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The Cosmic Winter Hardcover – May, 1990

ISBN-13: 978-0631169536 ISBN-10: 0631169539 Edition: 1St Edition

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Blackwell Pub; 1St Edition edition (May 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0631169539
  • ISBN-13: 978-0631169536
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #435,951 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 6 customer reviews
Finally, a risk assessment wraps up the book.
Phung Minh Hoang
When this happens, there are generally meteor showers which are really particles of comets burning up in the atmosphere.
Laura Knight-Jadczyk
When you add up all the research done, all the data in this book, it's hypothesis becomes almost undeniable.
B. Kopenhaver

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Laura Knight-Jadczyk on February 25, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Victor Clube's book, "The Cosmic Winter," is a book of inestimable importance to everyone on this planet. I strongly urge readers to write to the publisher and request a new printing since it is obvious that few people can afford the high prices for the few copies left in circulation. It is also obvious that those people who do have copies, aren't letting them out of their hands which should suggest to the reader how good and important this book is.

I first became aware of this book when a friend sent me a copy of a paper addressed to the European Office of Aerospace Research and development, dated June 4, 1996, entitled: The Hazard to Civilization from Fireballs and Comets by S.V.M. Clube. (For the uninitiated, Clube was an astrophysicist at the University of Oxford).

In this short (4 pages) letter and summary statement, Clube writes:

"Asteroids which pass close to the Earth have been fully recognized by mankind for only about 20 years. Previously, the idea that substantial unobserved objects might be close enough to be a potential hazard to the Earth was treated with as much derision as the unobserved aether. Scientists of course are in business to establish broad principles (eg relativity) and the Earth's supposedly uneventful, uniformitarian environment was already very much in place. The result was that scientists who paid more than lip service to objects close enough to encounter the Earth did so in an atmosphere of barely disguised contempt. Even now, it is difficult for laymen to appreciate the enormity of the intellectual blow with which most of the Body Scientific has recently been struck and from which it is now seeking to recover."

I stopped right there and asked myself: Hmmm... just what intellectual blow is he talking about here?
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Phung Minh Hoang on February 18, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is a book written by astrophysicists for laymen. It is important for one reason: it offers compelling evidence that the sky is not harmless as one might think. On the contrary, there are multiple comet swarms, which are huge concentration of comets, wandering in the space. The Earth has had frequent encounters with them in the past and another is probably due in the near future.

The book starts with a graphic description of a fictional encounter between the Earth and a comet swarm. A 20 megaton comet impacts Nevada. Mistaking it with a nuclear strike from the Soviet Union, the US launches multiple nuclear missiles in retaliation. In the mean time, another hundred-megaton impact hits Belgium, wiping out the country and devastating much of Europe. A shower of smaller comet debris also peppers much of the Earth. When the Earth finally emerges from the swarm, much of its surface is in ruin.

After ensuring that your attention is sufficiently captured by this story, the authors go about presenting the evidence for their case. In part I, they gather various clues from myths and legends around the world that point to catasphophes in the past. What is interesting here is that they show that the Gods from the myths were probably not products of fiction but comets during a very active periods. They did move around in the sky and interfere in worldly affairs through their deadly bombardments.

That said, part II is where the meat of the book is. Here, the authors summarize the current scientific knowledge about comets and present it in a very accessible way. Of particular significance is information about the Taurid meteor stream, whose path the Earth crosses at the end of June and early November each year.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By ZSky on March 5, 2008
Format: Hardcover
"The Cosmic Winter" is the one of the most important works by Clube and Napier, close to as being an expansion of their first book, The Cosmic Serpent. In "The Cosmic Winter," with 280 pages and seventeen chapters, the authors bring forth the role of impact events in creating the cosmic "winters" and the further discussion of the mythological sky gods as evidence of comets in our prehistory era and a look at cometary events towards the present era.

As one first read the beginning of this book in a prologue chapter, there will be an experience of a fictional encounter between the Earth and a cometary bombardment and how the United States government would react. Then, the authors pointed out that "a great illusion of cosmic security thus envelopes mankind, one that the 'establishment' of Church, State and Academe do nothing to disturb. Persistence in such an illusion will do nothing to alleviate the next Dark Age when it arrives" (p 12-3). There's nothing further from the truth!

There are three parts of this book, with first part being concerned with the mythologies as the history of comets, such as "sky gods" were being comets in disguises. And, they were seen by ancient human beings in our prehistory periods and they may have misinterpreted these comets as "gods." Towards the end of this first part, the authors stated that "swarms of asteroids periodically exist in Earth-crossing orbits and that these are responsible for producing an erratic sequence of cosmic winters, sudden coolings of the globe" (p. 127), which is important to keep in mind.
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