How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It

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Kelsey Roeder
ENGL 110-14
October 20, 2011

The idea of the world coming to an end is something that people have speculated about as long as most people can remember. It has been both glamorized and dramatized in books, music, and film. However, while most people consider the looming possibility of an apocalypse, most times it is not a fear that affects peoples everyday lives. However, with the introduction of new technologies, global climate changes, and heightened political conflict, our world is not the same world people felt safe in in the past. James Wesley Rawles lays out a clear and definitive plan for surviving a world ending disaster, and emphasizes the importance of recognizing the end of the world as a very real threat. In an age of nuclear war, global warming, and terrorism, we can no longer brush off the fear. The end of the world is becoming increasingly more real as we become increasingly under prepared both mentally and physically.

“If and when the flu pandemic—or terrorist attack, or massive currency devaluation, or some other unthinkable crisis—occurs, things could turn very, very ugly all over the globe. Think through all of the implications of disruption of key portions of our modern technological infrastructure. You need to be able to provide water, food, heating, and lighting for your family. Ditto for law enforcement, since odds are that a pandemic will be YOYO(You’re on your own) time” (Rawles, xii). Civilization is still standing now, but that does not mean it always will, cautions survival expert James Wesley Rawles in How to Survive the End of the World As We Know It. We’d better know what to do in the event of a deadly viral pandemic, major asteroid strike, unprecedented hyperinflationary (or deflationary) economic depression, third World War, or any other global disaster, Rawles argues.

He spells out all the hazards that we might face in a post-disaster society: looting, armed violence, food shortages, etc. Then he...
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