The End Is Nigh - A Human History of Natural Disasters

Svensen, Henrik: Enden er nær, om naturkatastrofer og samfunn On natural disasters and societies

Millions of people have died in natural disasters. Cities have fallen into ruins, societies collapsed. As of today, nearly half the world’s population live in the danger zone. Have the natural disasters of today changed us, how we live and how we think? Do we react differently today than we did hundreds of years ago when disaster strikes?

Henrik Svensen takes us along on a journey through a number of substantial and minor natural disasters since the beginning of time. This book contains numerous gripping stories and individual destinies. We always ask ourselves the same questions when disaster hits us: Why did this strike us, and not someone else? Does the cause lie in the unruly natural forces, or is it God who punishes us for our sins? Or are disasters caused by our abuse of environment? Why are we so vulnerable?

Henrik Svensen is a geologist at the University in Oslo, where he conducts research on dramatic events in the history of the earth. In this book he presents various insights into the different fields of research on natural disasters.

”...The End is Nigh” is a multi-faceted and scientifically vivid examination of a phenomenon that shapes our civilisation far more that we realise. And next time mayhem is upon us, the reader has a tool with which to analyse the reactions and the consequences"

"The book's strength is its wealth of examples, some as recent as Hurricane Katrina ... The most gripping parts are when geologist Svensen relates his own experience finding spontaneous subterranean fires in Mali."
(New Scientist, UK)

"Faced with its catalogue of plagues, fires, earthquakes and tsunamis, one can only hope that The End Is Nigh proves an inaccurate title. But Henrik Svensen's fascinating book (fluently translated from the Swedish by John Irons) is more than a catalogue of catastrophes."
(The Independent, UK)

First published: Aschehoug Non-Fiction 2006

Henrik Svensen: Biography and bibliography

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