Tee Jay's Reviews > Apocalypse 2012: An Investigation into Civilization's End

Apocalypse 2012 by Lawrence E. Joseph
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Apr 04, 2011

really liked it
Read from March 20 to 26, 2011 — I own a copy

I read this book in under a week, so I must have been sufficiently interested in the subject matter. In fact I am; for some unfathomable reason, I am incomprehensibly drawn to all things end-of-the-world. I guess I am a sucker for stuff like this. It fascinates me. However, I also take the end-of-times subject with a grain of salt. I am sceptical. Thankfully Joseph decries a lot of the stranger scenarios, and even puts a pin in the balloons of a lot of wacko thinking in Apocalypse 2012. The message, in a nutshell? That governments need to prepare for the possibility of worse solar storms than have already occurred in the past. We are totally dependent on electrical things, doodads that just so happen to also be highly susceptible to solar magnetic storms. Rather than ignoring the fact that something can go wrong, Joseph wants readers to realize that it is inevitable that more storms will come. In Apocalypse 2012 it's not a matter of if, it's simply a matter of when.

What I enjoyed most in Lawrence's Apocalypse 2012 is that he explores the plausible and possible science behind the current crop of doomsday scenarios, from solar flares, to global warming causing turbulent weather, and so on. Joseph doesn't come out and say that any of these scenarios will happen, let alone that they will happen in 2012, but rather what could plausibly happen if the end of the world were to happen. Thus, there aren't any alien invasions; there are also no gods coming down and wreaking havoc on earth, in a spaceship or otherwise. There are no zombies. But there are asteroids mentioned, and the “space” weather that Earth appears to go through regularly like clock work. There’s mention of comets too. And the runaway global warming effect that can create a domino effect in weather patterns, et cetera.
The downside to Apocalypse 2012 is that it is also a semi-quizzical autobiography where the author inserts himself into the text without trepidation. I found this to be off-putting. There were whole pages devoted to the author talking about himself, and his experiences—his divorce, growing up, et cetera—that I found completely irrelevant to the book's subject. It was weird.

At the end, I'm still sceptical: Apocalypse 2012 provides ample food for thought, but I don't know if I believe any of it. One thing this book does do, however, is provide a plethora of ideas for possible science fiction/fantasy stories, which in themselves make this book a rewarding read.
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