Three and a halfPretty good short, entertaining, informative The stuff about technology and robotics wasn t terribly interesting to me nor some of the stuff about the scariness of genetically altering or manufacturing disease I simply don t think our society is going to maintain it s level of affluence long enough for those to be really concerning I was a bit disappointed that there was nothing about peak resources as well That s a major issue as far as I m concerned and impacts all the rest of the topics in his book pretty seriously The stuff about climate change was great Current, well informed, scary, and a great read Also the part about disease, and anti vaccine nutballs Anyway, good not perfect Also really short It was a very good summary of the threats to humankind Good scientific and smart discussion for a layperson Not a zombie book the author is a smart reporter It reads like a collection of investigative research into various threats. @Download Pdf ´ The Fate of the Species ⛄ The Sixth Mass Extinction Event In The History Of Planet Earth Is Currently Under Way, With Over Two Hundred Species Dying Off Every Day The Cause Of This Seismic Event Is Also The Source Of The Single Biggest Threat To Human Life Our Own InventionsBut For All Our Talk About Sea Levels And Biotechnology, Do We Really Know What Our Future Will Actually Look Like Will Our Immune Systems Be Attacked By So Called Super Bugs, Always Evolving, And Easily Spread Than Ever Will The Disappearance Of Numerous Species Cripple The Biosphere And If It Does, What Happens Then In This Provocative, Gripping Book, Scientific American Editor Fred Guterl Explores These And Other Looming Scenarios In Vivid Detail The Way They Might Really Happen And Then Proffers The Means To Avoid ThemWe Find Ourselves In A Trap Technology Got Us Into This Mess, And It S Also The Only Thing That Can Help Us Survive It Guterl S Riveting Book Is A Grand And Necessary Thought Experiment, Not Merely A Scary Story, But A Fresh Perspective On The World We Re Remaking, And A Route To Safe Harbor The Chameleon Wore Chartreuse: A Chet Gecko Mystery With Over Two Hundred Species Dying Off Every Day The Cause Of This Seismic Event Is Also The Source Of The Single Biggest Threat To Human Life Our Own InventionsBut For All Our Talk About Sea Levels And Biotechnology Blood Rites Do We Really Know What Our Future Will Actually Look Like Will Our Immune Systems Be Attacked By So Called Super Bugs River Thieves Always Evolving Un/inhabited And Easily Spread Than Ever Will The Disappearance Of Numerous Species Cripple The Biosphere And If It Does River Thieves What Happens Then In This Provocative How to Archive Family Photos: A Step-by-Step Guide to Organize and Share Your Photos Digitally Gripping Book Serafina and the Seven Stars Scientific American Editor Fred Guterl Explores These And Other Looming Scenarios In Vivid Detail The Way They Might Really Happen And Then Proffers The Means To Avoid ThemWe Find Ourselves In A Trap Technology Got Us Into This Mess Beading Basics And It S Also The Only Thing That Can Help Us Survive It Guterl S Riveting Book Is A Grand And Necessary Thought Experiment How to Organize Inherited Items: A Step-by-Step Guide for Dealing with Boxes of Your Parents' Stuff Not Merely A Scary Story Backyard Projects for Todays Homestead But A Fresh Perspective On The World We Re Remaking Backyard Projects for Today's Homestead And A Route To Safe Harbor Let me be bluntI seriously disliked this book It has less to do with the meandering anecdotal style, which wasn t my cup of tea, quiet frankly and much to do with the subtitle When I saw Guterl on The Daily Show, I was intrigued by his message, and the subtitle, Why the Human Race May Cause its Own Extinction and How We Can Stop It , was the main reason I bought the book I thought I was buying a book about major issues AND their solutions.I realize now that the subtitle was a misnomer there are no solutions Guterl highlights only the many, many, maaaaany ways we are most certainly doomed, and you cannot read this book without coming away feeling that we are most certainly doomed To that end, our gradual downfall will be marked by vast amounts of human suffering starvation, disease, lack of drinking water, chaos What s , it s clear halfway through the book that Guterl believes we ll go extinct from not just one of the causes he s highlighting, but from a whole cascade of them In other words, a better subtitle may have been, Why We Are Royally Screwed I m not saying he s wrongclearly, after reading Guterl s book I m now a bit of a believerbut I m also left feeling quite hopeless and depressed And that s sort of my point here if the news is SO bleak, and if clearly nothing can be donedo we really need to know Why remove all hope Would it change anything to give us even a little something to pin our hopes on The end is near But just how near And what will be the cause In his book The Fate Of The Species Scientific American editor Fred Guterl delves into what may cause our extinction