Anyone who's ever argued with dumbasses on the internet knows how stubborn and persistent they can be. Dozens of people can tell them they're wrong, and they' just stick their fingers in their ears and go "na na can't hear you!"
Especially if its a bet about an objective truth. Chances are, you provide overwhelming evidence for your position, the dumbass won't accept your evidence or will just change the rules and then claim the money you allegedly owe him.
The box is being used exactly as it was meant to: for random conversation. If it's depressing it's because the group whom use it is neither oblivious or stupid and we happen to be discussing depressing things.
Realistically: there doesn't have to be truly catastrophic impacts to screw us all over. Frequent enough storms will disrupt our infrastructure, which will hobble our ability to rebuild quickly and cause pretty big backslides in quality of life. I don't mean "oh no, I can't charge my iphone", more like "dysentery is as common as the flu because the resources just aren't there to clean the water anymore".