We humans can survive anything, according to this eternal optimist

Posted: September 1, 2013 in Books in general
Tags: , , ,

Nuclear holocausts, killer plagues and collisions with asteroids hold no fear for science writer and eternal optimist Annalee Newitz, author of the bestseller, Scatter, Adapt, and Remember: How Humans Will Survive a Mass Extinction.

Newitz believes humans will survive whatever our solar system chooses to throw our way in the coming millennia.

Why so certain? “Because the world has been almost completely destroyed at least half a dozen times already in Earth’s 4.5-billion-year history,” she says, “and every single time there have been survivors.”

Annalee Newitz

Annalee Newitz

An Amazon Best Book of the Month in May 2013, Scatter, Adapt, and Remember reminds us that, “In its 4.5 billion-year history, life on Earth has been almost erased at least half a dozen times: shattered by asteroid impacts, entombed in ice, smothered by methane, and torn apart by unfathomably powerful megavolcanoes. And we know that another global disaster is eventually headed our way. Can we survive it? How?”

Asteroids hold no fears for Newitz

Newitz claims that, as a species, Homo sapiens are at a crossroads. “Study of our planet’s turbulent past suggests that we are overdue for a catastrophic disaster, whether caused by nature or by human interference. It’s a frightening prospect, as each of the Earth’s past major disasters – from meteor strikes to bombardment by cosmic radiation – resulted in a mass extinction, where more than 75 per cent of the planet’s species died out.”

In Scatter, Adapt, and Remember, Newitz explains that although global disaster is all but inevitable, our chances of long-term species survival are better than ever. Life on Earth has come close to annihilation; humans have, more than once, narrowly avoided extinction just during the last million years. But every single time a few creatures survived, evolving to adapt to the harshest of conditions.

This brilliantly speculative work of popular science focuses on humanity’s long history of dodging the bullet, as well as on new threats that we may face in years to come. Most important, it explores how scientific breakthroughs today will help us avoid disasters tomorrow.

“From simulating tsunamis to studying central Turkey’s ancient underground cities; from cultivating cyanobacteria for “living cities” to designing space elevators to make space colonies cost-effective; from using math to stop pandemics to studying the remarkable survival strategies of gray whales, scientists and researchers the world over are discovering the keys to long-term resilience and learning how humans can choose life over death.”

The book has resonated with readers and reviewers alike.

Amazon reviewer Charles Mann, author of 1491, says:

“…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.”

 Daniel H. Wilson, author of Robopocalypse, says:

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.”


Leave a Reply (email address NOT required)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s