Examines major events in the geologic history of earth, from natural catastrophes such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions to the man made disasters of Chernobyl and the destruction of the environment
In Maryland, late in the Spring of 1816, the snow fell brown, and blue, and even red. Brown snow fell in Hungary that year, and in the village of Taranto in southern Italy, where any snow is rare, the red and yellow snow caused great alarm. In New England, 1816 was called the Year Without a Summer. Crops failed throughout America, the price of corn and wheat soared, and farmers (lacking feed) sold off livestock, bringing about a collapse in beef and pork prices. In western Europe it was even worse, with food riots and armed mobs raiding bakeries and grain markets. This turmoil followed a catastrophic volcanic eruption a year earlier on the other side of the world--the April 1815 explosion of the volcano Tambora, on the Indonesian island of Sumbawa--a blast heard almost a thousand miles away in Sumatra. In Tales of the Earth, Charles Officer and Jake Page describe--often through eye-witness accounts and through the commentary of prominent figures--some of the great events of environmental history. From natural catastrophes such as the Tambora eruption, the great Lisbon earthquake of 1755, and the ice ages, to manmade disasters such as the nuclear fallout from Chernobyl, the killer smog of 1952 in London which killed some four thousand people, acid rain, and the progressive depletion of the ozone layer, Officer and Page provide phenomenal accounts of the earthshattering events that have changed the course of history. A fascinating discussion of nature's power over humanity, as well as the trouble humanity makes for nature, Tales of the Earth will interest anyone concerned with the environmental and the natural world.