caveat:.. stuff out of scope

<Peak Oil Background<

Before any future gazing exercise lets quickly recall that medieval litany of catastrophes that is the;- 

Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

  1. Mega Death from Natures Unexpected & Undefined .      { Archer on White Horse }
    The ever present long-odds catastrophes: Strike by major meteorite. Gigantic  Solar storm.  Climate disrupting volcano eruption. The Dark Ages (starting in 540 CE) where just that "Dark"as the result of atmospheric debris, (  now believed  from a major eruption near Krakatoa in Indonesia)
    here is dendrochronological evidence (along with the alternative asteriod theory before the Antartica Ice Core Evidence nailed the case for Krakatoa).
                While Sumatra has just suffered two earthquakes plus a tsunami, it is also home to Lake Toba, a super volcano  overdue to awake from very long slumber.  73,000 years ago when Lake Toba last erupted it kicked 1000 cubic kilometres of ash into the atmosphere blotting out the sun and dropping the world back into an ice  age! When  Lake Toba next blows scientist predict that it will be 100 to 1000 times worst than Krakatoa's 1883 eruption!
                 Closer  to my home, New Zealand's super volcano Taupo on the North Island which regularly erupts every 2000 years is also overdue, having last erupted over 2000 years ago!   ..,Etc. etc.
  2. War.                                 { Swordsman on a Red Horse }
    A nuclear war then nuclear winter. According to Robert S. McNamara (USA's Secretary of Defence during the Kennedy administration) in his resent article.
    "Apocalypse Soon: The Risk of inadvertent nuclear launch is unacceptably high"  the unthinkable is  now becoming more likely with every passing day, 

  1. Famine .                             { Trader with a balance-scales on a Black Horse }
    As the world's agriculture has become more global, mechanised and homogenised it has also escalated the risk of major crop failure.  Just as  Pan-epidemic can decimate the human population so could new plant disease do the same to food production.  The classic example is the 1845-51 Irish Famine when in 1845 blight caused the potato in Ireland  to  fail depriving the Irish of their staple food

  1. Plague & Pestilence         { Skeleton (with scythe or trident) on a Pale Horse }
    The world is over due for it next major pan-epidemic, the last  one being the influenza / Spanish flu epidemic of 1918-19 which killed up to fifteen million people. That flu killed populations at rates averaging up-to one in four, but thankfully transportation was a lot  slower then and the epidemic seems to track countries involvement in the Great War. The Black-Death averaged one in three empting cites and wiping out population by whole towns at a time. A 25% reduction in the  world population is 1.5x109 souls.  Such global fatalities for one thing sends the Olduvai Theory awry while making a real mess of the world economy and energy consumption projections

Cultural aside:
             It is interesting to note  how traditional folk usage {as noted above} in the medieval times subtly moved the symbology from the original Biblical source.  The traditional usage has a simplicity of single attributes for each  rider and their horse. The  Biblical text is complex and confusing (like a half remembered dream) with multiple cross associations such as 'war' with the 1st, 2nd & 4th horse ;-

Revelations Chapter 6: { from The King James (Version) Bible}
And I saw when  the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and  see.
2: And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer. 
3: And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see.
4: And there went out another horse red: and [power] was given to him that sat thereon to take  peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.
5: And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand.
6:  And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and [see] thou hurt not the oil and the  wine.
7: And when  he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see.
8: And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with  him. And power was given unto  them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the  earth.

>Ramifications   >Implications  

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Last update: July 2006 Southern Winter 
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