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The Resource End times : a brief guide to the end of the world :asteroids, supervolcanoes, rogue robots, and more, Bryan Walsh

End times : a brief guide to the end of the world :asteroids, supervolcanoes, rogue robots, and more, Bryan Walsh

Label
End times : a brief guide to the end of the world :asteroids, supervolcanoes, rogue robots, and more
Title
End times
Title remainder
a brief guide to the end of the world :asteroids, supervolcanoes, rogue robots, and more
Statement of responsibility
Bryan Walsh
Creator
Author
Subject
Language
eng
Tone
Review
  • Journalist Walsh tries to “wake people up... to the reality of existential threats” that include asteroids, artificial intelligence, and more in this well-intentioned but unsatisfying assessment of risk and prevention. Readers craving gloom and doom will feel especially let down, as Walsh doesn’t revel in sensationalistic pessimism. He interviews biologists, climatologists, anthropologists, geologists, astronomers, and even a moral philosopher to grapple with a tough subject: human extinction. He goes into great detail about the ins and outs of tracking near-Earth objects, like the small asteroid that exploded above Chelyabinsk Oblast in 2013, injuring residents, damaging buildings, and catching NASA skywatchers by surprise. He takes the same approach to evaluating “supervolcanoes,” such as Toba in Sumatra and Yellowstone in the United States, describing the “guesswork” involved in predicting immense-scale eruptions. Other potential forces of mass destruction discussed are artificial intelligence and biotechnology, particularly the ability to synthesize DNA; both he calls “dual-use technologies,” which might either benefit humankind or cause mass suffering, even extinction. Though he succeeds in providing an introduction to how these and other megathreats, readers will be disappointed that Walsh’s study offers very few clear answers, and only a vague “existential hope” that solutions can be found. Agent: Todd Shuster, Aevitas Creative. (Sept.) --Staff (Reviewed 07/01/2019) (Publishers Weekly, vol 266, issue 26, p)
  • A fascinating and frightening exploration of how "the very future is in danger, as it has never been before, both from an array of cosmic and earthbound threats and from the very technologies that have helped make us so prosperous." Today, assessing the risk of human extinction—and preparing to react to existential threats—has become a science the world can't afford to ignore. For generations, writes Time reporter and editor Walsh, the idea of a single event threatening to end mankind has dominated the box office: "The bloodier and more dystopic, it seems, the more we love it—as long as we're watching, and not participating." But are we taking the underlying reality that seeds these ideas seriously? In this unflinching and insightful book, the author delivers all of the gritty details about the most likely end-times events, often contextualizing modern-day threats with historical catastrophes, somber reminders that the vast majority of Earth's species are extinct and that humans are unlikely to be an exception. While human ingenuity has resulted in technologies that may predict and prevent a world-ending natural disaster, advances such as nuclear weapons or synthetic biology have the potential to do irreparable harm if they fall into the wrong hands. Not to mention the threat of climate change, which may end humanity over a period of many years, or a supervirus, which could do the job in just a few months. And yet, the author argues, people are generally unable to accept that nothing about the future is guaranteed—a psychological blind spot that may be our undoing. Luckily, there is a cadre of brilliant scientists working on the cutting edge of preventing catastrophe, and Walsh delves deep into their mindsets and research. An engaging writer, the author is most compelling when he outlines "how our species can survive the unsurvivable" through planning, perseverance, and an unshakable desire to carry on. A disturbing, riveting, and ultimately hopeful call to arms. (Kirkus Reviews, August 1, 2019)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10801323
Cataloging source
YDX
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Walsh, Bryan
Dewey number
576.8/4
Index
index present
Literary form
non fiction
Nature of contents
bibliography
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Disasters
  • Extinction (Biology)
  • Climatic changes
  • Nature
  • Climatic changes
  • Disasters
  • Extinction (Biology)
  • Nature
http://bibfra.me/vocab/lite/titleRemainder
a brief guide to the end of the world
Label
End times : a brief guide to the end of the world :asteroids, supervolcanoes, rogue robots, and more, Bryan Walsh
Instantiates
Publication
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references (pages 343-391) and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
on1056779933
Dimensions
24 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
406 pages
Isbn
9780316449618
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
(OCoLC)1056779933
Label
End times : a brief guide to the end of the world :asteroids, supervolcanoes, rogue robots, and more, Bryan Walsh
Publication
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references (pages 343-391) and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
on1056779933
Dimensions
24 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
406 pages
Isbn
9780316449618
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
(OCoLC)1056779933

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