Hardcover: 216 pages
Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks (13 Mar 2003)
The Earth is an extraordinarily fragile place, which is fraught with danger - a tiny rock hurtling through space, wracked by violent crustal movements and subject to dramatic climatic changes as the Earth's geophysical and orbital circumstances vary. Only 10,000 years after the end of the Ice Age, the planet is sweltering in some of the highest temperatures it has ever experienced.
At the same time, overpopulation and exploitation are dramatically increasing the vulnerability of modern society to natural catastrophes such as earthquakes, floods and volcanic eruptions.
Few people can even begin to imagine what life will be like on Earth in a million or even a thousand years time. The real question may be, however, will there be any human life here at all? This book focuses on the many potential catastrophes facing our planet and our race in the future and addresses both the probabilities of these events happening and our chances of survival. The breadth of the treatment extends from discussion of the likely consequences of the current global warming experiment to the inevitable destruction of the Earth in the far future, when it is enveloped by our giant, bloated sun. Other scenarios, including the new Ice Age, the asteroid and comet impact threat, supervolcanoes and their effects, and megatsunami, are also examined.
`Review from previous edition each chapter does cover the current state of knowledge with impressive thoroughness, often backed by striking facts and figures'
`I would heartily recommend Bill McGuire's potted histroy of the Earth and its many mechanicanisms of destruction'
`The book is pacy and terrifying'
`a convincing, gripping and, at times. terrifying, case'
'an elegant volume of nervous-breakdown-uinducing persuasiveness'
‘McGuire is a vulcanologist [sic] and what he doesn’t know about volcanoes is probably not worth knowing’
‘This book does exactly what it says on the cover. Bill McGuire looks in detail at the disasters that are most likely to end life on Earth; new ice age, giant asteroid, supervolcano, megatsunami. He must be fun at parties.’
The Times Magazine
‘More terrifying than a gothic horror, it is impressive and gripping and should appeal to masochists’.
Liverpool Daily Post
‘McGuire doesn’t pronounce our imminent extinction, but he does warn – in a disconcertingly cheerful way – of a grim future for our descendants and Earth’s non-human inhabitants. Recommended reading, while awaiting construction of those first space colonies’
The Independent Online
‘This is not a good book to share with a depressed friend’.
‘When the cold war ended, the fear that the world might end tomorrow seemed a little less immediate. In this small book, Bill McGuire – a professor of geophysical hazards and the man Tony Blair would ring if a natural disaster struck Britain today – reminds us that it might happen after all’
'This book is racy, pacy, opinionated, sassy and fun [...] an ideal holiday read, in fact'
'If you like self-mutilation, this book will make a humorous light read at bedtime'