Countdown to Apocalypse: Asteroids, Tidal Waves, and the End of the World

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Plenum Trade, 1998 - Science - 290 pages
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Inspired by the end of the millennium, celebrated science writer Paul Halpern tackles the fate of human civilization and our planet in this meditation on the end of the world. Beginning with the religious origins of the idea of apocalypse, Halpern shows how science has borrowed the metaphor to describe potential worldwide catastrophes. He spins out various scenarios for destruction, from nuclear war and global warming to a great flood and a new Ice Age. He argues that while human history will someday come to a close -- even if we survived for billions of years, we would eventually face the end of the universe itself -- in the meantime we have gained extraordinary control over our fate as a species. Faced with the power to steer our planet toward paradise or transform it into hell, he says, we must take steps to avoid those catalysts of apocalypse that are within our control.

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About the author (1998)

Paul Halpern, PhD, is Professor of Physics at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia. He is the 2002 recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, awarded for research that ultimately resulted in the book "The Great Beyond: Higher Dimensions, Parallel Universes, and the Extraordinary Search for a Theory of Everything". He is also the author of "Collider: The Search for the World s Smallest Particles" and "What s Science Ever Done for Us?: What The Simpsons Can Teach Us about Physics, Robots, Life, and the Universe".

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