms and mutant war bands, the few human survivors will still have the power to vandalize the Wikipedia article about it all.
Author's Note: 5 Green Methods to Survive the Apocalypse
How might we survive the apocalypse? It's a question we all think about from time to time, equal parts survival instinct and anxiety over our technological and organizational dependence. A world without readily available drinking water, breathable air, electricity, food and Internet is daunting, but rest assured that these necessities won't completely fade away.
Don't get me wrong, I'd be a goner. After all, I'm a professional writer whose key skills involve reaching things on high shelves and painting tiny miniatures. At best, I could maybe talk my way into a position of chief science adviser to a fortified commune -- or high wizard for a wasteland warlord.
"You can't kill me! I wrote 'How Weather Works!'"
We'll see how it goes. In the meantime, it does everyone good to realize how hard-won our modern conveniences really are -- and how tragically scarce they are in many parts of the world.
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- Popular Science. "DIY Gas Mask: A PopSci Fan's Step-by-Step Guide." Dec. 15, 2008. (April 9, 2012) http://www.popsci.com/diy/article/2008-12/diy-gas-mask-popsci-fans-step-step-guide
- Stone, Jerry James. "$5 DIY Gas Mask for Surviving Occupy Wall Street." Treehugger. Nov. 13, 2011. (April 9, 2012) http://www.treehugger.com/sustainable-product-design/5-diy-gas-mask-surviving-occupy-wall-street.html
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. "Emergency Disinfection of Drinking Water." March 6, 2012. (April 9, 2012) http://water.epa.gov/drink/emerprep/emergencydisinfection.cfm
Bill Nye says he quit his day job at Boeing to engage young people in science literacy. And he's still fighting that fight today.