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The End: Natural Disasters, Manmade Catastrophes, and the Future of Human Survival

3.69  ·  Rating Details ·  49 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
Tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes, pandemics, cosmic radiation, gamma bursts from space, colliding comets, and asteroids – these catastrophic events have become a common part of our culture. Are natural calamities now more probable, and more frequent? Are things getting worse? Are we part of the problem? If so, what can we do about it?

Award-winning writer Marq d
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Paperback, 368 pages
Published March 30th 2010 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published March 4th 2008)
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Elizabeth Trundle
“Tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes, pandemics, cosmic radiation, gamma bursts from space, colliding comets, and asteroids – these catastrophic events have become a common part of our culture. Are natural calamities now more probable, and more frequent? Are things getting worse? Are we part of the problem? If so, what can we do about it?”

This is the Amazon description of this book. I can’t remember why I read it. I might have just grabbed it off the shelf at the public library. Actuall
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Ron
Aug 07, 2011 Ron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
De Villiers presents a more balanced view of risks and does not engage in the histrionics of the more alarmist scientists, he writes exceptionally well and is very illuminating on a wide variety of topics, but his credentials as a journalist are not always backed up by a serious understanding of science and the book is rife with small technical errors (it should, perhaps, have been caught on the editing level that a half degree Celsius is NOT equal to 33 degrees Fahrenheit). His conclusions are ...more
Lucky
Jan 09, 2009 Lucky rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book goes through and describes all the different catastrophes that might lead to our peril; earthquakes, tornadoes, asteroids, nuclear bombs , etc..., and gives a history of what's happened in the past, and what mistakes were made. It finishes up as a precaution to protect our environment,even though it's already repeatedly told us, we're all doomed. On of his points is, if nothing else population density will lead to a lot of human suffering, and even if welearn to better conserve resourc ...more
Scotchneat
Jul 27, 2011 Scotchneat rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, science
Fed my love of apocalypse porn, science and unusual earth events. Plus I learned some stuff.

de Villiers is a good storyteller, and he leads you into the science of what might kill us through a human perspective.

Volcanoes, tsunamis, earthquakes, plague, mandmade catastrophes. They're all there. But I like that he brings reason to the table to understand both our fragility and our longevity.



Katalili
Oct 27, 2011 Katalili rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a joyful read! A nice overview of what could cause our demise, but not the sort of catastrophe nut, spreading fear and paranoia. It's more sort of an ecological take on the problem, viewing our near future troubles and ways to deal with it. There's a lot of references, and I really enjoyed the scientific rational tone of the book, with no new age crap or end times lunacy.
Will Webb
Jan 07, 2017 Will Webb rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Knowledge is the beginning of any path leading to solutions to the problems we face. Collectively as humans, and even as the greater collection of all life on our planet, we face challenges from both our own mistakes and the natural world. This book addresses both. Though it is a little dated, 2007, most of the information is still accurate. A very good read.
Faye
Jan 24, 2015 Faye rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: informational
I wouldn't exactly say I enjoyed this book - it gave me the overwhelming feeling time and time again that humanity is doomed one way or another - but it gave me the information I needed in a straightforward yet not entirely unhumourous manner, so... yay?
Jenny
Jul 27, 2011 Jenny rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good. More academic than expected, but a good book to put disasters into perspective - looking at all the things we can't do anything about and the things that we can.
Tina
Dec 27, 2012 Tina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not real impressed. It was very dry in many parts. Expected much more new info. Read like a condensed textbook in many places. Wasn't what I thought it was going to be.
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Yasser Mohammed
Nov 04, 2012 Yasser Mohammed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
كتاب رائع لإلقاء نظرة مبدئية على آثار الإنسان على البيئة ومدى تأثر الطبيعة بنشاط البشر
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Born in South Africa, Marq de Villiers is a veteran Canadian journalist and the author of thirteen books on exploration, history, politics, and travel, including Water: The Fate of Our Most Precious Resource (winner of the Governor General's Award for Non-Fiction). He has worked as a foreign correspondent in Moscow and through Eastern Europe and spent many years as editor and then publisher of Tor ...more
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“The size of the Earth has been known for more than two thousand years, although the number was lost or disputed when the Earth went from being round to being flat again in the Middle Ages (under the prodding of Christian heaven-watchers, the Greek philosophers' [Eratosthenes 276-194 BC] work was erased in Europe and preserved only by Muslim scientists in the Middle East and North Africa).” 0 likes
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