Editor’s note: Marshall Brain – futurist, inventor, NCSU professor, writer and creator of “How Stuff Works” is a contributor to WRAL TechWire.  Brain takes a serious as well as entertaining look at a world of possibilities for Earth and the human race.  He’s also author of “The Doomsday Book: The Science Behind Humanity’s Greatest Threats.” 

Note to readers: WRAL TechWire would like to hear from you about views expressed by our contributors. Please send email to: info@wraltechwire.com.


RALEIGH – I was having lunch with a friend last week, and he arrived on the topic of, “these TechWire articles you’ve been writing.” He noted that it has been about a year since the first one, and that he, “had read every one of them.” His questions were: 1) which ones were the most popular? and 2) which ones I liked best? What about the Top 3 of each?

Doomsday for New York City if it were hit by a nuclear device is tops on the list, says TechWire Editor Rick Smith.

The second question is interesting. I have written roughly 50 articles for TechWire over the last year. Which ones are my Top 3?

In order to answer the question, I need to go back and look at all 50 of the articles I wrote. I will provide a list below. Out of that list, my Top 4 might be…

No. 1

At #1, I would pick last week’s article:

February 24, 2023 – “Opinion: How NC State can battle climate change”https://wraltechwire.com/2023/02/24/doomsday-can-we-solve-the-paradox-of-climate-change-here-in-nc/

This article is a transcript of the talk I gave at TEDxNCState in February. It summarizes the climate change problems that humanity faces, and then proposes a local solution: that NCSU should become perfectly green; that NCSU can become a showcase of what’s possible in terms of climate change solutions. NCSU is one of the finest engineering schools in the world. We certainly have the ability to turn NCSU into a masterpiece of climate change solutions, and probably save the state money in the process. Then NCSU can help other universities, the city of Raleigh, the RTP region, and the state of North Carolina become perfectly green as well. The important side effects include the fact that it would be a great source of positive publicity for NCSU, that it would help everyone at NCSU feel less depressed about climate change, and that this effort would actually help the planet.

No. 2

At #2 is this article:

April 29, 2022 – “Global nightmare: What happens if humanity doesn’t take real action against climate change”https://wraltechwire.com/2022/04/29/global-nightmare-what-happens-if-humanity-doesnt-take-real-action-against-climate-change/

It talks about the disaster that is coming if humanity does not address climate change in significant ways, and then talks about solutions.

No. 3

At #3 I would put a set of four articles that all cluster around the same problem of sea level rise and the catastrophe it will cause:

No. 4

At #4 there is a set of prescriptive articles. These are things that humanity could do relatively easily and they would make a big dent in significant problems we face globally. One thing we could do is ban cattle worldwide. This would have a huge beneficial effect on global heating. Another thing we could do is ban almond trees and other nut trees in California. It would free up a trillion+ gallons of water in a parched region. Another is common-sense gun laws to end the mass shooting carnage that is happening in America. And then a $1.50 fee on every gallon of gas (and other fossil fuels) sold and used globally. This money would pay to extract the carbon dioxide emitted back out of the atmosphere. These would be four positive steps forward for humanity, and all of them would be relatively easy to do:

Year in review

Here is the full list of articles I wrote over the last year:

  1. March 11, 2022 – “A doomsday scenario is unfolding in Ukraine – and we’re watching via live stream”https://wraltechwire.com/2022/03/11/a-doomsday-scenario-is-unfolding-in-ukraine-and-were-watching-via-live-stream/
  2. March 18, 2022 – “Marshall Brain: Will we cure cancer?”https://wraltechwire.com/2022/03/18/marshall-brain-will-we-cure-cancer/
  3. March 25, 2023 – “Is humanity headed for a global food crisis? ‘Doomsday Book’ author warns …” – https://wraltechwire.com/2022/03/25/is-humanity-headed-for-a-global-food-crisis-doomsday-book-author-warns/
  4. April 1, 2022 – “Slap yourself and pay attention: The Doomsday Glacier is a global risk”https://wraltechwire.com/2022/04/01/slap-yourself-and-pay-attention-the-doomsday-glacier-is-a-global-risk/
  5. April 8, 2022 – “Doomsday, shrinking rain forests and us – why we must turn the tide”https://wraltechwire.com/2022/04/08/doomsday-shrinking-rain-forests-and-us-why-we-must-turn-the-tide/
  6. April 15, 2022 – “Doomsday H2O: We are a day away from death without water – and it’s growing scarce”https://wraltechwire.com/2022/04/15/doomsday-h2o-we-are-a-day-away-from-death-without-water-and-its-growing-scarce/
  7. April 22, 2022 – “Marshall Brain: The gigantic risk from ocean acidification”https://wraltechwire.com/2022/04/22/marshall-brain-the-gigantic-risk-from-ocean-acidification/
  8. April 29, 2022 – “Global nightmare: What happens if humanity doesn’t take real action against climate change”https://wraltechwire.com/2022/04/29/global-nightmare-what-happens-if-humanity-doesnt-take-real-action-against-climate-change/
  9. May 6, 2022 – “True terror: Ten worst things climate change will soon deliver to our world”https://wraltechwire.com/2022/05/06/true-terror-ten-worst-things-climate-change-will-soon-deliver-to-our-world/
  10. May 13, 2022 – “Fighting climate change: We must do obvious, dramatic things to give young people hope”https://wraltechwire.com/2022/05/13/fighting-climate-change-we-must-do-obvious-dramatic-things-to-give-young-people-hope/
  11. May 20, 2022 – “Humans are destroying all the fish in the ocean – here’s how”https://wraltechwire.com/2022/05/20/humans-are-destroying-all-the-fish-in-the-ocean-heres-how/
  12. May 27, 2022 – “Geoengineering could be key to combating climate change – check out these ideas”https://wraltechwire.com/2022/05/27/geoengineering-could-be-key-to-combating-climate-change-check-out-these-ideas/
  13. May 27, 2022 – “From flooding Death Valley to space mirrors: Geoengineering ideas to combat climate change”https://wraltechwire.com/2022/05/27/from-flooding-death-valley-to-space-mirrors-geoengineering-ideas-to-combat-climate-change/
  14. June 3. 2022 – “Doomsday, climate change and cattle: The case for banning beef worldwide”https://wraltechwire.com/2022/06/03/doomsday-climate-change-and-cattle-the-case-for-banning-beef-worldwide/
  15. June 10, 2022 – “Guns & doomsday: How can we reduce mass shootings and deaths?”https://wraltechwire.com/2022/06/10/guns-doomsday-how-can-we-reduce-mass-shootings-and-deaths/
  16. June 17, 2022 – “Our sad world: Spiraling down into Doomsday one headline at a time in 2022”https://wraltechwire.com/2022/06/17/our-sad-world-spiraling-down-into-doomsday-one-headline-at-a-time-in-2022/
  17. July 1, 2022 – “Doomsday: How one new law could quickly eliminate humanity’s carbon dioxide problem” https://wraltechwire.com/2022/07/01/doomsday-how-one-new-law-could-quickly-eliminate-humanitys-carbon-dioxide-problem/
  18. July 8, 2022 – “Doomsday: How American democracy could collapse into dictatorship in 2025”https://wraltechwire.com/2022/07/08/doomsday-how-american-democracy-could-collapse-into-dictatorship-in-2025/
  19. July 15, 2022 – “Doomsday New York: If Big Apple is hit with a nuke, here’s what happens” – https://wraltechwire.com/2022/10/28/doomsday-new-york-if-big-apple-is-hit-with-a-nuke-heres-what-happens/
  20. July 22, 2022 – “Doomsday Earth: As our planet heats up more and more, here’s what happens”https://wraltechwire.com/2022/07/22/doomsday-earth-as-our-planet-heats-up-more-and-more-heres-what-happens/
  21. July 29, 2022 – “Is there any hope of humanity solving climate change in time, or are we doomed?”https://wraltechwire.com/2022/07/29/is-there-any-hope-of-humanity-solving-climate-change-in-time-or-are-we-doomed/
  22. August 5, 2022 – “Doomsday scenario: Climate change news should send a tingle of fear down your spine”https://wraltechwire.com/2022/08/05/doomsday-scenario-climate-change-news-should-send-a-tingle-of-fear-down-your-spine/
  23. August 12, 2022 – “United States takes its first real stab at climate legislation – but are we still doomed?”https://wraltechwire.com/2022/08/12/united-states-takes-its-first-real-stab-at-climate-legislation-but-are-we-still-doomed/
  24. August 19, 2022 – “Doomsday California? Megaflood has happened before – it could again”https://wraltechwire.com/2022/08/19/doomsday-california-megaflood-has-happened-before-it-could-again/
  25. August 26, 2022 – “Doomsday or nuts: The H2O case for banning almond trees in California”https://wraltechwire.com/2022/08/26/doomsday-or-nuts-the-h2o-case-for-banning-almond-trees-in-california/
  26. September 2, 2022 – “Climate change catastrophe: August 2022, 31 days of global drought & flood”https://wraltechwire.com/2022/09/02/climate-change-catastrophe-august-2022-31-days-of-global-drought-flood/
