Saturday, March 24, 2007

Global Catastrophes

Title: A Very Short Introduction to Global Catastrophes
Author: Bill McGuire
Oxford University Press, 2002

NOTE: Pernilla Weman should not read this review!

Well, the shit is literally about to hit the fan! In the, geologically speaking, near future, mankind may be the victim of several unpleasant things. We may all get hit over the head by a gigantic asteroid and then plunged into an arctic winter (all the dust flying around would stop the sunlight from entering our atmosphere); on the other hand, a super-eruption from a volcano may already have practically obliterated us all, or, why not one of the approaching Great Quakes. And, while we are all waiting for these catostrophes, global warming will make all our lives considerably more unpleasant.

Bill McGuire writes about the ills that may befall us in a juicy, let-me-paint-you-all-a-picture prose. He obviously enjoys writing and he does it well. Some of the facts sound funny though. I think (I hope!) I would have heard if 35,000 Europeans succumbed to the heat of 2003. I do admit though that it is conceivable that I missed it, and that if this is so, I should be ashamed of myself. While reading the book though, it is important to remember that it is part of a political context, albeit I have to say that I trust OUP more than I trust George Bush and his industry goons.

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