The world is coming to an end. Chicken Little was correct about this, if a bit premature; the only relevant questions are how, and when. The current conventional wisdom is that Doomsday will occur no later than 2 billion years hence, when the sun expands, boils off the oceans, and turns our green planet into a charcoal briquette. But if we’re far less lucky, the End may come as soon as May, when a black hole created by scientists in Geneva, Switzerland, swallows you, me, and all 6.6 billion souls on the Earth in one big gulp. A scientific gadfly from Hawaii named Walter F. Wagner contends this is a real possibility, and has filed a federal lawsuit seeking a stop-work order on the Large Hadron Collider, a mammoth atom-smasher that European physicists are about to fire up. The new supercollider, Wagner warns, will hurl atoms together with unprecedented energy, causing “an irreversible implosion” and “forming a miniature version of a gigantic black hole.” Several holes, he says, may be created at once, and as they fuse, they’ll swallow all matter in their vicinity, and soon, the entire Earth.
Pshaw, say the particle physicists who run the collider. They’ve already run the equations, and any micro–black holes they might create would vanish in a nanosecond. Perhaps so. But scientists have been known to be wrong. So I suggest that starting today, we all live as if the End is near. Tell your friends and family members how you really feel about them. Leave work early. Go watch the sun set. And look at the bright side: Everything you know and love may be annihilated, but wouldn’t that be a small price to pay to finally put an end to the Democratic presidential campaign?