Super Volcanos: Are We Supposed to Be Scared?

Another thing we can’t do a damn thing about



Photo by Toby Elliott on Unsplash

Line ’em up: fear, fire, foes. Climate change, terrorism, prejudice, intolerance, political chaos, and now…super volcanos? Yikes. Yes, there is such a thing and if they blow, we are all screwed. Live anywhere in the Pacific Northwest of the US and Canada? Yellowstone sits on a super volcano.

How about Italy, specifically the Naples region? It’s not just Vesuvius. That’s just a piece of the bigger super volcano under the region. There’s lots more. In geologic time, these things are popping off all the time, sending literal mountains of dust and smoke into the air, blocking the sun across the globe.

No sun equals ice age and we all, well, most of us, die. The good news is in our measurement of time, these eruptions are extremely rare and the likelihood of one is slim.

It doesn’t really matter because we can’t do anything to protect ourselves if they blow. Unless you’re Elon and you’re watching from your spaceship. That view should be mind blowing.

So, don’t spend a minute worrying about the super versions of volcanos. Of course if you live in Iceland you might be evacuating right now, as a huge eruption threatens to take out an entire small city.

But that’s not a super.

Climate change, on the other hand, is real and just as big in different ways. Everything familiar about weather is changing and changing fast and that is changing everything else. Old news, right? Not really.

The climate is changing far faster than expected. There’s no more of this nonsense about 2050 or even 2030 as years when we will be seriously impacted. That was pure propaganda designed by lobbyists to push our fears out far enough to keep us from doing anything.

They did a great job of blinding us to the reality that our consumption of fossil fuels and resulting rapid population growth have accelerated everything past those phony dates. But that is an old story.

All of this is about existential fear, the fear that our existence may be threatened. It’s a personal thing and it is spreading fast. But should we be afraid of things we don’t have much we can do about?




Mastodon:, Writer, nine non-fiction books, two novels, Buddhist, train lover. Amateur cook, lover of life most of the time!