Everything Is Going To Kill Everybody
Three Rivers Press, 2010
I stumbled upon this book while contemplating the ways the world might end for a library display on “Recommended Reading for the Post-Apocalypse,” that is, books on small-scale farming, food preservation, general off-the-grid living, and the like.
Before having read Brockway’s book, I thought myself pretty savvy to various end-of-world scenarios, but I learned a few new ways to be terrified. For example, I knew vaguely about supervolcanoes, meteorite strikes, and greenhouse gas, but this was my first exposure to the hat trick of global disasters that combines all three: the Verneshot is a hypothetical event in which a massive build up of subterranean gas launches a big ol’ piece of continent into low orbit, which reenters the atmosphere elsewhere in the manner of a massive meteorite. Meanwhile, all that built up carbon dioxide that caused the initial eruption is released into the atmosphere, pretty much wiping out whatever’s left. Oh, and there’s also a massive earthquake as the hole vacated by the explosion collapses in on itself. Lovely.