Will humanity survive the century?


Oliver Morton reviews Our Final Century: Will the Human Race Survive the Twenty-First Century? (Amazon UK) by Martin Rees who gives humanity only a 50/50 chance of surviving the next 97 years. Morton, though, while accepting many may die, is more optimistic of our chances as a race. While Rees sees catastrophic dangers from future terrorism, Morton sets the possible deaths against the relentless toll of the 20th century's wars: "In some situations, such as the war in Congo, it is possible to kill a million people without most of civilisation -- the urge for inverted commas here is strong -- even noticing, let alone ending." He also thinks humanity's ability to counter new threats will continue and save us or, at least, most of us.

I'm guessing this book is available in the US under a different, more immediately dramatic, name, Our Final Hour: A Scientist's Warning: How Terror, Error, and Environmental Disaster Threaten Humankind's Future In This Century -- On Earth and Beyond (Amazon US).

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Assuming you mean the review in this Saturdays Guardian? - http://books.guardian.co.uk/Print/0,3858,4689318,00.html

I heard Rees interviewed on R4 (Midweek, I think) about this and he was at pains to point out the change of title in the US was at the 'request' of the Publisher.

Oops, sorry. I spent so long trying to work out if those US/UK books were the same or not, I forgot the original link! I've added it now. Thanks.