- 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 (5 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #489,321 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Cosmic Winter 1St Edition Edition
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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?Read more ›
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.Read more ›
He covers a lot of history and myth, which may bore the more hardcore scientist or casual reader, but it is necessary to comprehend all that follows. It also makes for a great review of some ancient history that I had otherwise been only marginally exposed to.
After covering the history and mythology he moves forward and gives us hard data, tons of it, regarding actual impact events. He brings three forth that have happened in the last thousand years that demonstrate these cosmic missiles can have the destructive equivalent of a multi-megaton nuclear explosion.
He then moves back in time and gives us more history, that of actual impacts and the records left by ancient societies. When you add up all the research done, all the data in this book, it's hypothesis becomes almost undeniable. It's amazing that so much evidence can be gathered and yet the mainstream scientific community is still in doubt, still perpetuating a theory that has been disproved over and over.
It's almost as if we're still in the age of Gallileo, and decrying the planet as round and revolving around the sun is treason against god and humanity! Seriously, if you want a solid education on the phenomenon and realistic ideas based on solid facts check out this book. It rocked, no pun intended.
I did find the short reference to the 'second sun' theory rather funny as he disregards the data much as he criticizes most others for doing through the ages. Also the data there is incorrect if my understanding is right. It, brown dwarf, is said to be inbound, not outbound, which changes the equation, of it's affect on our system and the comet cluster that follows it as Clube does make mention of in a cyclical manner of return. History repeats.