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World Delete Button

What would the world be like if there was a world delete button?

The world is in chaos. A now deceased scientist designed and built a button which, when pushed, will delete the Earth. The world already knows that it works because the first button he made deleted a 100 mile crater in the US, the second button he made deleted Africa, and the third button he created deleted the moon. Each of the buttons self-destruct when pushed, blowing up everything in a precise, planned radius. No buttons other than the scientist’s last button still exists. Its radius is set to 10,000 miles, and another thing: it’s wired so that if it goes farther than 100 miles from the earth’s surface, it will detonate automatically.

What would the nations do to get a hold of that button? It’s indestructible by any known means, and it can’t leave the planet, so they can’t get rid of it. Hiding it would only work for so long, and no country would want it to be unguarded, less some mad civilian were to try to push it. None would want to use it themselves, but they certainly wouldn’t want the others to have it. There would be wars and wars over which country would hold the power to delete the planet, meanwhile all the capable nations would be looking for ways off the planet. Whoever controls the button and is no longer on Earth would have the ultimate bargaining power in any trade opportunity with Earth; they might even just try to take it over. On the other hand, if you got off Earth but didn’t have the button, then you’d  be the one who’d be threatened with destruction.

However, if the button COULD get off the planet, the actual goal would be to get to another planet, but only if you are going to be able to have the button at that time. Thus, the constant warring over the button. Following that idea, it’s scary to think of someone who would threaten to delete the earth, have the power to follow through that threat, and actually be willing to do it if his demands are not met. Actually, that would be quite terrifying. With that happy thought, here’s a note to all who read this: DO NOT BUILD PLANET DELETE BUTTONS (please). It wouldn’t be very fun.

~ George