What Could Drive Humans to Extinction?

The scene opens on a sparse, gray landscape, a gnarled tree in the foreground, bits of ash slowly drifting down from the sky. On the horizon, a few huddled figures stumble forward and into a bleak future. If this sounds familiar, it's because it's a common visual trope in many post-apocalyptic films. Usually, these films tell the story of a catastrophe — an asteroid strike perhaps, or a nuclear war — that causes humanity's demise, and then follows the challenges that the remaining humans face as they try to save their species from extinction. 

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