and what we can do about it.There are many books out there discussing this topic, most of them in a very sensationalist and wildly exaggerating style Luckily for me, this isn t the case here as the author sets a matter of fact tone which I was immediately taken with Written in a conversational style and painting both vivid and plausible scenarios of what could happen, he takes the reader from super viruses past climate change straight to what he obviously sees as the most likely culprit of all scientific and technological progress Our own inventions as source and cause of our possible extinction might not sound quite as exciting as a meteor striking, but according to this survey it s scarily likely.Regrettably, it s the minutely detailed examples, highlighting present day research, which create an imbalance, sometimes long winded enough to break up a chapter, and often reducing the fascinating question of what might happen to a mere afterthought Another thing I found slightly unfortunate were the thoughts on solutions being pooled into the last chapter instead of complementing the individual chapters A general conclusion would have been fitting in my opinion.In short Technology as our downfall an interesting excursion into what may cause the next mass extinction event on our planet seriously great read 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 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. Interesting and easy to read, Guterl describes six areas of potential catastrophe super viruses, extinction, climate change, ecosystems, synthetic biology, and machines He found that most of the scientists he talked to believe the most immediate threat to mankind s survival is biology viruses Of course the borders aren t firm and to be weakened on one front leaves us vulnerable to all threats against life on earth as we now enjoy it, or don t depending on what economic and or mental shoes you are currently walking in So with impending doom just a sneeze away, or several degrees warmer, or malware knocking out the electrical grid, or collapse of food crops due to narrow genetic base, drought, or, etc., this book makes for good reading if you are not squeamish. Cheery topics within The Fate of the Species Why the Human Race May Cause Its Own Extinction and How We Can Stop It, include such things as a global pandemic caused by a newly evolved supervirus, global warming raising sea levels 20 feet flooding cities and altering weather patterns, ecosystem collapse due to species extinction, a terrorist event using a bio engineered virus which is quite similar to a pandemic actually , and a computer virus that shuts down the electrical grid Contrary to the book s subtitle, however, exactly none of these things would result in the extinction of the humans species leading one to believe that the hyperbolic text is sales gimmick than descriptor , though they could certainly cause turmoil, death and destruction.Through science, humans have gained increased power over the planet and its environment, although as we ve seen time and again, the unintended consequences of progress tend to catch us by surprise in our headlong quest for new technologies Aerosol sprays and refrigerants deplete the ozone layer, coal combustion produces acid rain, introduced species destroy natural ecosystems and the addition of lead to gasoline causes learning disabilities You d think by now that people would be tired of playing catch up and learn to anticipate potential problems arising from technology ahead of time, but perhaps that s too much to ask Cleverness is not wisdom as Euripides once wrote While I find the topic of technology gone awry of interest, there s really nothing new to be found in The Fate of the Species, and I learned very little Anyone who has followed the news in a peripheral fashion will already be familiar with global warming and pandemics Environmental organizations have been raising warnings regarding ecosystem collapse and the dangers of mono culture for years and Stuxnet the computer virus aimed at Iran s nuclear program has received considerable press of late In addition, there have been no technological or political changes that would warrant a re evaluation of these issues or cause us to view them in a new light Add to this the fact that Guterl s coverage of these topics is entirely conventional, and all we are left with are the reheated leftovers of information that is available elsewhere The book also purportedly provides information as to How We Can Stop the complete annihilation of every last human, including you and everyone you know and love something that might be considered to be of some importance But, as is typical of the genre, a few trite and simplistic solutions are tacked on to the end of the book as if as an afterthought Although the book is reasonably interesting and easy to understand, it is perplexing as to why Guterl bothered to write it given that he has so little to add to the conversation.
- The Fate of the Species
- Fred Guterl
- 06 September 2017 Fred Guterl