Solar flares—brief bursts of radiation from our sun—have always existed and have never been particularly dangerous. Nature hasn’t changed. But we have. By making our world so dependent on electricity delivered by huge, unprotected power grids we have inadvertently placed humanity at terrible risk. As bestselling author Whitley Strieber explores in this urgent new work, a powerful solar flare could demolish our electrical delivery system, wiping away centuries of civilization in minutes and drastically changing our world.
Such a scenario is altogether plausible—and it is the single most dangerous single thing that could happen to our civilization, more dangerous than the most massive earthquake or volcano, more dangerous than climate change, more dangerous even than nuclear war. What is worse, solar flares of a now-dangerous intensity are not all that uncommon; and not only that, our electrical and electronic infrastructure is becoming so extensive, and thus so fragile, that smaller and smaller solar flares can pose more and more serious hazards.
Due to the astonishing unwillingness of power companies to cooperate, good programs that would make us safer, and that are supported by both political parties, have been routinely prevented from being enacted.
In Solar Flares: What You Need to Know, Strieber reveals the dangers behind solar flares, tracks the disastrous damage they could cause, surveys what they would do to our world in the here-and-now, and explains what nations and individuals must do to prepare for them.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
Yuval Noah Harari, author of the critically-acclaimed New York Times bestseller and international phenomenon Sapiens, returns with an equally original, compelling, and provocative book, turning his focus toward humanity’s future, and our quest to upgrade humans into gods.
Over the past century humankind has managed to do the impossible and rein in famine, plague, and war. This may seem hard to accept, but, as Harari explains in his trademark style—thorough, yet riveting—famine, plague and war have been transformed from incomprehensible and uncontrollable forces of nature into manageable challenges. For the first time ever, more people die from eating too much than from eating too little; more people die from old age than from infectious diseases; and more people commit suicide than are killed by soldiers, terrorists and criminals put together. The average American is a thousand times more likely to die from binging at McDonalds than from being blown up by Al Qaeda.
What then will replace famine, plague, and war at the top of the human agenda? As the self-made gods of planet earth, what destinies will we set ourselves, and which quests will we undertake? Homo Deus explores the projects, dreams and nightmares that will shape the twenty-first century—from overcoming death to creating artificial life. It asks the fundamental questions: Where do we go from here? And how will we protect this fragile world from our own destructive powers? This is the next stage of evolution. This is Homo Deus.
With the same insight and clarity that made Sapiens an international hit and a New York Times bestseller, Harari maps out our future.
One by one the great northern cities - Chicago, Oslo, Montreal, Moscow, Leningrad - came under siege. Some fell and were evacuated, sending their young, old and sick to crowded areas further south. Crops and animals were destroyed. Governments drew lines of catastrophe across their national maps. Doomsday prophets were in full cry. Technological man was overwhelmed. The world had changed.
Some time in the year future the next Ice Age will be triggered off. It could happen in a thousand years' time, or in a century from now.
Or it could, quite literally, happen next winter. This book is fiction only because the events described have not yet happened. But it is not science fiction because all the science in the book is fact. When the year arrives that we see the sixth winter resembling 1792 within the space of a decade or so, then the Ice Age will be with us in a matter of weeks - and it will develop very much as described here.