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“Tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes, pandemics, cosmic radiation, gamma bursts from space, colliding comets, and asteroids – these catastrophic events have become a common part of our culture. Are natural calamities now more probable, and more frequent? Are things getting worse? Are we part of the problem? If so, what can we do about it?”

This is the Amazon description of a book, The End: Natural Disasters, Manmade Catastrophes, and the Future of Human Survival by Marq de Villiers. I can’t remember why I read it. I might have just grabbed it off the shelf at the public library. Actually, I think I was attempting to do reasonable research on global warming, but when you are at a small public library in the Jersey burbs, you have to roll with whatever you find on the shelf. So this book is definitely questionable, scientifically, at least according to reviewers. But I liked reading it. Did you know about the lake in Africa that emits poisonous fumes and has, in the past, wiped out everyone living on its shore while they slept? Also, I did not realize that the Chesapeake Bay area down the eastern seaboard toward the Outer Banks was probably created by a giant asteroid that struck the earth a long time ago. Could happen again, couldn’t it? Titillating to those who are apocalyptically prone. I don’t think I am, but I did finish the book. Published by Thomas Dunne books, an imprint of St. Martins in 2008.