Review by Sid Perkins
The world could end any number of ways — and in a sense it already has, many times, in mass extinctions that paved the way for new life.
Childs, a writer, recounts field trips to nine sites that today are suffering some of the same major environmental disruptions that afflicted Earth during those extinctions or that might trigger future die-offs — places that Childs describes as “the most desolate, phenomenal and downright strange parts of the world.”
Fresh lava fields in Hawaii stand in for the landscape that probably existed after large asteroid strikes and during an interval that scientists aptly call the Late Heavy Bombardment, when an innumerable horde of such objects pummeled the planet billions of years ago. Arid salt flats in South America’s Atacama Desert epitomize how Earth’s surface may look once the sun expands and the planet&rsqu