This World Essay

1847 Words8 Pages
Andrew Mullet Prof. Murray Eng. 11011 26 November 2013 The Cause of The Road This world, as we know it, will end. This is not a case of faith or even chance; eventually this planet will cease to exist. The most inevitable cause of the destruction of earth and all life on it will luckily not occur until approximately five billion years from now when the sun begins to grow. When it does, it will envelope Mercury, Venus and eventually Earth. The only question is what catastrophe will destroy, or render this planet uninhabitable, before that time. In Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, the author gives a view of an earth that has been all but destroyed but gives the reader no specific cause for this broken world. Many ideas and theories have been given. Ranging from gamma ray bursts to nuclear explosions, there are a multitude of possibilities. Though there are many options to explore, there is no one cause for the change from the hospitable world we live in to the desolate world as described by Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. Though cataclysmic events seem unlikely or even bordering on impossible, there have been five total events in our planets history that are defined as “Mass Extinctions” and eleven lesser extinctions (Aljoy 105). With each of the larger mass extinctions causing a loss of at least 50% of the total species on our planet and the largest mass extinction, appropriately nicknamed “The Great Dying,” losing between 90%-96% of all species, an event able to cause such wanton destruction seems more likely. These events occur on a fairly regular basis and give us some clues to our cause for the cataclysm. Though there has never been a mass extinction event that meets the criteria given by McCarthy, the fact that these events occur helps in the quest to discover the cause. Since the start of life on this planet, approximately 3.6 billion years ago, the five major

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