TITLE: The Ends of the World: Supervolcanoes, Lethal Oceans, and the Search for Past Apocalypses
AUTHOR: Peter Brannen
DATE PUBLISHED: June 2017
Peter Brannen explores the 5 great extinction events, and in the process offers the reader a glimpse of our future. Everything from striking meteors, supervolcanoes, anoxic oceans, ice-ages, heat-waves, plate tectonics, supercontinents, too many trees, and the role of carbon dioxide are discussed. This is ultimately a climate change book, with the author continually bashing the reader over the head with how destructive humans are. The author manages to discuss the science aspects of the 5 great extinction events in a reasonably decent manner considering that this is a popular science book and doesn’t include many technical details. However, the exaggerated “evil humans / climate change” diatribe inserted approximately every 4th paragraph is annoying and detracts from the extinction story of the earth. He could have included those sections in a separate chapter or even at the end of each chapter if he felt that strongly about the matter. In addition, when the author does include numbers, he often doesn’t tell us where he comes up with them and I find his maths a bit off. The book includes photographs but it could have done with a geological timeline. This isn’t a bad book; it is certainly interesting and reads like a mystery novel if you ignore the anthropogenic global warming hysterics. I found this book to be an interesting and useful summary of the possible causes of the 5 great extinctions that this planet has experienced.
NOTE: The footnotes of the e-book don’t link up to the notes section.
OTHER RECOMMENDED BOOKS:
- -The Goldilocks Planet: The 4 Billion Year Story of Earth’s Climate by Jan Zalasiewicz and Mark Williams
- -The Emerald Planet: How Plants Changed Earth’s History by David Beerling
- -When Life nearly Died by Michael J Benton
- -The Worst of Times by Paul B. Wignall
- -Under a Green Sky by Peter D. Ward
- -Oxygen: The Molecule that Made the World by Nick Lane
- -Extinction by Douglas H. Erwin