August 26, 2008

Book Review - Worst Cases

Some people fear catastrophic disasters--a meteor hitting New York City, an earthquake disloding coastal cities such as Los Angeles from the rest of California, or a nuclear explosion killing all living things within a specific region. Clarke asserts that it is only a few extremists who immagine situations at this level. At the same time, less extreme events--typhoons, hurricanes, disease epidemics, and other natural and man-made disasters--seem to be occurring with greater frequency. Clarke believes that the increase in these lower level events is desensitizing societies, leaving them less shocked even as damage levels increase. As the severity of disasters rise, however, the possibility of a catastrophic disaster becomes an increasingly realistic. Clark discusses the conflict resulting from more information being available to society and its leaders, but at the same time, people's unwillingness to heed appropriate warnings and to give them appropriate attention. This book is intended as a wake up call, bringing attention to consequences that that we may believe are impossible.

This book can be found in HECSA Library:

Worst Cases: Terror and Catastrophe in the Popular Imagination
Lee Clarke
HV 551.2 .C533 2006