The Fate of the Species
In this provocative, gripping book, "Scientific American" editor Guterl explores looming human extinction scenarios in vivid detail--the way they might really happen--and then proffers the means to avoid them in this grand and necessary thought experiment.
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This book reads like an action thriller, and the author describes numerous worst-case scenarios which could affect the human race. "Viruses of the computer kind, as well as the biological kind, hold the key to our destruction" is a quote which exemplifies how nature and human inventions may one day overwhelm us. Climate change, biological and electronic viruses, and other factors pose dangers in the long-term though they could occur sooner than we might imagine. I recommend this book for not just High School and College students but everyone who cares about future generations and the fate of the species. Fred Guterl remains objective throughout the chapters and does not side with environmentalists who argue, for instance, that we should consume more local products and less overall and neither does he believe that future human inventions and technology are guaranteed to save us. Though it is controversial, he nails it at the end when he makes reference to the optimal population levels as developed by Gretchen Daily and Paul Ehrlich from Stanford University. "Going from 7 billion to 2 billion is quite an adjustment. If this is the path, let us hope we move down it slowly and by choice, rather than quickly, by imposition."
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"Smallpox may be the most awe-inspiring human pathogen nature has ever invented. Smallpox is the only infectious disease that has been successfully eradicated."
"Stuxnet is a remarkable accomplishment in the history of espionage, but the implications go far beyond cyber-warfare. We are now utterly dependent on computers."
"Going from 7 billion to 2 billion is quite an adjustment. If this is the path, let us hope we move down it slowly and by choice, rather than quickly, by imposition."
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