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The Day After Tomorrow - Survey reveals public pessimistic about mankind's survival



Feature by: Jack Foley

A MAJOR survey, ahead of the release of environmental disaster flick, The Day After Tomorrow, has revealed the British public is pessimistic about the future survival of mankind.

The Sky Movies survey, held to co-incide with Sky Television’s recent End of the World Week, allowed almost 2,000 people, the length and breadth of Britain, to express their concerns about the future of mankind, and potential Armageddon.

The results make for fascinating, if scary reading…

When will the End of the World come?

The survey revealed that the younger generation are significantly more pessimistic about the future of the world than the previous generations: at 15%, almost twice as many people under 30-years-old believed we could be facing Armageddon this century, compared with 8% of the 50+-year-olds questioned.

And a quarter of all those surveyed anticipate that the end of the world could come within the next 500 years.

Roughly the same proportion of men (37%) and women (39%) believe that the world may end within or around the next thousand years, which may well mean cancelling any forthcoming millennium celebrations being planned.

And those people in the south seem to think the future is a lot less rosy than their counterparts in the north. 19% of southerners think the world will end in the next 100 years, compared to just 11% of northerners questioned.

What will cause the end of the World?

The British public thinks a premature end to the world is most likely to come from nuclear war (16%). 13% believe that an untreatable disease, or virus, will spreading uncontrollably across the globe, wiping human beings out.

And 6% believe that an apocalyptic natural disaster, like that portrayed in the new Roland Emmerich blockbuster The Day After Tomorrow, will bring about the demise of mankind.

What would you want to do above anything else if the end of the world was imminent?

Three quarters of all women questioned said the thing they would want to do more than anything else in the event of the world ending, would be to gather family and loved ones around them… compared to only around half of the men!

Only half the Scottish contingent would try to be with their nearest and dearest around them – compared to three quarters across the border in the north of England.

Indeed, the second most popular male answer – at 14% - was to have sex! (compared to just 5% of women).

Which movie character would you most like to have by your side at the end of the World?

And when asked which movie character they’d most like to have at their side if the end of the world were nigh, Superman received almost twice as many votes as anyone else.

Lara Croft was, perhaps, surprisingly voted second, ahead of James Bond and Indiana Jones, in third and fourth.

In fact, at 21%, more men voted for Lara Croft than any other character – compared to only 2% of the women questioned!

The poll, commissioned by Sky Movies, was carried out by YouGov between May 11 and 13, 2004 on a representative sample of 1,995 British adults throughout Great Britain

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