  27. September 9, 2022 – “Energy doomsday: Will Europe avoid economic collapse without Russian natural gas?”https://wraltechwire.com/2022/09/09/energy-doomsday-will-europe-avoid-economic-collapse-without-russian-natural-gas/
  28. September 16, 2022 – “Climate change & doomsday: Irreversible tipping points may mean end of human civilization”https://wraltechwire.com/2022/09/16/climate-change-doomsday-irreversible-tipping-points-may-mean-end-of-human-civilization/
  29. September 23, 2022 – “Doomsday warning: It’s time to start moving coastal cities to higher ground – here’s why”https://wraltechwire.com/2022/09/23/doomsday-warning-its-time-to-start-moving-coastal-cities-to-higher-ground-heres-why/
  30. September 30, 2022 – “Doomsday watch: Five huge threats that could end civilization as we know it”https://wraltechwire.com/2022/09/30/doomsday-watch-five-huge-threats-that-could-end-civilization-as-we-know-it/
  31. October 7, 2022 – “Marshall Brain’s Doomsday: What would space aliens do with planet earth?”https://wraltechwire.com/2022/10/07/marshall-brains-doomsday-what-would-space-aliens-do-with-planet-earth/
  32. October 23, 2022 – “‘Green Tyranny’ debate: Doomsday author Marshall Brain counters climate change deniers”https://wraltechwire.com/2022/10/21/green-tyranny-debate-doomsday-author-marshall-brain-counters-climate-change-deniers/
  33. October 28, 2022 – “Doomsday New York: If Big Apple is hit with a nuke, here’s what happens”https://wraltechwire.com/2022/10/28/doomsday-new-york-if-big-apple-is-hit-with-a-nuke-heres-what-happens/
  34. November 11, 2022 – “Guest opinion: Is US headed for a Doomsday driven by crime?”https://wraltechwire.com/2022/11/11/guest-opinion-is-us-headed-for-a-doomsday-driven-by-crime/
  35. November 25, 2022 – “Marshall Brain: Let’s forget Doomsday and give thanks for what we have through the eyes of refugees”https://wraltechwire.com/2022/11/25/marshall-brain-lets-forget-doomsday-and-give-thanks-for-what-we-have-through-the-eyes-of-refugees/
  36. December 2, 2022 – “Doomsday author: A sun dimmer may be only way to prevent climate disaster”https://wraltechwire.com/2022/12/02/doomsday-author-a-sun-dimmer-may-be-only-way-to-prevent-climate-disaster/
  37. December 9, 2022 – “Doomsday: Is there any climate catastrophe big enough to shock humanity into real action?”https://wraltechwire.com/2022/12/09/brain-is-there-any-climate-catastrophe-big-enough-to-shock-humanity-into-real-action/
  38. December 16, 2022 – “Hurricanes & insurance: How prices could ignite mass migration from Florida”https://wraltechwire.com/2022/12/16/hurricanes-insurance-how-prices-could-ignite-mass-migration-from-florida/
  39. December 23, 2022 – “Technology’s next big thing: This robot will be the greatest consumer product of all time”https://wraltechwire.com/2022/12/23/technologys-next-big-thing-this-robot-will-be-the-greatest-consumer-product-of-all-time/
  40. December 30 – “Fighting climate change: Here’s what a real war would look like”https://wraltechwire.com/2022/12/30/fighting-flimate-change-heres-what-a-real-war-would-look-like/
  41. January 6, 2023 – “Artificial Intelligence & you: Advances are breathtaking – a need-to-know guide to today, future”https://wraltechwire.com/2023/01/06/artificial-intelligence-you-advances-are-breathtaking-a-need-to-know-guide-to-today-future/
  42. January 13, 2023 – “Doomsday on the power grid: Domestic terrorists pose threat to all of us”https://wraltechwire.com/2023/01/13/doomsday-on-the-power-grid-domestic-terrorists-pose-threat-to-all-of-us/
  43. January 20, 2023 – “Artificial intelligence tool AI ChatGPT isn’t all hype Here are ways you can make it useful”https://wraltechwire.com/2023/01/23/artificial-intelligence-tool-aichat-gpt-isnt-all-hype-here-are-ways-to-make-it-useful/
  44. January 27, 2023 – “Let’s play Doomsday Bingo: 24 deadly scenarios to track – will world lose?”https://wraltechwire.com/2023/02/01/lets-play-doomsday-bingo-24-deadly-scenarios-to-track-will-world-lose/
  45. February 3, 2023 – “Why we’re facing Doomsday: ‘Even when something must obviously happen, people often refuse to do it’”https://wraltechwire.com/2023/02/05/why-were-facing-doomsday-even-when-something-must-obviously-happen-people-often-refuse-to-do-it/
  46. February 10, 2023 – “AI wars: These players are fighting for dominance among artificial mind chatbots”https://wraltechwire.com/2023/02/10/ai-wars-these-players-are-fighting-for-dominance-among-artificial-mind-chatbots/
  47. February 17, 2023 – “Doomsday for America: Sea level rise could mean our financial ruin – here’s how” – https://wraltechwire.com/2023/02/17/doomsday-for-america-sea-level-rise-could-mean-our-financial-ruin-heres-how/
  48. February 24, 2023 – “Opinion: How NC State can battle climate change”https://wraltechwire.com/2023/02/24/doomsday-can-we-solve-the-paradox-of-climate-change-here-in-nc/

I would be remiss if I did not profusely thank Rick Smith and Jason Parker at TechWire, who do all the work to format and post my articles each week. Some of these articles can get quite complicated in terms of layout and formatting (the [ChatGPT article](https://wraltechwire.com/2023/01/23/artificial-intelligence-tool-aichat-gpt-isnt-all-hype-here-are-ways-to-make-it-useful/) on January 20, 2023 being a good example of complexity), and they are amazingly helpful in getting everything posted. I am grateful for everything they do.

So now we begin Year 2. It should be interesting! Do you have any topic requests? You can send them to info@wraltechwire.com.