- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: Doubleday (May 14, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0385535910
- ISBN-13: 978-0385535915
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.2 x 9.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 99 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #109,090 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Scatter, Adapt, and Remember: How Humans Will Survive a Mass Extinction
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An Amazon Best Book of the Month, May 2013: Global warming, supervolcanoes, asteroid impacts, ice ages, and cosmic radiation. We know that, over millennia, these disasters have already ravaged the earth and its species. In fact, many scientists argue that the earth has undergone five previous mass extinctions, and that at least seventy-five percent of life on earth was exterminated by each. Now guess what? We may be living through the initial groans of the earth’s sixth mass extinction. But that doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world--and Annalee Newitz, editor of the popular blog IO9 explains why in her fascinating, fast-paced, and informative book. With chapters like “A Million Year View” and “How to Build a Deathproof City” Newitz argues that we can do a lot to stick around after the apocalypse, even if there’s nothing we can do to alter the earth’s course. --Chris Schluep
Praise for Scatter, Adapt, and Remember:
"As Walking Dead fans know, few things are more enjoyable than touring the apocalypse from the safety of your living room. Even as Scatter, Adapt, and Remember cheerfully reminds us that asteroid impacts, mega-volcanos and methane eruptions are certain to come, it suggests how humankind can survive and even thrive. Yes, Annalee Newitz promises, the world will end with a bang, but our species doesn't have to end with a whimper. Scatter, Adapt, and Remember is a guide to Homo sapiens' next million years. I had fun reading this book and you will too."
—Charles Mann, author of 1491
“Scatter, Adapt, and Remember is a refreshingly optimistic and well thought out dissection of that perennial worry: the coming apocalypse. While everyone else stridently shouts about the end of days, this book asks and answers a simple question: ‘If it's so bad, then why are we still alive?’ I found myself in awe of the incredible extinction events that humankind—and life in general—has already survived, and Newitz inspires us with engaging arguments that our race will keep reaching the end of the world and then keep living through it. Scatter, Adapt, and Remember intimately acquaints the reader with our two-hundred-thousand-year tradition of survival—nothing less than our shared heritage as human beings.”
—Daniel H. Wilson, author of Robopocalypse and Amped
“One part OMNI-grade optimistic futurism; one part terrifying disaster-history; entirely awesome and inspiring. A FTL rocket-ride through extinction and its discontents.”
—Cory Doctorow, author of Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom
“This book is not a survivalist guide but rather a grand historical overview that puts humanity in the middle of its evolution, with fascinating looks both back and forward in time. An enormous amount of knowledge is gathered here, and the book accomplishes something almost impossible, being extremely interesting on every single page. A real pleasure to read and think about.”
—Kim Stanley Robinson, author of the Mars Trilogy
"One of the best popular science books I've read in a long, long time—and perhaps the only one that takes such a clear-eyed view of the future."
—Seth Mnookin, author of The Panic Virus
"An animated and absorbing account into how life has survived mass extinctions so far…and what we need to do to make sure humans don’t perish in the next one... Humans may be experts at destroying the planet, but we are no slouches at preserving it, either, and Newitz’s shrewd speculations are heartening."
A Scientific American Recommended Book
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The author reviews what has occurred on earth in the past and may occur in the future which has or would impact people. Things like a impact with a heavenly body like a large asteroid, can really impact the people. A worldwide flu or other epidemic like the great plague epidemic could have a catastrophic impact on mankind. Eruption of a super volcano like Yellowstone would have a large impact on the earth population. There there is always the favorite of the environmental community CAGW (Catastrophic Anthropogenic (man caused) Global Warming). A world wide Carrington electromagnetic event or EMP pulse generated by mankind would have a catastrophic impact on much of the world's inventory of electronics and electrical supply systems. This in turn would impact the ability to feed the people, by growing food, and distributing where it is needed.
She is optimistic throughout that mankind will come through. Yes, there are many different events that could have a very significant impact on the world's population, and some of them could kill off a large percentage of humankind. However, she believes that mankind have proved in that past that he is a dap;table, and capable of moving around the earth, and working out how to change to survive. She believes that mankind will do this again as necessary to survive.
An interesting thought book, as she presents things in ways that I had never thought of previously, and is positive about the outcome. I recommend this book to people who are interested in the possibility of catastrophic events on earth, and what might result.
So Newitz's book is, in my mind, a refreshing departure from the usual "we're all gonna die" scenarios about the future. I gather some readers here at Amazon disagree with her interpretation of science, dislike her interest in "science fiction," and were totally put off by her speculations about possible (optimistic) futures. Okay, fine.
My take is this: Newitz is dead right in her view that we humans need to think like a species if we want to survive whatever the future brings. And the book's structure supports her view: she starts with the apocalyptic "environmental" catastrophes of millennia ago to demonstrate that whatever we think is going on now is, um, short-sighted to say the least. And from there she guides through possible scenarios in which humans can survive (by scattering, adapting, and/or remembering).
Will this book appeal to the doomday-ers? No. But it sure appealed to and intrigued this optimist.
Most recent customer reviews
Author: Newitz, Annalee. New York: Doubleday, 
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