Aussies think nuclear bomb and global warming would be the most likely cause of human extinction

February 13, 2017, 2:30 AM GMT+0

The election of Donald Trump as US president sent reverberations the world over, with many expecting a shake up of the geopolitical world order. But is this the end of the world as we know it?

YouGov asked 1,000 Australians what they thought was the most likely cause of human extinction. The most popular response is a nuclear bomb (36%), closely followed by global warming/climate change (35%). Alien invasion and a zombie apocalypse are seen as the least likely options with just 4% and 3% respectively.

The belief that climate change would result in human extinction decreases with age, with 56% of 18-24 year olds putting it as one of the three causes they think most likely to bring about the end of humanity. This figure is more than double when comparing to those aged 55+ who share the same view (24%).

The apocalypse doesn’t seem to be playing much in Aussies’ minds as 1 in 5 Australians think it will be more than 1,000 years before humans die out and 27% don’t think it will ever happen. This view is particularly strongly felt among those who are 55+ (40%) and significantly less so among 18-24 year olds (15%).

However, Australians don’t think that the government should be complacent about the factors that could end the human race. The 10 events that people think the Australian government should be developing contingency plans for are:

  1. Global warming/climate change (71%)
  2. A nuclear bomb (71%)
  3. A pandemic (68%)
  4. An extreme seismic event, such as a volcano eruption or tsunami (65%)
  5. Bees dying out (59%)
  6. A meteor / asteroid (55%)
  7. A solar flare (50%)
  8. Robot/artificial intelligence (35%)
  9. A religious apocalypse (31%)
  10. An alien invasion (23%)